Hi I’m Harriet, I work in GravityLife’s Brand Operations!
Like 1 in 4 of the UK workforce, I have been working from home (WFH) for nearly a 9 months.
Since joining the GravityLife Team in July 2020, I have made a conscious effort to make the most out of the work from home set up.
Here are my top 5 tips for a happy, healthy, and productive WFH environment.
- GET DRESSED
Now don’t get me wrong, I have had my fair share of pyjama days. But Monday-Friday I make a conscious effort to get dressed.
Just a note that in my books…leggings and a hoodie counts as dressed. It’s something! But I do try and vary my outfits as fashion is something that makes me happy and directly correlates to my productivity.
Make sure you get out of your pj’s and into something different. And clean.
I’ve also found putting shoes on really helpful. There is something about whacking on a pair of trainers or boots that makes you feel like the day has begun. Obviously don’t do what I did this morning and waltz around in your mud-covered boots. But I find it just marks the working day nicely; once the shoes are on it’s time to get down to it.
2. ACCEPT PROCRASTINATION
I always see tips for ‘best ways to avoid procrastinating’ or ‘how to be more productive’ on my feed. The algorithm has got me good. But I’ve actually begun to schedule in ‘procrastination station’ moments. Stay with me!
Basically if I’m feeling myself getting distracted for 10 minutes and I’m really struggling to regroup, I allow myself maybe 5 minutes to walk about or be distracted. Allowing myself a short amount of time to zone out has meant I get distracted far less frequently.
Allowing myself frequent small breaks (it can be for just 90 seconds) has allowed me to become more productive and present. I struggle with concentration at the best of times so when the TV is staring me in the face this has been one of my biggest challenges.
A perk of WFH is that if you need a 5 minute walk about, go for it! Obviously not in the middle of a zoom call but you know what I mean. Don’t beat yourself up for getting distracted; its so easily done.
3. MAKE A NICE LUNCH
As a foodie, I really treasure my meal times. I’m not a massive snacker but my 3 meals a day are very sacred to me. Throughout the day I generally try and get through as much water as I can, and obviously about 25 cups of tea.
Lunch has become the real highlight of the working day for me, it’s a great time to have a moment to enjoy being at home. Rather than rushing around a staff room or pegging it to the local Greggs (miss you!) I can actually have something yummy and fairly cheap. I am no Nigella, but I’m a big fan of a bagel with some yummy toppings, soup or salad for lunch. Taking that 30mins to really enjoy my food and have a break has felt like a real luxury.
I also make sure I don’t eat in the same space I work, whether that is literally sitting at a different chair or being able to pop to another room, it’s important to have a change of scenery.
I’m about to write something no one has ever said before so get ready…it’s good to exercise.
As someone who finds moving faster than a walk quite heinous, this has been a big one for me throughout this whole lockdown/WFH experience. I quickly realised that without moving my body I was having aches and pains I hadn’t previously.
Sitting at a desk all day and going on my phone in my breaks led to quite persistent pain in my back and neck. WFH may be ideal for my cat (who sits with me all day), but it’s not when it comes to making sure I’m maintaining an active lifestyle.
I try and exercise 3-4 times a week and get as much walking in as I can. It’s time away from the laptop to feel a sense of normal.
Throughout lockdown I tried various online fitness plans and trainers, and I have a couple of favourites.
- YOGA WITH ADRIENE : if you haven’t heard of this woman then firstly, where have you been? At the start of lockdown I completed the 30 day ‘HOME’ series which really helped with my confidence. Integrating yoga into my exercise routine has massively helped with my physical and mental health. It’s nothing I didn’t know before, but it really does work. And she has a really cute dog.
- COURTNEY BLACK APP (@courtneyblackapp): I really enjoy fitness but I’m not a gym-goer. I’ve tried it for periods of time but always lost interest or found it too intimidating. Obviously with gyms being closed for the majority of the year, I decided to give Courtney’s workouts a go in Lockdown 1.0. Courtney’s workouts are solid – I have been known to shed a tear midway through! But they work and are really satisfying the more you do them. I try to do them 2 or 3 times a week for a bit of a burn.
- WALKING (just nature things): Ok, so maybe I’m late to this but walking is pretty mega? Who knew? Going for walks has become my new favourite thing, whether it is a quick 10 minute stroll or a 2 hour Sunday hike, it really is a great way to get exercise in. Crank up a podcast and get those steps in. And it’s free!
5. SHUT THE LAPTOP, SERIOUSLY.
WFH has so many perks, but I’ve found leaving work at the ‘office’ increasingly challenging. When the ‘office’ is 5 metres away at all times.
It’s really important to ensure you have time to yourself to rest, relax and prepare for the next day.
I find it really important to do something each night that I really look forward to. This can be really simple, maybe you make a hot chocolate before bed or watch an episode of your favourite series. Carve out the time for you; it’s really important.
I’ve become a real evening routine person (I sound so fun, right?). After dinner, I really enjoy watching a bit of TV, going for a walk with a friend or having a zoom with friends afar. Doing something social is a great way of allowing normality to seep back into your routine.
But also do not pressurise yourself to be social, it can be exhausting at such a weird time. Basically do what makes you feel relaxed.
And now here it comes…before bed I always take 20 minutes to have a chill on my PostureKey.
It’s a really good time for me to zone out and eases a lot of the tension from prolonged sitting all day. Having previously WFH without PostureKey, I have noticed a massive difference in my overall wellness and work. I am more productive, less tired and in less pain. It’s a winner all round!
Working from home is a learning process for me, and these tips have become a real staple in making working from home the best it can be for me!
If you have any questions, or tips you would like to share send them across to @gravitylife_ – I would love to hear from you!