If you’re one of the thousands of people who have had to adjust to life working from home, then you’ll probably know all too well the types of difficulties that situation brings up.
Crowded rooms, everyone grappling for a quiet 5 minutes. And let’s not even get started on the endless Zoom calls.
Yes, there’s no denying that 2020 has been challenging, and with the national lockdown here in the UK continuing into 2021, you might be wondering what you can do differently to optimise your working space to improve productivity – and reduce stress. Because, let’s face it, the pandemic doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere just yet, so there really is no better time to make some changes.
So, if you’re on the hunt for affordable ways you can get more out of your home office, whatever that looks like for you, then read on for our top tips.
1. Redefine the work/life balance
Before Covid-19, most of us had a pretty clear line between work and homelife. We worked at the office and could switch off when we closed the door to home. Now, with most of us sleeping, eating, working – and repeating, all from our home, those lines have become pretty blurred.
We understand it’s easier said than done but trying to make time for you and your family and knowing when to switch off from work tasks is the first and most important thing you should be doing. Overworking yourself is likely to cause heightened stress levels and could put undue strain on home life, but the good news is it needn’t be too taxing to make some small changes, such as:
- Keeping to strict work hours (you wouldn’t stay behind at the office every night, so don’t do at home)
- Having a separate area to do work, or if you can’t afford the space, simply packing away work equipment or covering it up every evening so it is out of sight
- Taking regular breaks – just like you would in work
- Splitting your day up with regular calls with colleagues (we understand how isolating the situation can be, so remember to take 5 to chat with co-workers)
2. Keep things tidy
Ever heard the phrase, tidy home, tidy mind? Well this is certainly true for your work environment, but with no boss or colleagues to pass judgement, it can be all too tempting to let clutter and mess pile up.
The truth is, you’re much less likely to be able to concentrate and be productive if you are surrounded by paperwork and miscellaneous half-drunk cups of coffee. So, invest in storage boxes to keep your paperwork, and clear away your area at the end of every day or even take time during a break to stretch your legs and give your home office a little spruce.
Loads of documents to store? Then perhaps you need to put a little money aside for a secure self-storage unit in Wigan where you can keep those important piles of paperwork stored, until a sense of normality resumes. Places such as The Storage Team in Wigan offer incredibly low day rates for self-storage, and with every room completely secure and accessible 24 hours a day, there’s nowhere better to store your work documents during the pandemic.
3. Create a wind-down routine
Switching off after a busy day can be difficult, but the uncertainty of the pandemic has made this even more difficult. Throw in some home schooling and it’s no wonder why you’re struggling to sleep at night. But, there are things you can do to improve the situation, and nothing yields results faster than a well-established routine.
Whether it’s a bath in the evening with a glass of wine, a run or a walk with the dog, doing something for yourself after a long slog in front of a screen is a great way to switch off and begin winding down. Following the usual advice of reduced screen time is also helpful, but most important is to remember that this is a situation that nobody really knows how to navigate, so be kind to yourself.