Working from home – 6 tips on how to do it right
Words by Rob Chilton
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The worldwide crisis of coronavirus has led to the acronym WFH becoming common parlance
Working from home has ups (no transport costs, a commute of 30 seconds) and downs (motivation can be a struggle, loneliness, boredom) so here are some pointers on how to be productive when WFH.
Don’t set up your temporary office in the bedroom. That big fluffy duvet and soft pillow are too tempting for an afternoon snooze. Don’t try and work with the TV on in the background either, because pretty soon you’ll find yourself knee-deep in a Lord of the Rings marathon and you can kiss goodbye to Monday. Create a workspace in a boring room – a spare bedroom perhaps – which has nothing interesting to distract you.
It’s important to trick your mind into feeling you’re in a place of work and not just slobbing about at home with a laptop. Step one of that process is wearing clothes. Trying to write an important 1,000-word report in your threadbare dressing gown with marmalade on the sleeve won’t focus your brain.
Imagine your boss is hovering over your shoulder and begin work promptly at 9am. Even though you have probably only walked from the bathroom (see 'grooming' section below) to the spare bedroom, a sharp start time will make you feel like you have ‘arrived’ at work and are ready for a productive day. Plus, you don't have to have an awkward elevator chat with that bossy woman from HR.
Just because your colleagues can’t see you doesn’t mean you can turn up for ‘work’ looking dreadful. Have a shower, brush your teeth, do your hair – it’ll set your mind into work mode and make you feel alert.
Stay hydrated and keep a jug of water by your desk to avoid concentration-snapping trips to the kitchen, but resist the temptation to have nine cups of coffee just because you have a Nespresso machine downstairs. Breakfast, lunch and snacks are important to keep your brain fuelled, but don’t let them disrupt your day. Popping to the fridge every 10 minutes for a bit of last night's Thai curry, a mini Babybel and a spoonful of yoghurt is simply a form of procrastination – as well as being a pretty weird snack.
A mobile phone is the greatest enemy of productivity so leave it in another room. Put it in the fridge, under a pillow, anywhere. Get your spouse/roommate to hide it if you must. Once you pick up and unlock for a quick Twitter roam or an Instagram scroll, you can say goodbye to 20 minutes of working time. At least.
Salvatore Ferragamo design chief Paul Andrew is fashion's in-form fella