Opinions

Asking the Experts – how best to work from home

During this period of self-isolation, working from home (WFH) has become the new norm for many people who haven’t had any experience of it before. Being one of those inexperienced work from homers myself, I have quickly realised that remaining as productive at home as you are in an office is a skill in itself. After a few days as an amateur WFHer, I had back pain from working in a lounging position that could only be described as ‘downward facing slob’, a growing belly from my continuous plundering of the kitchen, and a sleeping pattern more akin to your average barn owl.

At this point I realised that at Limitless we have a whole legion of people that aren’t just experts for the brands they represent – but also by being gig workers, they are also experts at working remotely at home! So, I asked our experts for their best hints and tips for working from home and they came back with some great advice. Here’s the pick of the bunch.

Utilise this time to ensure that you catch up on exercise

Definitely important to remember as like many other people, my choices of exercise tend to be those that cannot currently be done. So, this is an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself to a brand new exercise that you still can do!

Some popular options I have seen people take up:

  • YouTube workout videos
  • Skipping
  • Yoga (as you can tell from my wonderful earlier reference I have chosen this one)
  • Reading our new Gig Customer Service Report!

Keep yourself hydrated

Did you know our brains are 70% water? So, make sure you keep the poor thing properly hydrated! Just a 1% drop in hydration can lead to a 12% drop in productivity. So make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day (preferably water that doesn’t have coffee or tea in it) and you’ll quickly feel the benefits.

Stick to your working schedule and typical work-life balance

It can be awfully tempting to veer away from your standard timing and level of hours of work when there is no train to catch or commute to complete. However, it’s important you keep to what you were doing during the office, otherwise you can very quickly find yourself burning out. Set an alarm and when it rings – pencils down and start your evening activities.

Get dressed and out of your pyjamas!

Here I felt personally attacked I must admit. Now whilst my Kermit the Frog pyjamas and dressing gown combo might be comfy to stay in throughout the day, it is not very consistent with what I would wear normally in the office. Getting showered and dressed in proper clothing is an excellent way of making sure you are mentally prepared to start your day. Plus, it means that getting back into your Kermit the Frog and dressing gown combo feels like a treat at the end of the day.

Set up a dedicated workspace

Having a separate, dedicated workspace is an excellent way of keeping your work and home life apart even when both currently exist in the same building. If the space where you usually relax and where you now work are the same place, it’s easy to find yourself distracted throughout the day. This works both ways – such as watching television when you are trying to work or answering work emails when you are trying to relax. Have clear boundaries and make sure when working stops, relaxing begins – and vice versa.

Make sure you have everything you need technically

Quite a simple one this – but easily forgotten. Make sure you have the right computer equipment, chair, desk, internet strength etc. If you don’t have these, many organisations will be willing to help you. Personally, I can’t stand laptop touchpads – so making sure I had a computer mouse was the first thing on my list to get sorted.

Make sure you’re still socialising with people (online)

If you are someone that’s awful on the phone like me, it can be mighty easy to end up cutting yourself off from your fellow workmates (not to mention friends and family – sorry mum) or only talking through the medium of messaging. Did you know visuals are processed 60,000 times faster by the brain than words? And did you also know that babies start looking at faces 30 minutes after they are born? The message is clear! We are visual things human beings and we like seeing faces! So, make sure you use apps like Zoom, and HouseParty to keep that human connection.

Stay positive, don’t be too hard on yourself, and enjoy the extra time with your loved ones!

These are tough times for everyone. Not being able to go out and see your loved ones isn’t great. There might be times over the next few months you feel a bit down and demotivated to work. But don’t be hard on yourself. Treat yourself to a nice snack, listen to your favourite song, maybe try some yoga, or video chat the funniest person you know. Then think about all the great things you’ll be able to get up to when restrictions are eased – and use this to try and stay positive. Finally – we’ve all got a great opportunity to spend time with loved ones in your household and to keep in contact with those that aren’t. We have all got a bit of extra time at the moment – so make the most of it!

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