Your Ultimate Working From Home Handbook

Your Ultimate Working From Home Handbook

Getting through this together, but you know, separately

By Bethan Warrior | 24th March 2020

PRO: Better Safe Than Sorry

First things first, that fact that working from home is significantly reducing the likelihood of contracting the virus – or if I am a carrier – of infecting someone else, is the ultimate pro! Despite the negatives of working from home, it has to be stated that it’s all worth enduring for the safety of my health but also of those around me. These times are challenging for most, so I’m not going to complain that the hardest thing I’m doing it right now is working in my PJs! Sometimes it’s good to remind yourself of this when you’re getting stressed or frustrated by your self-isolation! Just remember it is only temporary, it could always be worse and it’s all for the greater good.

PRO: Fresh Faced and Bra Free!

I think most of you ladies can relate to me when I say, that the best part of the day is when you remove your make-up and take off your bra-ahhh. My skin has been loving the fact that I’ve not been in a stitch of make up all week! Those rogue breakouts are clearing up and it just seems to be healthier overall. (Plus, I can scratch an eyebrow or eat my lunch without care of ruining the face I spent 20 minutes on in the AM.) Also, not going to lie but my hair has barely seen a brush all week and is in a blissful messy bun state. Now, some people like to do their regular beauty routine, even when they’re working from home to keep up their productivity, which is totally fine. However, if you’re a low-maintenance gal like me, who feels just as focused with a fresh face, take the time to enjoy the make-up free feel and tangled tresses while you’re working from home, I say! And hey, while you’re in the comfort of your own home, why battle with underwire and fastenings when you can just free-boob it! I will put out a disclaimer, that even though I love keeping it casj while working from home, I would recommend taking a shower and getting into some fresh clothes before starting work. Staying in the clothes you slept in can keep you in that bedtime state of mind.

PRO: How’s The Serenity?

In this hectic time we’re all going through right now, another working from home pro I’m enjoying is the quiet. As you’ll read a little further down, this can also be a challenge, but there is a part of me that this appreciating being in my own space. It feels less chaotic and more peaceful being around your home comforts. There are no harsh artificial lights, I have the windows open all day to let in a fresh breeze and I’ve even been rotating my favourite candles throughout the week. Serenity goals! “Lunch breaks” have also been redefined for me this week: eating while being practically horizontal on the couch is a dream. If you’re setting up your own home office, make sure you fill your space with things that keep you calm and productive. Get out your favourite stationary, put on some tunes and make sure you keep it uncluttered!

PRO: All in The Timing

As a self-proclaimed, anti-morning person, I can confess that since I no longer have to spend as much time getting ready or driving to work, I am really enjoying those extra few minutes in bed in the morning. Being able to lie in bed and wake up a little slower definitely makes me feel calmer and more collected before starting my work for the day. I usually feel quite rushed and worried in the morning. Do I have enough time to curl my hair? Is there going to be traffic? Have I got my lunch? Now that I’m at home all day and don’t have to worry about these things, I feel a lot my focused on my workload.

There have also been a couple of days this week where my body clock has naturally woken me up at my regular time, so I have about 40 minutes to an hour before starting my working day. I’ve loved taking this time to do those small, irritating household jobs that fall by the wayside on a weekday; hanging the washing out, washing the dishes, general tidying and putting away. Not only does it mean my evenings are lot freer, but I’ve found as I’m waking up from my sleep, just doing little chores, I feel far more mentally awake and cognitive by the time it's ready to start work. I’m not sure what it is about a little bit of morning cleaning, but I’ve found by the time I’m sitting at my desk, starting to work I feel a lot more refreshed than I would on a normal working week. Perhaps Marie Kondo can answer this?

CON: Oh Something Shiny!

Having a few extra minutes in the morning can be useful for a little life admin, however, these can easily turn into distractions away from your work if you’re not careful. “Maybe I’ll just brush the floors.” “Oh, this needs to be put away.” “I wonder what’s in the fridge.”

