Five ways to effectively separate work and home when working from home | Lizi’s

Across the world, people have switched bustling offices for quiet front rooms amidst the coronavirus crisis. Those who are lucky enough to be able to continue their day-to-day work from home have been coming up with a variety of ways to stay focused and keep in touch with colleagues.

But with social isolation in full swing, 24 hours inside the same four walls can become monotonous and a challenge. This is especially true when the boundaries between your work and your leisure seem to merge into one, and your normal, ultra-sociable routine has been turned on its head.

To keep your mental and physical health tip-top, we’ve put together some easy-to-implement tips for separating work and home life to help you stay healthy during this time.

1) Get some exercise before or after work (or both!)

Working from home gives you the opportunity to swap your daily commute for some exercise. Not only is this great for both your mental and physical health, it can put a marker between your working hours and your leisure time – much like it would when you head into the office.

You could even top and tail your day with exercise; do a HIIT workout at home before work to kick-start the day, and then take a walk outside after work to get some much-needed fresh air, and wind down from the day in front of your laptop.

Remember to move regularly throughout the day and have at least five minutes an hour away from your laptop. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to stretch your legs. If you can, get some fresh air too – in your garden or on your balcony – that’s even better!

2) Create a designated workspace for your day

Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to dedicate a whole room as a study or home office. You might need to get creative to find a different way to dedicate space in your home to be your working area.

A few tips that we find useful are:

  • Ensure you have a good chair and good desk/table height; much like you would do in the office. Being comfortable in front of your laptop will help you stay focused and on task. Not to mention the positive impact it has on your shoulders, back and posture, too.
  • Try to keep your at-home workspace separate from your partner, housemates or parents who aren’t working from home. This will help minimise distractions but also mean they’re not worried about disturbing you too. On the other hand, if they are working from home, think about setting up desks together – replicating the feeling of the office. So, whose turn is it on the tea round?!

3) Set boundaries to respect your time outside of working hours

Currently, we are unsure how long the UK, and the rest of the world, is going to be social distancing. Therefore, working from home could be the new normal for many people for at least the next couple of months.

Therefore, it’s important to respect your own time outside of work. It may be tempting to get straight out of bed and switch your laptop on or work well into the evening. Despite the current restrictions on activities and our leisure time, there are plenty of other ways to fill your time outside of work, and we urge you to embrace these to help your mind unwind, so you’re alert, fresh and ready to focus the following day. For example, join this weekly Virtual Pub Quiz, learn a new language, reconnect over a board game or start a blog.

4) Keep yourself well-nourished and hydrated

Naturally, it’s likely many of us will move a lot less now we’re encouraged to stay at home, though we encourage you to embrace as much movement as possible (and sensibly) during these circumstances.

Eating well and caring for our bodies, therefore, is more important than ever. Try to make fresh fruit and vegetables your staples to maximise your vitamin and mineral intake, and stay well hydrated to combat tiredness, and keep your skin nice and healthy. Use your daily dose of exercise to top up your vitamin D too.

Why not try some of the following to keep you nourished?

  • Greek salad of cucumber, tomato, olives and red onion topped with feta and pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Protein banana pancakes, topped with a drizzle of maple syrup, fresh blueberries and a sprinkle of Lizi’s granola.
  • A homemade pizza, using a tortilla wrap and tomato puree, with feel-good toppings like spinach, tuna, sweetcorn, chicken, peppers and onion.
  • The ultimate smoothie bowl, with Greek yogurt, frozen fruit, Lizi’s granola, avocado, coconut water and spinach for a helping of leafy greens.
  • Lizi’s Digestive Health, High Protein or Low Sugar granolas and our mood boosting Super Mueslis are great choices for slow release energy and a fibre hit, too.

Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day too, as you would in the office. This will help combat feelings of lethargy and tiredness, which many people start to experience when they are in the same place for an extended time period. Flavoured tea and sparkling water is also great to help mix up your choice of beverage.

5) Catch up with colleagues in the day, and friends in the evening

Just because you’re not in the office, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check in with your colleagues, have a catch up and see how their week’s going. We have seen many companies allocate time at the end of the day for a debrief and general wellbeing catch up about their days and their plans for the evening. Some companies have even allocated some time on Fridays to have a video chat over a drink for an end-of-week wind down.

Chat to colleagues during the day and use your evenings to chat to friends and family. This will help differentiate between work time and leisure time and separate the two. This will help you psychologically wind down from being at work and keep you in contact with all the important people in your life!

Do you have any tips for separating work and home when working from home? We’d love to hear them! Share your tips with the hashtags #AWholeLotBetter and #LizisLifestyle.

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