How To Stay Productive and
Well While Working From Home

Whether you’re someone that loves the WFH life, or you prefer being in an office, there are things you can do to stay productive and look after your wellbeing.

Although we thought we were going to be working from home for just a few weeks or months, it looks like this way of working is here to stay for many of us.  

But whether you’re a parent having to balance work and home life, or have concerns about being home with your siblings, roommate, or parents 24/7, there’s no need to panic. Similarly,  if you live alone and are worried about your wellbeing while spending so much time on your own, there are ways to avoid getting cabin fever.  

From setting up a decent workspace to encouraging frequent communication with your team, here are our five tips for staying productive and well while working from home. 

1. Create a schedule that works for you 

First off, setting up a schedule that replicates a normal workday can be helpful. Try to still wake up and get dressed as if it’s a normal day, take your lunch or coffee break, and break the day up into achievable chunks.  

You could also try the ‘Pomodoro method’ which uses a timer to break work into intervals – 25 minutes on and then a short break. If you like focusing for longer periods, you can adjust the time of the intervals. Plan out what you want to achieve in this dedicated ‘focus time’, pop away your phone if possible, and give your full attention to the task at hand.  

2. Keep up communication with your team 

Having regular chats with your colleagues is just as important when you’re working remotely as when you’re in an office.  

Being home a lot of the time can be lonely for some people, so having frequent communication will keep morale high. It’s also  a good way to make sure you stay focused, energised and productive. Most people will be trying to manage many of the same challenges as you are, so if you feel comfortable, be open and honest with them. If you have kids and are jumping into a video conference, it’s okay to give them a ‘heads up’ that a child may come into the room or be making some noise in the background. Most people are completely understanding of this by now. 

If you have a colleague, family member or friend who lives alone while working from home, let them know you’re only a call away. It’s also helpful for you to have conversations with people outside your house. 

3. Set up a work space and work boundaries 

As tempting as it is to stay in your pyjamas and send emails from bed, it won’t be beneficial in the long run. It’s important to treat working at home like a real job. If you already have a desk or office that’s great, but if you don’t, setting up a space that is specifically for you is important. This could even be a corner of a room with a desk if you don’t have much space available. 

You can also set boundaries for the people you live with. If you have children, let them know if parts of the day are ‘do not disturb’ time. You can have a sign on your door or a little note on the table with ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down.’ If you know that parental responsibilities could affect your work time, speak openly with your manager and team about your plans to work flexibly. You might need to have more breaks, or work within adjusted hours. If you often work overtime, set boundaries on your work hours. 

4. Stay active and take breaks 

Staying active while being at home can be tricky. You could go for a walk around the block before you start your work day or go for a run in your lunch break. Taking breaks throughout the day will actually improve your productivity and wellbeing and help you stay fresh and alert.  

This could be as simple as sitting outside in your backyard for ten minutes to get some sun, or taking your dog for a walk after a long meeting.  

Taking care of quick jobs around the house like doing the washing or putting on the dishwasher can even be a good way to break up the day If you are in isolation and can’t get inside, there are so many great videos on YouTube or Instagram that can help keep you active while in the house. From yoga and Pilates classes to high intensity interval training, there’s something for people of all fitness levels. You could also do some online professional development that would normally be on your long wish list – now is the time you could invest in yourself. 

5. Plan out your weekend activities 

Planning things to look forward to on the weekend makes the weeks a lot easier. A few ideas of fun weekend activities could include: 

  • Play some board games 
  • Do something creative, such as painting or drawing 
  • Have a movie marathons or start a new TV series 
  • Bake snacks for the week 
  • Host an outdoor event with friends
  • Get outside to the beach or park. 

Working from home can take some adjusting, but by being intentional about your schedule and boundaries, and taking breaks and staying active, you can stay both productive and well. 

If you will be working in a hybrid model, or are soon returning to the office full-time, we have some tips on how to mentally prepare yourself. Similarly, if you’re feeling concerned about adapting to this ‘new normal’, check out our advice on how to adjust. 

If you are finding working from home particularly challenging and feel like you need some extra support, get in touch with our counsellors today. 


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