This week's BYP Blog is a guest article from Lildonia Lawrence, a life coach, educator and yoga instructor. Lildonia produces monthly content for the BYP Network centred on wellbeing, wellness and healthy living.
Working at home was once a rarity but has now become the new norm. Although change can seem scary, this unprecedented time has allowed us to open to a new way of being. Home working can provide a welcome relief for many companies who are able to operate sufficiently during this lockdown phase and has allowed us to reflect on our operations in a big way. Understandably it can be challenging to make the shift from an office environment to a home-based workplace but with the right measures in place your abode can be a setting for success.
Here are my top tips for working effectively from home:
Build in a routine
This is not a summer holiday and we don't know how long we will be in this situation, so we need to ensure we get into good habits from the off. Waking up and sleeping at the same time as you usually do is paramount. Getting dressed (and not in-house clothes or another set of PJs!) is essential. We need to replicate our routine as much as possible to maintain a professional and productive energy.
Carve out your space
Where you work is important and maintaining a designated workspace will help you focus during your tasks. If you live alone, try and choose an area in your house that can become your workstation. I don’t have a separate home office and work from the left-hand side of my dining table and eat dinner and lounge elsewhere. Don't work in bed! If you have limited social areas at home, try and keep work as far away from your resting space as possible. As soon as I sit at my table, I mentally switch over into a work mindset. If you live with others, speak to them as soon as possible about how you can separate spaces off and respect each other's working environments.
We are made to move and need to offset the lack of movement that this period may bring. Set your alarm to go off once an hour so you can remind yourself to get up and stretch. Take conference calls on the go by walking up and down and see if you can find a surface that works well as a standing desk. Get out in the fresh air everyday whether that’s a brisk morning walk or an evening decompress- it will revitalise both your body and mind.
Ritualise your day
It's easy to feel that one-hour blurs into the next with no margins between work and leisure. Find ways to mark the beginning, end and mid-point of your day. I like to start my workday with a green tea, mark my lunch time with some music and end with some exercise.
Keep in touch
It’s easy to feel isolated at this time, particularly if you live alone or are used to the hustle and bustle of your office. If you haven't already, speak to your boss about chat apps that your team can use to communicate. Hold video calls whenever possible and take care to celebrate things as you would normally such as achievements and birthdays.
Lildonia Lawrence is a life coach, yoga instructor and sex educator working in London. She has a background in psychology and mental health and has spent many years working in the health and wellbeing industries. Her week is spent with a mixture of delivering health workshops, teaching group classes and leading coaching sessions. Alongside this, she works as a wellbeing writer for several publications. You can find out more about her work at @lildonia.lawrence