Working from home while locked up certainly has its benefits, but improved mental health is generally not considered one of these! If you work in the same environment, you transfer your daily days into days. Social contact is becoming a distant memory, and the urge to spend all day in your pajamas is strong.
This is not only bad for your health, but also for your productivity.
This is of course drastically exaggerated during lockdown as you also now don't have the option to go out at night!
Read also: Working from home with children: work-life balance for WFHers
This is not only bad for your health, but also for productivity. Without the right balance, it can be extremely difficult to stay focused and productive.
Fortunately, as someone who has worked from home for the past 10 years, I have developed some tricks to find balance. Hopefully, these can help you learn how to work from home during closing and how to generally survive being stuck at home for most of the day. Every day.
Find social contact elsewhere
I am a kind of introverted person, so I enjoy working from home all the time. But even I soon found out I needed some social incentive if I was going to figure out how to work and stay at home … well, normal.
The solution for me was to meet friends and family during lunch breaks. Since I was free to travel while working, I worked in a coffee shop near one of those friends, and then we had lunch when they were taking a break.
Read also: How to video chat with family and friends on your smartphone
I needed some social incentive when I started thinking about how to work and stay at home … well, normal.
That's not going to happen during lockdown, but you can call  your friends and relatives. That little bit of social contact is better than nothing, and what better time to do it?
Likewise, you can and should take the time to meet friends online for a drink. Playing a few rounds Drawful 2 over Skype with a glass of wine is almost as good as actually having a board game night with those friends at your house.
This little bit of stimulation makes sitting at a computer all day seem a lot less repetitive, and it helps you stay focused. If you want to know how to work at home, you first need to know how to relax.
Take Time Off
This may seem like a strange time to go on vacation, but it can actually be a very useful option for keeping you and your family healthy during the shutdown. A staycation could give you the perfect time to work on house projects, spend time with family or just relax.
If you're struggling to work from home, this will reduce the amount of time you need to spend breaking through those long stretches of monotony.
Also Read: Top 12 Online Tools for Home Workers
And if your family struggles with the lockdown, they will benefit if you are around. You may find that your partner could use some help taking care of the kids, or that your roommate who can't work from home could use some distraction!
One of the things that bites most about lockdown in general is that you have to cancel all your plans. Holidays, weekend getaways and time to visit friends are now a thing of the past. Again, this affects your ability to work from home if you lose that "light at the end of the tunnel" to work towards.
So it is up to us to be more creative when it comes to planning. This is also a great way to keep our loved ones healthy.
Some examples of "things to look forward to" that you can plan at home include:
- Board game nights
- Candlelight meals outside
- Theme meals
- Sleeping in a tent in the garden
- Movie nights
- Purchases that offer activities (eg a telescope that you can then use for stargazing, a VR headset or a trampoline)
- Long (socially distant) walks
Get your diary out and book a few fun days to try new things, get moving and spend time with your family.
Start a side project
When you first learn to work from home, you should notice that you actually have a little more time to be productive. This is because you have lost your commute to work and you have fewer distractions at the office (no more water cooler gossip sessions).
Once you become self-disciplined enough to stay on task, this can give you ample opportunity to do more than you are required to do . That's where you get the freedom to develop yourself to advance your career.
Also Read: Home Office Setup: How to Separate Your Workspace to Stay Productive
This may mean gaining additional skills by taking a course, or it may mean working on some sort of side project . A side project can give you a focus and a sense of progression when everything else seems to have stopped. As an example, I am currently working on a book with a publisher. This is extremely rewarding and makes me feel like I'm making meaningful progress despite being stuck in the house.
Chances are you've heard how bad sitting for long periods can be for you: your heart weakens from lack of exercise, your shoulders are round, your hip flexors tighten and your overall mobility and energy levels drop tremendously .
That's all true if you have a normal office job. Now imagine how much worse that must be if you also lose commuting! If you spend the whole day at home behind the computer, then you absolutely cannot just spend your evenings in front of the television!
Fresh air and sunlight are extremely good for you – in fact, vitamin D is believed to be significantly better for your immune system compared to vitamin C. Plus, exercise has numerous profound benefits for your mental ability, with immediate improvements in focus, creativity, and problem solving.
My advice is to take a walk to get fresh air, but also to train from home. In this way, you maximize the amount of activity and exercise you get during the day and avoid the numerous harmful effects of standing still all day.
Read also: How to work with a partner at home and not kill each other
Learning how to balance activity and productivity is the key to learn how to at home to work.
] Vary your environment
I mentioned earlier that I worked in coffee shops near my friends offices so we could have lunch. This not only kept me social, but also kept me from getting stuck in the same four walls all the time.
Read also: Keep working healthy from home
This option may no longer be available to you during the lock. But that's not to say you can't move a little bit! While you mainly work at your desk, nothing stands in the way of taking your laptop to a bank when replying to emails. You can even work outside a bit!
And you will be surprised how much you can do on a tablet nowadays. By moving you keep the blood flowing, you avoid boredom and you even prevent some postural problems that arise on the spot.
Discipline  But none of this will work unless you can also develop the kind of discipline that requires working from home. To find balance, make sure you work on fixed hours, as well as free time to relax and unwind. That means you can't postpone half your day and you don't have to work until the wee hours.
This is a skill in itself, but you can find some tips and advice in a previous post, so read the next one:
How to focus on work when you work from home