Even tidying can end up being a distraction from work amongst the others such as that all too accessible Netflix and social media. It’s a lot easier to get distracted with non-work-related things when there’s no one around to keep you focused. And, that’s where it’s up to you my friend. Consider your time working from home an exercise in self-control. You put down that remote girl, sh*t needs to get done!

I’ve found lists a super simple, and effective way to make sure I keep on track during self-isolation. Even lists for the life admin I’m going to do in my lunch break ensures none of it cuts into my working day. Also, setting mini-goals throughout the day I have found, will make sure your productivity remains high. Aiming to have certain things done by a certain time will keep you motivated to ignore your phone notifications. At the end of the day, you should try and operate as regularly as you would in the office. One thing is for sure, your bosses definitely expect you to.

CON: Keep It Moving

Anyone who works in an office knows that a sore neck and back is a common woe when sitting at a desk all day. I found this even more so as I spend my days at home. Perhaps it’s the absence of the morning coffee run or walking to chat with your workmate in another room, but I have found I am moving less and getting sorer muscles while being at home. In the office, we often do mini-group stretch sessions to keep our bodies moving, and it makes me feel a lot more refreshed when getting back to my desk (and, it really made a difference to reduce any aches or pains!). If you’re working from home, I would recommend a little lunchtime walk or petite Pilates session to keep your body and mind fresh. As I continue my self-isolation, I’ve made a note to set alarms, one in the morning and one in the afternoon to allow time to get up and move around, do a couple of yoga poses and stretches. Namaste, my lovelies!

CON: Off The Wagon

Okay, I don’t know what it is, but the salad that I meal prepped this week is really not cutting it while I’ve been at home. Now, I’m not one who is ever really that excited by a salad, but being at home this week, my eating habits have taken a turn. Bad food cravings are off the charts, snacks are just far too accessible at home and Uber Eats is just far more exciting than what I have in my fridge. Maybe I’m a stress eater? I do feel the impact the virus has had on my anxiety and stress levels and there has been an uptick. I also think that combined with that fact that there is no one to witness what I’m eating, there’s been an ‘oh f*ck it’ mentality kicking in. A little ole’ lapse in judgement over food for sure! Not only will my skinny jeans and bank account not thank me, but according to my Googling, it’s worth mentioning that your productivity will suffer from eating badly while you’re at home. As my quarantine continues I’m making a more conscious effort to stick to my regular, healthy meal plans. Getting them greens from now on in!

CON: * Celine singing voice * All By Myself

As I mentioned earlier, I have been loving having some quiet to myself while I’ve been working, however as my time alone continues I am missing that daily interaction with my colleagues. I would describe myself as a very interpersonal worker – I feel I benefit a lot from face to face interactions. Even small things like morning catch-ups at the kettle or sharing a cool concept I might have found, I love being able to discuss everything in person. Although modern tech means I’m still dialed in with my team, going a whole day without speaking to anyone in person is super weird for me and can put me in a bit of slump. Especially for someone like me who likes to talk everything out (over-thinker, what can I say), this is probably one of the hardest aspects of working from home. I’ve learnt throughout the week, to try communicating as much as possible, even if it is not face to face. Phone calls, FaceTime, emails and social media will all help you feel connected to your team while you’re away from the office. Even podcasts are a great way to hear another human’s voice for a little while, even better if they are work-related! Finally, one thing I’ve found to pick me up out of a funk is blasting whatever music I feel like! Definitely not something you could do in the office, so take advantage of a no-shame sing-along to boost your mood.

For more related articles on COVID 19 like the self isolating cocktail recipesat-home workouts and things to do while self isolating check them all out here.

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Article by Bethan Warrior

Bethan is the Editorial Assistant at Style Magazines. She is inspired by the world of fashion and when she’s not watching the latest catwalk she can be found picking out flowers, eating Italian food, or watching Netflix’s latest crime drama.