top 10 tips on productive homeworking

21st April 2020

Featured in Tees Business

A pair of Teesside wellbeing experts are offering free help for those working from home during the coronavirus pandemic – and we have their tips for homeworking here.

Businesswomen Melissa Armstrong and Marie Ranson are on a mission to keep the workforce’s mind and body well while we all adjust to the Government lockdown restrictions.

The entrepreneurs set up their new venture, Well Being, to help people in the workplace just as lockdown restrictions came in and quickly knew they had to help.

Their new webpage is full of articles, videos and guides on home workouts, maintaining mental health, staying productive and even keeping the kids happy as workers try to find a new life balance during the challenges of Covid-19.

Melissa, from Wolviston, is a successful businesswoman and complimentary therapy practitioner, as well as a busy mum, so she understands just how important it is to get the balance right during these stressful times.

The mother-of-two said: “We knew we had to do something to support people in this unprecedented time. We consider the consequences of Covid-19 on our mental and psychological wellbeing to be very important.”

Marie, from Ingleby Barwick, is a trained behavioural psychologist and an accomplished personal development consultant who has experienced workplace burnout in her career which has taken her all over the UK and Australia, so she is very concerned about the mental toll the pandemic can take.

The Teesside University graduate said: “It’s natural for us to feel stress, anxiety and fear at this time but with the right tools and support we can manage how we react and overcome.”

Melissa and Marie have reached out to their partners to curate a special coronavirus collection of free, helpful tools to support employers and their people throughout the pandemic.

Here’s their top 10 tips for productive home working:

1. Keep to a daily routine as having structure is great for your mental health.

As humans, we are creatures of habit. Take away our routines and we can quickly feel stressed! When working from home, try to get up at the same time as you normally would, have breakfast at a reasonable time, shower, get dressed, all the usual things that help you to get into ‘work mode’.

2. Start the day with this positive affirmation. “I am grateful for…”

Starting your day looking at things you are grateful for gets you focusing on the positive things around you, making you feel happier and more in control. Try to find three things.

3. Be sure to set your intention to have a productive day if that is your aim.

Make an agreement with yourself that you will have a productive day today. Write a to-do list and focus on one thing at a time. Enjoy the satisfaction of ticking each thing off, no matter how small a task.

4. Make sure you take regular breaks away from the computer.

Taking regular screen breaks actually helps to improve our productivity, quality of work, attention levels and awareness. Listen to your body – if you are finding it difficult to concentrate, feeling tired, hungry or restless, these are all signs that it’s time to take a break!

5. Put aside 30 minutes daily to engage in some kind of physical activity, such as yoga, walking or circuit training in your garden or living room.

When we exercise, our brains produce more serotonin, a chemical which acts as a mood stabiliser to help us to relieve depression and reduce stress.

6. Keep in touch with colleagues so that you don’t feel isolated.

Feeling socially connected, especially in a world where our normal ways of socialising are limited at this time, is more important than ever. Be sure to check in with friends, family and colleagues via phone and video call platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype.

7. Create a workstation you can feel positive and productive in. Having a vase of flowers or hanging some art or photographs on the wall can really help.

A clean, well kept workspace encourages productivity as it helps to clear the mind. Studies have shown that those surrounded by flowers and other plants often have an increased chance of thinking creatively and coming up with solutions to problems.

8. Learn to meditate even for five minutes.

Meditation helps to quieten the mind, improve attention, focus, stress management, impulse control and self-awareness.

9. Take three regular slow deep breaths consciously to lower stress levels.

When we breathe deeply, stress levels are reduced as our slow, deliberate, deeper breaths send a message to the brain to calm down and relax.

10. Drink plenty of water, regularly stretch and move around.

Drinking fluids is crucial to staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in your body.

You can find meditations, family mindfulness tips, nutrition and emotional resilience advice and help with keeping flexibility in a makeshift office space and more on the new page.

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