As the lockdown seemingly continues for most people, especially here in Wales, we thought we should share some tips for working from home that are working for us (as we’ve been doing this the last 9 years) and hopefully will for you too.

So, here goes.

– Maintain regular working hours, just like you would at the office
Set a working schedule, and do your best to stick to it…most of the time. Having a clear schedule for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain that all important work-life balance. Switching off is just as important as switching on.

– Create a Morning Routine, before you start work
Deciding you’ll sit down at your desk and start work at a certain time is one thing but creating a routine that guides you into the chair is another. Create a morning routine that ends with you starting work. This could be as simple as 10 pages of your current novel with a cup of tea or coffee, maybe a set of yoga exercises and a litre of water. This routine helps your mind engage with that schedule you have set yourself and prepares it to get ready for your working day.

– Set Ground Rules With the People in Your Space
This can be the toughest one on this entire list to act out purely because we associate being home with our time off, as you usually end up here after a day at work and now all of a sudden you find yourself here all day every day and so it is easy to start to binge watch a tv series you’ve wanted to catch up with or to spend more time out in the garden just so that you are not within the four walls of your home without escape. You need to set ground rules with the other people in your home or who share your space for when you work. If you have children who are home from school right now, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time you have set in place to be working. This is a tough one to do for sure, speaking from experience 😂

– Schedule Breaks
You need to make sure that you give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and your phone. We all like to feel connected but we should also like to feel disconnected at times too. A lunch hour and two 15-minute breaks either side should do the trick and help you disconnect for that short period of time.

– Look for Training Opportunities
When you’re not in an office with your colleagues, if that’s what you’ve been used to, you might miss out on training and skills development courses that are taught in person or just by being around those colleagues dealing with situations day to day that you can learn from. A lot of the experience we gain in jobs is done so by being around situations that require us to put in place the professional training we have had and some of these situations can be incredibly unique or niche to the role that you work within. Look at the learning opportunities around you from e-learning providers and even at courses you can do for free through the Open University for example. Lots of jobs require continuous professional development in order to maintain an active status in a role and while your ability to carry out the normal working practice may be impaired, this is a great opportunity to use some of the time you now have to relearn old skills or learn new ones that will help you in your role for the years ahead.

– Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
The most successful remote employees have a reputation for being extremely disciplined, they have to be when faced with all the points we’ve covered so far. It takes serious focus to get a full-time office job done from an unconventional space. If you find yourself drifting from time to time, maybe looking at some new clothing ranges, or thinking about the lovely holiday you could have when this is all over, don’t panic, cut yourself some slack, then get back to work.

– End Your Day With a set Routine
Just as you should start your day with a routine, you’ll want to create a habit that signals the close of your workday too. You might have a simple routine such as shutting down your computer and turning on one of your favorite podcasts for 30 minutes, maybe it’s a small glass of beer or wine along with 30 minutes with your favourite novel, or 30-45 minutes of sensory play, arts and crafts with your child or children. Whatever you choose, do it consistently to mark the end of working hours.

We hope this gives you some time to think about what it is that you do in this new found routine and how you can potentially get the best out of yourself being at home and trying to work as normal. These are not normal times and your working pattern and structure as a result is also not going to be normal.

Remember, stay safe out there and try to enjoy this time as much as you can right now, and remember to look after yourselves too.