Are you one of those people who was all fired up when you heard that you’d be working from home, but now months later you’re feeling way too sluggish for your own good and you’re not as productive as you could be? I’ll admit that I sometimes find myself stuck here.

Lockdown at first was seen as a chance to sleep a little later, save on transport and sometimes not have to worry about the outfit for the day, and that’s not a bad thing. The only problem is that at times I get so wrapped up in everything that I tend to perform worse than I usually would.

To get out of my bad space, I made some changes to my routine and picked up on a few tips and habits that have really changed how I work from home.

These are some of the things that I found really helped me work effectively from home:

1. Wake up at a reasonable time: Just because we’re working from home doesn’t mean that we can slack off. Waking up early is a good start to the day. So let’s say that you start to work at 8:30am, it would be great to work up an hour or two beforehand to have a good start to the day.

2. Choose a dedicated work space: Dedicate an area in your home for working purposes only. The only quiet area in my home is in my room so I have desk area that I work at. It’s best to only use your bed for resting.

3. Dress appropriately: Despite working from home we have to dress appropriately. We may be called to attend a meeting at any time so we have to be prepared. I’m not saying you should wear a suit or fancy dress, but wear an appropriate shirt or t-shirt. Be sure to be neat and tidy, always. And dressing up makes us feel good too.

4. Stay hydrated: This may seem a bit odd, but staying hydrated always helps me perform better than usual, so be sure to drink lots of water during the day to keep your energy flowing. An article by Healthline also stipulates that drinking water affects our brain function, “Your brain is strongly influenced by your hydration status.”

5. Don’t skip out on meals: We can get so carried with our work that we sometimes tend to put off eating. Do not do this. Eating can give us the burst of energy that we might be desperately needing.

6. Take well-deserved breaks: Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a break once in a while.

7. Please do exercise: Exercise should be a part of our daily living, it’s something that we all need, so be sure to take the time to stretch your muscles. If you’re not a fan of sweating or jumping around then try something simpler, like yoga or pilates. You’ll be surprised at how effective it is.

8. Devise a work schedule/routine: Schedules always help me to be focused and I feel so proud when I tick something off my to-do list.

9. Take time for you: Yes, work is important, but so is your mental and physical health. In order to work effectively you need to be on your best, so take care of yourself.

10. If you’re sick, take a sick day: Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t fall ill. If you really feeling unwell, take the day off to rest. If not, you may not be as effective as you’d like and you’d probably end up getting worse in the end!

For some working from home can be a blessing or curse, and sometimes a bit of both. In order to thrive when working from home we have to be as effective as possible and work just as hard. Alex Turnbull perfectly says what it means to work from home: “Successfully working from home is a skill, just like programming, designing or writing. It takes time and commitment to develop that skill.”

Whether you’re working from home or studying, I think it’s crucial to plan and take care of yourself. So work hard and smart, wherever you may find yourself.


Read more on helping your child study from home here

Tell us: Do you have any other tips for working effectively from home?