Working from home - Top tips from your workplace experts

Posted by Hayley Blacker on 01/04/2020

< Back

How to work from home effectively and stay connected...

...the top tips from your workplace experts.

As more and more companies are initiating a work from home policy many people are asking the question, “how can I be most effective when working from home and still feel part of the wider team?” Well don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Drawing on years of experience and knowledge we’ve asked our in-house workplace experts to translate some key factors for a successful workplace into a very insightful top tips for when working from home guide.

Of course, every job is different and your ability to work from home effectively will vary depending on your job role, your employer or your internal policies. However, when it comes down it there are some key strategies you should look to implement to work from home effectively, not least to stay healthy and most importantly sane whilst doing so!

Here are your workplace expert top tips to working from home...

Improving your work setting...

1. Make a definitive workspace

Your working environment at home is crucial to feeling ready, motivated and productive. So, make sure it’s right for you!

It’s all too easy to be tempted to work from your bed or on the sofa but this can leave you feeling unenergized and distracted. Set yourself up in a clear and uncluttered space, preferably at a table, free from normal homely luxuries. Create that positive environment to work in whilst keeping your relaxation spaces for your down time separate! It’s important to make that distinction.

Our experts say, “For me I need to feel like I’m still ‘going’ to work. I make sure to stay clear of my bedroom or the lounge and keep these as spaces to enjoy in the evening or on the weekend.”

2. Look after your back

How many of us have aches and pains in our back right now? Probably the vast majority! That’s why posture is so important when working from home.

We recommend a chair with a high back that matches well with the height of your workstation. If you find yourself leaning over or forward to reach you keyboard then you need to find a different chair... Make sure you stand up, stretch your legs and keep mobile in between stints of work to keep the blood flowing and stop your muscles and joints from seizing up.

3. Bring the outdoors in

In all of our office designs we put a real focus on lighting and biophilia to bring the outside in and create a more natural environment.

Where possible get as much natural light into your workspace as you can. Not only does this reduce the strain you place on your eyes, but it also brings a sense of calm and positivity to your work environment. Similarly, a workspace with planting or flowers in creates a more enjoyable working environment and has been shown in many cases to contribute towards improved wellbeing and reduced levels of stress.

Our experts say, “We always receive such positive feedback from clients who have invested in biophilia in the workplace. It really brings a space to life making it so much nicer to work in.”

A focus on wellbeing...

1. Create a Routine

The good news is you don’t have to commute to work! The bad news? How do you get your mindset ready in the morning? Our workplace experts highly recommend you create a routine in the morning to help you wake up, get prepared and hit the ground running.

A routine doesn’t have to be anything fancy... It could be as simple as making your bed and eating breakfast at a specific time, or as extravagant as starting your day with some yoga. Whatever floats your boat. The important thing is that you’re triggering something in your brain that says, ‘the workday is beginning, let’s liven up and get motivated’.

Top tip – We recommend going for a walk before you start work or at lunchtime. It's a great way to keep active, refresh your mind and keep your body moving. 

2. Stay active

Ever heard someone say they feel more energised and awake after exercise? Well they’re telling the truth! Exercise helps to get your blood flowing and releases endorphins that combat stress and make you feel better.

Our top tip is to do something you enjoy and don’t be too hard on yourself. Whether you’re a running fanatic or a yoga guru the point is that you’re moving your body and having a break from sitting at a desk. If you’re struggling with motivation for exercise why not set yourself some goals or develop a reward system to get things going? You’ll soon find that this will become one of the most important parts of your day!

Need some inspiration? Kick things off with some Deskercise HERE.

Image taken from HEALTH.com - Kristin McGee - Stay Balanced - Yoga at Your Desk (https://bit.ly/2XbIsWY) 

3. Drink, drink and drink some more

Now we all love a little tipple here and there but that’s not what we’re talking about here. It is so important to stay hydrated, so make sure you keep topping up your water.

The NHS advise that “we should drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count”. It’s all too easy to overlook drinking plenty of water but dehydration can really affect your concentration levels and lower your energy levels. Why not make a trip of it and use the opportunity to stretch out your legs and give your brain a break at the same time?

Top tip – don’t like the taste of plain water or find it boring? Try sparkling water or add a slice of lemon or lime!

Staying connected

1. Keep talking with your teams

You may not be going into the office, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have your morning catch ups over a coffee or collaborate on your next amazing office design. Have a look at some very accessible bits of software, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, to create hub for your business and teams.

At Interaction we like to hold daily coffee meetings first thing to not only plan the working day but also to see how everyone is doing. It is easy to feel isolated if you’re working alone at home and this can very quickly affect our moods and motivation. We can’t recommend enough to stay in touch with each other and keep that human contact going.

Our experts say, “It’s a strange transition [working from home], but as soon as we set up [Microsoft] Teams I immediately felt part of it again… It’s so much easier to collaborate on projects.”

2. Have some fun and stay positive

At Interaction we’re strong believers that you should have fun at work, and this doesn’t change when you’re working from home. Keep morale up and keep the positivity flowing

Use chat apps like WhatsApp and get some competitions going like a weekly quiz or daily riddles. It’s a great way to make sure people are taking regular breaks to give their mind a rest and refocus. You could also unwind at the end of a week with a company video call over a nice cold drink and talk about things other than work. Why not create a theme for your end of week gathering too?  

Whatever your approach, have some fun!

3. Know when to 'Log Off'

Now more than ever it is crucial to switch off at the end of your working day. When you’ve finished close your laptop, tuck your chair in and walk away. It is now your personal time and it’s important to make this distinction.

Whatever happened ‘at work’ today it’s time to switch off and clear your head. Try to avoid checking your emails on your phone in the evening and make sure your colleagues understand that you’re no longer in work mode. It’s important to make this clear. Spend this time doing what you love, whether that’s baking a cake, getting lost in your crime novel or spending time with the kids… it’s your time to de-stress and recharge the batteries.

Golden Tip... Get dressed!

Without sounding too much like a nagging parent, get showered and dressed in the morning. We can’t stress this enough!

Don’t get caught in the habit of staying in your pyjamas throughout your working day. Dress for success! Even if you’re not seeing anyone over video call getting dressed into daytime clothes has a positive effect on the mind and helps to make the distinction between work and play. You may not realise it, but you will be so much more productive if you get into your normal clothes and start the day as you mean to go on.

Working from home may seem like a daunting experience at first, but it doesn’t need to be, embrace it! These top tips will help to improve your experience and turn it into one of positivity and success. We would love to hear how you’re getting on with working from home! Our workplace experts are here to help and would love to hear from you and talk through anything in this article or around working from home. Get in touch.