10 Essential Tips to Work from Home More Productively
Understanding how work-related stress can lead to deeper mental health problems is the first step to protecting yourself against it. Acknowledging that work can be stressful and that the new ‘Work from Home’ norm has brought with it a host of different challenges, all of which can be incredibly wearing and demanding, is a vital first step. So, to help in what small way we can, the CourseSight Team has compiled our essential tips to make working from home that bit less stressful.
- If possible, get some fresh air when you can, either before or after work. Mental ill-health is linked to staying indoors all day for days on end, so whenever you can, nip out for a walk and get a breath of fresh air and a brief change of scene – it really helps.
- Set yourself achievable goals each day so that when working alone you still acquire a sense of satisfaction on the completion of a task. Review what you have achieved at the end of the day. If things haven’t gone to plan, think about why not (e.g. could you have asked for help to achieve these and didn’t?)
- Every hour or so, stand up and stretch for a few minutes. It’s easy to let an entire morning slip by without even moving from your seat, but it’s important for your concentration to get your blood flowing and this will also relieve physical stresses like sore a back, eyes and help you to avoid RSI.
- Try to position your work surface or desk next to a window. Studies have shown that being seated with a window to your side or in front of you reduces eye strain and feelings of isolation. Whereas, facing a wall with your back to a window, or in a room with no windows at all, has been proven to decrease productivity and intensify feelings of seclusion.
- Make sure you maintain a good routine in the morning, as you would if you were still going to the office. As tempting as it might be to lie in and roll out of bed to your desk still wearing your pyjamas, this is not conducive to productivity!
- Likewise, don’t stay at your desk ‘til very late. Just as you stick to a sensible start time, make sure you clock off too.
- Avoid checking e-mails or business texts at all hours. Finish work for the day and be strict about this, allowing adequate ‘me’ and ‘family’ time every day.
- Take a short break if you have had a rough meeting or a demanding piece of work. Call a friend or colleague and you will soon be reminded that life is bigger than this one issue and get a more balanced perspective. If you don’t feel like speaking to anyone, then look at something positive and life-affirming online for 10 minutes. Why do you think there are so many uploads of cute animals right now? We ALL need these snippets of natural warmth.
- If the weather is too bad to go out, then move into another room (or away from your desk at least) and do some exercise inside.
- If you are starting to feel anxious or stressed, tell someone you trust – whether a partner, a friend, colleague, line manager or doctor. There are plenty of people who can help you, just ask.
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Even if it’s not forever, whilst the world continues to work from home, it’s important to implement some steps to protect your mental health, whether you follow the CourseSight team’s essential tips, or devise your own!