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Whether COVID has meant you are working from home when you had never done so before, or whether you are a small (or not so small) business owner, more and more of us are working from home for more hours than ever before.

Before the pandemic I couldn’t imagine spending so much time at home, but now I have been working from home for almost two years full time, I absolutely love the freedom it has given me, and it allows me to be more productive in my work and personal life than I ever dared dreamed. Here’s what I’ve learned about making sure you are being as productive as possible when working from home.

Have a designated work space

This is easier for some people than others, and for some this might mean a kitchen table, or it might mean a designated home office or study, but having a designated and separate work space will ensure that you are being productive, and keeping that work and home life time separate. If you have an office or study, you might consider some bespoke office furniture. This can also work if you have a smaller space, however if you work for a company (rather than yourself) it might be worth asking if they can help you out with the cost of setting up your home office.

Get a routine

Just because you aren’t commuting, doesn’t mean you don’t need a routine. Whether working for yourself or for a company, try and have set hours. Get up in time to get dressed and have a drink and breakfast before your start time. Make sure to work from your designated work space and on your breaks and at the end of the day move away from that area.

I work in my study, and at the end of the day move back downstairs to the lounge. It gives some separation from my work day to my evening.

Getting dressed may seem obvious, but we’ve all adopted and somewhat stuck with bad habits of only getting dressed above the waist (if at all) during these tricky times. It’s also important to stick to a schedule with going to bed and getting up. Not commuting is not an excuse to binge watch another couple of episodes of that series you have been watching, and scrimping on sleep. Sleep is key for your health and a bad routine in the evenings or poor sleep hygiene will only affect your productivity as well as your health.

Get out the house

I never thought I’d appreciate going for a walk as much as I do now. Whether you take time out from your lunchbreak to walk around the block (great to get some daylight during these dark evenings) or you go out after work, fresh air and exercise will help with your mental and physical health. Grab a friend or neighbour to go with you make it more social as you might be missing out on social contact otherwise.

What have you learnt about yourself during the pandemic? Share your top tips for working from home below in the comments!

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