This game-changing advice will transform the way you work from home

Anya Meyerowitz
·4-min read
Photo credit: 10'000 Hours
Photo credit: 10'000 Hours

From Red Online

Many of us have now been working from home for the best part of a year now, and though there are definite benefits — no commute, no queue for coffee in the morning and no awkward conversations in the corridors, to name a few — there are also elements of this 'out-of-office' life that make things harder.

Whether you're simultaneously trying to homeschool kids, have struggled to find a quiet place where you can really switch-on and focus, or are finding it hard without the presence of co-workers to lift the mood and help bounce ideas back and forth, working at home in a pandemic is not the loungewear-clad image that we often see online.

Luckily, Rebecca Seal, author of SOLO: How to work alone (and not lose your mind), is an expert when it comes to home working. And, while a guest on the Alonement podcast, she shared some pretty game-changing advice on how to transform the way you work from home for the better.

'The majority of my book is about when not to work, and what to do when you’re working,' Rebecca explains. 'The work in and of itself will happen if you build a scaffolding around work to support it.'

She admits that this might be an 'odd way' of thinking about it but believes her advice (which you can find below) to be the most useful but also pandemic-proof way of thinking about it.

'I think that the difficulty particularly for people who started working from home this year is that the office culture rule book has been completely ripped up and if you had a great office culture before you might really miss that,' she told Alonement host, Francesca Specter.

During the episode, Rebecca shared her top five transformative tips for working from home, and we've already found that incorporating just one or two of the below into our daily schedules has a big impact on both our mental wellbeing and our productivity during the day.

Listen to the full episode of Alonement here

5 top tips for improving your work-from-home set-up

1.Introduce structure. ‘Think about the structure of your work day and week, and how you want your week to look around your work. Because the danger is that we just sit down and just work and often that means working really long hours which is detrimental to physical and mental health. The crucial thing is to have a conversation with yourself about how you want your working life to fit into your life life, which is the most important bit of your life. What I did when I started working from home was so just worked and worked and worked and I didn’t look up and think what the work would be doing to my life – I just carried on.’

2.Stop for lunch. ‘Stop for lunch. Make yourself a nice lunch. Feeding yourself well is an act of self care and an act of self-respect, and an act of respect towards your work too – because you need to fuel yourself well to do your work well. And then I can get my work done and finish it and leave it behind and have the rest of my life which I also deserve as well as a good lunch.’

3.Get out in nature (particularly during daylight hours): ‘Get out in nature, get out in daylight. We’re not yet at present told we can’t leave the confines of our homes. If you can get 120 minutes of time in nature every week, you will be doing a huge amount to sure up your mental and your physical health too, but particularly your mental health.’

4.Consider your indoor environment: ‘Filling our houses with greenery and natural textures. Exposing ourselves to bright light in the day time and cosy dim lights in the evenings, but not vice versa, will help us to work and sleep better.’

5.Call your friends: ‘Talk to your friends but talk to them on your phone, not on Zoom. When people go for their walks pick up the phone and call up a friend. That’s what Gretchen Rubin advocates on her Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, because it’s a way of recreating the serendipitous human contact we would have had in an office and allows us to reconnect more deeply. And if we can ask them how they are instead of using it as an opportunity to offload our own issues. Paradoxically, if we can listen to other people and understand what their life looks like it creates far deeper connections than more shallow chats can do and that can help us feel less alone too.'

Listen to the full episode of Alonement here

Subscribe to Red now to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.


You Might Also Like