With an increasing amount of the population working from home, many people are discussing the benefits of the setup. Your meetings no longer happen in conference rooms, you totally avoid Starbucks (when you want to), and you officially have no commute. Not bad. But, if you’re not careful, work-from-home positions can also come with legit downsides. If you’re the sort of person who easily falls into the dreaded pit of distraction, I feel you.
As someone who has been working from home for the past 6 months, I wanted to share some ideas with my fellow Freebirds on how to stay motivated and how to take a break when you need to. I’ve been fortunate enough to keep my job during the pandemic and although I’m grateful, working from home has definitely been a huge adjustment. Finding a comfortable chair to work from, maintaining a reasonable level of productivity and getting used to daily zoom calls whilst colleagues stare into my kitchen are definitely fresh challenges myself and many of us have faced since March.
FIVE WAYS TO CREATE A SENSE OF CALM
1. Bring in greenery, we love a good plant – we all know and love the greenery. Are you even a millennial if you don’t own at least three house plants? For me, it’s been helpful to have some of mine around me to give me that sense of calm and let’s face it, oxygen as I’ve been chained to my desk swamped in emails and calls.
2. Candles – no explanation needed.
3. Notebook – one of my favourite things in life is the perfect notebook. As a visual individual, I find sitting down with my coffee and writing out my list for each day the perfect way to start. I love my personalised one from my favourite, Papier.
4. Get yourself outisde babe – one of the biggest struggles about WFH is the lack of work/life balance. We’re so used to getting up, dressed for whatever the day brings and heading straight outdoors for that commute, we almost forget the huge part that plays when being forced to work from inside our homes. Get outside, get walking, get that fresh air on your face. I know the days I stayed slouched on the sofa in my loungewear without a single step outside were definitely the days I found hardest.
5. Take regular breaks – this is one I feel slightly contradictory on, because I definitely didn’t do this when actually in the office. Be kind to yourself, you don’t want square eyes and let’s not pretend our usual switch off from the computer screen doesn’t mean we’re not jumping straight onto our iphones. One of the biggest things for me in lockdown was that sickly sweet Monday morning update from my iphone, to passive aggressively tell me my screen time was coming in at 9 hours a day. TAKE A BREAK, be kind to yourself, you’re not a robot and more importantly, will the world collapse if you don’t check your emails or instagram for those 10 minutes?
FIVE TOP PODCASTS
Five fantastic kick ass podcasts to make that time between zoom calls more bearable…
1. How to Fail – Elizabeth Day
2. Table Manners – Jessie Ware
3. Desert Island Discs – Sheryle Sandberg
4. The High Low – Dolly Alderton
5. Squiggly Careers
FIVE CALMING SONGS FROM THE FREEBIRD SPOTIFY FOR YOUR MORNING COFFEE START
- On A Beach – Etta Bond
- Greed – Tash Sultana
- Now I’m In It – Haim
- Early – Jay Crookes
- Sleep Talk – Patricia Lalor
FIVE GREAT BOOKS FOR TAKING A BREAK FROM REAL LIFE
- Queenie by Candice Carty Williams
- Educated by Tara Westover
- Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Flat Share by Beth O’Leary
- Girl, Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo
We know finances are tight right now, and for the foreseeable, so we have maintained a cost effective mindset while creating this WFH guide.
We love reading and there is nothing better than curling up with a paperback book. But, those books are expensive, we don’t all have £8.99-£18.99 to spare for our dream reads. FreeBird’s top tip is to check out Apple Books, Audio Books or Amazon– you can download straight to your phone, laptop, ipad or any syncable device. We purchased Education by Tara Westover for £4.99, for example.
It’s worth remembering that whatever your current circumstances, you’re still living through a pandemic. Working from home in 2020 isn’t just working from home, it’s being isolated and not having access to many of your usual coping mechanisms and full support systems. I hope these recommendations give you some time to yourself and act as a reminder that just because you are technically living in your office doesn’t mean you should be working 24/7. Resting, recharging, checking in with yourself and those around you are vital steps in protecting your health, your home life and your work life.