The work-from-home lifestyle has divided the nation in the past months, with many people enjoying the absence of a twice-a-day commute and others missing the social office lifestyle. But in most metropolitan areas, commuting back into the office will likely be one of the last things to return to our lives – our city’s transport links are simply not designed for current social distancing practices. So for those struggling with productivity at home and wanting to recreate an in-office mindset here are our best tips for working from home.
Don’t forget to move around
We’re not suggesting you spend your entire day dancing around the house, but one of the keys to activating the brain is to free your body every now and then. It’s hard to understate the power of endorphins to transform your mood and kickstart your day, and what people often forget is that you don’t have to put yourself through an excruciating marathon every morning to release them! Simple home-friendly stretches and routines, for just 20 minutes every morning, can provide a significant mental boost to lunchtime and beyond. Plus, on a much smaller scale, stretching your legs around the house every hour can act as a useful reset button if you feel your head is becoming bogged down with work.
Find your ideal routine
Paradoxically, the best way of finding a working-from-home routine is to start out without a routine. There is no one single rule for productivity. Take, for example, the question of whether it’s better to exercise in the mornings or evenings. For some people an early start with the reward of exercise in the evening is the most effective system, whereas for others a long run first thing activates the mind and relaxes the body for the rest of the working day.
Recent studies have shown that if you spend all day lying on your bed, it’s harder to get to sleep that night. Why? Because the brain no longer associates the bed solely with sleeping. This principle applies in the exact same way with work and leisure. If you work in the same place in which you wind down and watch TV, then your brain struggles to differentiate between the two mindsets. This is why so many people miss the office lifestyle – it allows them to physically distance their work life from their home life.
How to create a perfect workspace
The easiest answer to this problem is to dedicate a single room in the house to your work – essentially, to make a temporary study. But, of course, not everyone has two different rooms in which to work and relax. Luckily, there are still small-scale ways of changing your mentality even whilst using the same room for work and leisure. They can be as simple as sitting at a different part of the table to where you otherwise would, moving around your surrounding scenery, or listening to a certain playlist that you associate with work – anything to convince your brain that you’re not a few meters away from your bedroom or TV! Time and again these changes have been proven to help boost productivity from home.
When will UK offices reopen?
This, quite simply, has been one of the most difficult questions to answer. Reopening offices in cities would inevitably mean the return of the rush hour – and regardless of the government’s push for workers to cycle more, the peak tubes, trains, trams and buses will still be crammed with hundreds of commuters. With the reproduction rate being so sensitive to small changes, and with the danger of a second spike and second lockdown, reopening metropolitan areas for business will most likely be saved until last. That means that if your business is surviving well enough remotely, you could realistically be working from home until 2021.
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