The year 2020 proved itself to be a unique one almost immediately with a particularly unsettling string of events from natural disasters and swarms of insects to a global pandemic that would see us all leaving our houses only for essential foods, medicines and exercise and working from home indefinitely.
This shift to spending much more time at home and combining work life with home life can be difficult for a number of reasons – it’s harder to stay fit, productive and mentally healthy during a time in which anxiety levels are already increased, without gyms, visiting friends and family and those social lives that we love so dearly (pubs, I’m looking at you) – and let’s not forget those pesky snacks that we have access to 24/7.
At eve we believe that it’s important to take care of ourselves always – but especially now. Take a look at our guide to help you stay healthy at home, from the best types of exercise to have you feeling fresh, routines to keep you productive and mental health tips to help make this new lifestyle easier.
eve’s tips for working at home effectively
As experienced event planners, we’ve had the benefit of learning lots about creating a productive space at home from some of London’s leading venues. Event spaces are designed for productivity, innovation and creativity, so where better to take a few ideas from?
The best thing that you can do for yourself when working from home is to emulate an office environment as much as you can. It’s not easy for everyone – we totally get that – but there are small things that you can do with the space available to help boost productivity.
A designated workspace
We recommend creating a designated workspace for yourself and to keep it the same each day. If you’ve got a desk, great, but if you haven’t consider creating one from your coffee table, kitchen island or even any small living room tables that you’ve got kicking about. Set yourself up every day, and don’t work from your bedroom if you can avoid it.
Routines and breaks
If you tend to take breaks at the same time each day when you’re in the office, try and stick to this when you’re at home. Give yourself as much routine as possible and if you can, make it similar to a typical day that you’re used to. Get up at the same time, break at the same time and give yourself a clear distinction between work and home at the end of the day. Maybe it’s packing away your desk, leaving the room, closing the door and not looking back (until the next morning, obvs).
As tempting as it is to live in your pyjamas, trust us, it’s better to get dressed.
Read more tips about creating an effective work environment at home
It can feel tempting to hibernate yourself away, watch Netflix and snack your heart out (we know, sounds lush). Don’t. Be sure to use your daily outdoor exercise time – even if it’s just for a short walk.
Over time, lack of natural light can make you feel groggy and sluggish and that’s not fun for anyone. Whether you’re trying to find ways to work from home effectively, juggle childcare and your career or you’re on furlough or not working right now, get outside when you can (and maintain a safe 2m distance away from anybody you don’t live with).
Be sure to follow government advice on social distancing and don’t meet up with anyone you don’t live with, keep a 2m distance between yourself and others and don’t visit parks, beaches or busy outdoor areas. A short walk around the block can work wonders – or if you’ve got a garden (you lucky thing) why not work outside for a while?
Exercise for productivity
As well as walking outside where possible, there are many other ways to make sure that you’re still getting enough exercise at home.
Yoga can really help to set you up for the day and is a great way to get going. Don’t worry if you don’t have a yoga mat or haven’t tried it before, there are heaps of video classes available for free online, which will guide you through the entire process – plus, you can choose the most relevant class for you based on what you’re looking for. All you need is a bit of floor space in your living room or bedroom and you’re away.
There are different classes targeted at different physical challenges (e.g. back pain, neck pain, flexibility), but one of the main benefits of yoga is stress reduction and anxiety relief – yes please!
A walk or run on your lunch break or at the end of the working day can work wonders for both productivity and mood, or you could try a home workout if you need a bit of motivating or somebody to guide you – there are tonnes online – and now you can even get little ones involved with PE with Joe Wicks. Cute!
Looking after mental wellbeing
Ultimately, all of these things help to contribute to better mental wellbeing, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t involve yourself in activities targeted specifically at keeping your mind in shape.
Mindfulness apps like Calm or Headspace provide various guided meditations aimed at improving sleep, reducing stress and anxiety and helping us to process the day’s events in a healthy way. At a time in which lots of information is being thrown at us from news outlets and social media platforms, it’s important to find some time to quiet our busy minds and thoughts.
It’s also important to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself to be productive or behave in a certain way during this experience. Understand that we’re all going through new and worrying things, all longing for normality, and that you can’t be productive every single day under usual circumstances – let alone these ones.
For more tips on working from home effectively, exercise, yoga and wellbeing, explore our journal.