Home Working for a Happy Mind
A couple of years ago when I started out working as a freelancer, working from home was still a mixed bag in terms of company and people's views. I always enjoyed working from home when I was an employee as I found I got lots more work done and also enjoyed the quiet space. It was also a bonus to be able to get some washing done and go for a lunchtime run!
Two years on and flexible working is now prevalent in many office-based companies, as the focus on work/life balance and mental health has grown.
That said, whilst a couple of days working from home can be refreshing, more then that can feel lonely and without focus, without the commute to break up your day.
Here are some ways that I have found to make the most of home working and keep a happy mind:
1) Get a good work set up - I use a laptop stand, monitor, wireless keyboard & mouse and a desk chair.
I found this really important to avoid back and headache. It's also handy to be able to double screen if you are constantly referring to a couple of docs etc. at the same time.
2) Schedule your day - It's easy to procrastinate or work into the evening, which of course is sometimes necessary, but I find carving out my day into chunks for specific clients/projects really helps for a productive day and to maintain work/life balance.
3) Talk to people - It can be isolating being at home all day, or being at home with the same person all day. Pick up the phone or use the likes of Zoom etc. to stay connected.
4) Take breaks - I am quite a still worker, whereas others do tend to get up more, so I am trying to be better at getting up regularly to take small breaks - a coffee in the garden, or even just sorting out the washing for a few minutes away from the screen! And going for a walk/run at lunchtime makes me feel rejuvenated for the afternoon.
5) Don't stay in your PJ's! - I think we have all done this on the odd working from home day, but it's important to have a productive mindset, so get dressed - even if it's just into smarter lounge wear or gym clothes! And don't put on daytime TV!!
6) Enjoy the silence or put some music on - You don't have to worry about your colleagues' preferences and we all work best in different ways. I like to start the day in silence, listening to the birds chirp outside and then I put the radio on or gentle music if I need to focus more.
Really it's about establishing a routine that you know will work well for you both mentally and in terms of output.
I hope this may offer a little help to those whose home working has come out of necessity rather then choice.