As so many of us are frantically turning our bedrooms, living rooms and gardens (?!) into fully functioning office spaces and attempting to restore regular routine to our working from our now exclusively, remote schedules, it is more important than ever to take stock and check in on our work happiness.
Happiness consultant and author of Love it Or Leave It, Samantha Clarke is here to help with her 7 ways to achieve work happiness during lockdown.
Creating a productive space
Make sure that you are actually creating a space or environment that is productive and conducive to work and not having an adverse impact on your body. Look at your chair setup, look at the lighting. It might sound great working from your couch but as we don’t know how long this will last, get yourself a mini foldable disk if space is a premium or laptop table that can be used for the sofa. It will definitely save your lower back!
Set yourself up with a proper routine
Much like you do when you are going to work, it helps to get into the habit of setting clear markers of how and when you start your working day. I think the same way you used to plan dinner out with your partner or friends, a theatre show or a class. Programme similar activities across your week too, so you have things to look forward to and a boundary between work & play. Maybe book in some online dance parties, log onto a course on Coursera or have a Zoom wine & dine night with friends.
Take innovative mini-breaks
Staring at a screen all day isn’t healthy. Plus when you work from home it can be easy to continue working. Try a pretend mini holiday. When you need to re-energise your mind, allow yourself to visualise different experiences to break up tasks throughout the day. I close my eyes and think of a holiday that I’ve been on or a journey I want to take. I give myself 20 minutes in LA, or 30 mins in Tokyo. Allow yourself to explore and immerse yourself in a totally different atmosphere, taste different food and visualise yourself doing activities. When you tap back into your day, you will feel energised and happier.
Reflect on your day
Write a list of reflections to end the day, how did you feel emotionally, when were you most productive etc. Especially if you are new to working from home, you can learn what it’s a great way to keep momentum and assess what’s working and what isn’t. Then you can draw a firm line under the day by summarising all that you have achieved and full content to move into downtime.
Dress for work
What you wear can have an impact on how motivated you feel. While working in your dressing gown might feel like one of the perks of working from home, it can have a negative effect on your wellbeing. Clothing affects your mental state and getting dressed properly just energises you to think about something different for the day. Being energised and professional for my clients means I’m able to give my best coaching. If I just rolled up my PJs, I’m not investing in myself, so why should anyone think that I’d be able to invest in them?
Zone Your Space
If you live in London or any other big city you may find yourself cramped in a small flat so it’s important to zone your space. Set clear spaces for work time and relaxation, fun and playtime and be disciplined. So maybe if you are living in a studio perhaps, section one area for work and when you step out of that allow yourself to move into and feel differently in another space. Maybe you change clothes or light a candle to create a different vibe.
Use your commuting time differently
The time you might normally use to commute you now have free to treat yourself or a loved one. Whether it’s making a hearty breakfast and eating it more mindfully vs on the go, reading a new book or setting some great intentions for the day or plot out a new skill you want to master with your partner or flatmate.
More guidance on achieving happiness at work in Samantha Clarke’s Love It Or Leave It.