Well, the last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. The UK has been on lockdown now for just over 2 weeks and many of us are working from home. We're probably a bit late with this post, but better late than never right?
David and I spent 8 years running the business from home, so thought we could help by giving you our top tips. Of course, it's a whole different ball game if you have children (and no childcare!). If any of you are struggling to adapt, and finding working from home tricky, we hope these tips help.
⭐️Get dressed - As tempting as it might be to stay in your pyjamas, you will be more productive if you are dressed for work. By all means wear casuals, but keep pj's for bed. It's important to differentiate between work and bedtime.
⭐️Wear shoes - I know that sounds odd, but it's a good way to differentiate between work time and home time. Once the shoes come off at the end of the day, it's time to relax.
⭐️Have a designated work space - Try and have a work space away from where you usually relax. Sit at a table if possible. If your only option is on the sofa, sit the opposite end to where you would usually sit and don't put on the TV - it'll be too much of a distraction.
⭐️Work near a window - If possible, try and sit near a window to work. The sunlight will be a natural mood enhancer and help brain function.
⭐️Take a proper lunch break - Now, we're as guilty as anyone for not doing this, but it helps so much. Just taking the time out to go and prepare food is sometimes enough of a break, but try and sit and eat away from your computer if you can (again guilty!) and even better, sit in your back garden or even your doorstep, if the sun is shining, to get some vitamin D.
⭐️Remove distractions - We know we need to connect with our friends and family more than ever right now, but unless your job involves social media, avoid it. It's far too easy to get lost in the scroll and before you know it you've spent an hour looking at memes. Don't have Facebook or Instagram tabs open on your computer and set your phone to silent. Instead of being alerted to the fact you have a message, you will be able to check your phone at a convenient time.
⭐️Take breaks - We're lucky that we have a little dog who let's us know when he needs letting out and in doing so gets us away from our desks for a couple of minutes. If you're starting to get brain fog, go and make a drink or spend 5 minutes in the garden (or in an open doorway or near an open window).
⭐️Combine housework with breaks - Bit of a weird one, but if you're working from home it's important for 'home' to feel organised too. If you have a load of washing to do, pop it in the machine before starting work. When it's finished, have a break to peg it out on the washing line (or clothes horse if it's in a different room to where you are working). You'll get to have a break, get some fresh air and also feel better knowing that you you've tackled some housework.
Now, all of these things go out of the window a little if you have littles to look after too!
David and I have only just started to get into the swing of working from home and looking after a three year old. We're now taking it in turns to work alternate days*. One of us will work while the other looks after our son. Yes, it means we're working half the hours we usually do, but having a full day to get your head down and get work done is so important. It's equally as important to us to have that quality time with our little boy.
(*also working during his nap times and sometimes when he's asleep at night... or with him sat on my lap while he watches Blippi, Paw Patrol or Shimmer and Shine...!).
If you are struggling, please remember, we're not just working from home - we're trying to work from home during a global pandemic - there is a HUGE difference.
I hope you find at least one of these tips helpful. If you have any tips for working with a little one, we'd love to hear them! Please leave a comment below if you have any suggestions.
Much love and stay safe.