A working from home guide from Le Bureau
This feels strange – writing a note to Le Bureau current and potential Members on the subject of Working From Home (WFH). Normally we are singing the praises of working from Le Bureau and trying to persuade you to join! But clearly these are anything but normal times. We are all holed up, cooped up, and in many cases, fed up! So here are our suggestions on how to make the most of it whilst we hunker down and try to ride out the storm!
Location, location, location
Many of us are working from home for the first time. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), only 30% of the UKworking population had ever worked from home in 2019. This means many won’t have a ‘home office’ set up in the house already. The first tip would be to choose the right location. It is important to find a place that is designated for your working day and sets you up for success. It will be helpful to install boundaries in your home to separate working life and home life. For instance, if you find yourself working in bed then this can interfere with your ability to relax later on. That way you compartmentalise your new office as a ‘work only’ space.
Sourcing the right equipment
The UK is set to be in COVID-19 lockdown until June, according to the government’s leading epidemiology adviser. It is worth evaluating what tools and accessories you have in place.
If you’re already getting headaches from using small screens, it may be worth looking a monitor to add to your home office setup. A BenQ monitor can link up to your laptop to avoid being hunched over all day long. Never underestimate the value of a trusty mouse. A classic Microsoft Intellimouse is a great affordable fit for your home office.
There is real value in keeping in the loop with your colleagues. Professional isolation can be stifling, thus keeping in contact with friends and colleagues is crucial. The mental and physical impact of isolation can have a greater toll than obesity. Keep hosting virtual meetings when you can. We suggest hosting a weekly team lunch over Zoom! Or team meetings on WhatsApp? The tech is easy and powerful. Even the most aged member of the Le Bureau team has learnt how to use it!
With the UK undergoing a social distancing phase, a webcam can make all the difference of personal connection between clients and colleagues. This Microsoft LifeCam is a great fit. Furthermore, noise cancelling headphones can really help you concentrate and are especially useful for busy households. We recommend the Bose QC35 for top quality control.
Putting your mental health first
Getting up and dressed is such an important part of the day for mental health. It seems like a useless task when no one will see you, but it links back to the “compartmenting” approach we were discussing earlier. It really helps to treat the home like any office place, including taking appropriate breaks for lunch.
Self-care predates self-isolation but is such a powerful tool to keep your mental health in a good place. Make sure to reward yourself for the work you are doing. A good idea is making a fancy lunch from scratch or ordering a takeaway on a Friday as a treat. This is a mindful exercise allowing you to clock off and eat well in one go.
Don’t overstretch yourself. You have the same amount of work hours. We can get stuck into the screen realising we don’t have a long commute anymore and forget to switch off at the end of the day. Turn on an alarm at the end of your day to signal when it’s time to log off.
Taking care of your physical health
One useful thing to come from working from home is the eradication of the dreaded commute! This leaves a lot of workers with some extra time on their hands. Our advice: do not sleep in. Try and use the time you’d normally be on the tube/train to get in some daily exercise. This could be walking, jogging or even cycling to get blood pumping and keep you fit and ready for the working day.
When working from home, the sofa can be a very tempting option. However, working weeks on end like this can take its toll on your posture. It’s important to make sure you have a supportive chair whilst sitting at your desk to keep your back straight. Alternatively, you could look into getting a standing desk converter, like in this Tech radar article. That way you can feel more energised at your new desk and get some exercise in at the same time.
As we write it looks as if this “lockdown” will last quite a lot longer. And the path from “lockdown” to “normal” is unclear. But normal will return – or a version of it. When it does, Le Bureau will throw it doors open and delight in welcoming everyone back. (the prosecco is chilling!) In the meantime, the Le Bureau team hope you all stay safe, stay upbeat, and are able to make the most of WFH! See you soon!Back to Blog