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How to stay motivated and focused whilst working from home

Posted on April 1, 2020 by Jasmine Parsons

Photo of woman in orange shirt using iphone and laptop

Image: S O C I A L . C U T

For some people, working from home is perfectly normal and can be a preferable way to work. For others, it's unusual and may feel lonely and full of distractions.

Technology is making working from home, also known as remote working, easier and more productive. Cloud technologies and new sharing apps allow companies to successfully work, hold meetings and edit documents together.

The Psand team, who have collaborated remotely for years, have some tips on how to stay motivated, focused and productive:

Add structure to your day - set up a daily morning meeting with your colleagues, Jitsi and Google Hangouts are both great tools for this. Discuss what you aim to achieve that day as well as catching up with an informal chat.

Use a chat platform such as Mattermost or Rocket.Chat to communicate with your team. You can open channels within the apps to discuss different projects and collaborate. These tools are loosely based on Internet Relay Chat - which dates back to 1988, so it's a tool that's proved it's worth! These modern tools integrate well with video conferencing. As well as being available on the cloud, they have self-hosting options, so you can keep things within your organisation.

When working on a particularly difficult task, you can use screen sharing with your colleagues - this feature is available on some chat platforms and most video conferencing applications. This can make it much easier to explain what's going on.

Separate your work from home life by setting up a work environment within your house. This creates boundaries for you and for those within your household. If possible, set up your work space in an area of the house, or a corner of a room, so that you can leave the virtual office when work is finished and focus on your family and/or relaxing.

Maintain your space, keep it tidy, remove the morning coffee cup and apple core, a tidy desk is a tidy mind.

Keep moving. Get up at least once every hour, have a good stretch and move around. We do star jumps, squats, lunges (well, some of us anyway) whilst the kettle is boiling.

Take a proper lunch break. We are all guilty of eating at our desks, but at least make sure you sit away from the screen and go for a walk around the block if you can.

Finally, to make sure you are comfortable - here are 8 tips to set up your desk ergonomically:

Desk with items ergonomically places

  1. Good indirect lighting to prevent glare and eye strain
  2. Monitor an arm's length away
  3. Position the top of the monitor at eye level
  4. The keyboard is at elbow height for arm and shoulder alignment
  5. Backrest supports the lower back, purchase a lumbar support pillow if your chair is not sufficient.
  6. Use a surrogate keyboard for relaxed hands and body alignment
  7. Feet are flat on the floor if they do not reach use a footrest
  8. Elbows are bent at 90 degrees and are close to the body, lower or remove armrests if necessary

Follow this advice and you will find working from home a little easier, get in touch if you have any questions regarding how the Psand team work remotely.

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