Here at sobananapenguin, we’re big fans of working in our own spaces, as well as in co-working environments such as the C4DI. Nevertheless, we know that working from home can take some adjusting to at first, so here's some advice from Courtney and Rich.
Get into a routine and stick to it
This is very easy to say, yet not as simple to do. Some of us at sobananapenguin are complete night owls; our brains just work better under moonlight. In contrast, others in our team are more motivated during the daytime. It’s all about finding what works for you. Either way, be sure to get into a pattern that fits around your schedule and allows you to be productive and, most of all, happy.
Courtney likes to get up reasonably early, eat breakfast, get dressed and crack on with the working day: “My morning routine allows me to get into the zone of working and I love to know that by 6pm I can relax, put the tea on, and the evening is free to do what I want to do.”
Rich is very different: “I rarely work before noon, or if I do it’s having meetings in a coffee shop over plenty of caffeine!”
However rigid or flexible, a routine is important when working from home, otherwise your life will become your work, and vice versa.
Designate an area in your home
Choose a space where you can work without being disturbed. This way, you instantly feel ready to get the job done as soon as you sit down. The idea of working from your bed in your PJs might sound like a dream, but make this a regular habit and you may find it hard to switch off at nighttime when you want to sleep.
“I learnt the hard way as a student not to work from your bed," admits Courtney. "I always try to work at my desk, which I’ve made into a productive space, equipped with a pin board, my schedule and as few distractions as possible. I'm a stationery addict and have decked out my desk with gorgeous notepads and pens, which keep me motivated and on task. I also work at the C4DI on certain days of the week, as well as at local coffee shops."
Rich says: “When I first set up the company in 2012, I worked from my sofa. It wasn’t long before I realised I needed a proper working environment, so an office was created when I moved into a new home. It has a forest scene taking up an entire wall, fake grass instead of carpet, cacti everywhere and a view of the garden. Greenery and open skies really aid my workflow.”
Stay connected and social
Working from home can blur the lines of your work-life balance, so it’s important to make plans and stay social. In a typical office, you’d probably have regular meetings with your colleagues, but when working from home it can be hard to stay connected. That’s why our team meets on a regular basis for work and social occasions, to catch up and make sure that we’re all on the same page.
“It’s also important to make non-work plans to get you out of the house and away from your desk,” Courtney stresses. “Even though I love my job, it’s important to be able to switch off at the end of the day and come back refreshed and motivated in the morning.”
“I live near Newland Avenue,” says Rich, “so I regularly pop out with the wife to walk the dog, grab some lunch, or even view some art at the university’s gallery.”
Wherever your home is located, making the most of local amenities or simply getting some fresh air can do wonders for your productivity levels.