It has been more than a year since we started this social experiment that we know as working from home. Although it has been undeniably hard for almost everyone, the best approach to make it more bearable will depend of factors like your type of job, your status (student or not) and where you live, amongst others. Of course we would all like to go back to face-to-face meetings and activities on campus/office, nonetheless we must adapt in order to make this situation livable. Having said that, I would like to share 5 tips that have helped me cope with remote work while being a master’s student at KI:
1. Go out for a short walk daily
When I say go out for walk, I am not recommending it as a work out/exercise. If its possible for you, leaving home for a short walk (even just 10min) is enough to refresh your mind and relax. I personally see this daily walk time as the replacement of the physical activity you perform at KI when traveling to another building to get coffee. I insist, the purpose of this walk is to breathe fresh air, get some sun exposure (if the weather is on your side), stretch your legs and improve circulation, and not as a demanding exercise. Here in Stockholm, regardless of where you live you will find close-by many parks and trails outdoor to get fresh air.
2. Respect your “sacred” times
Before the pandemic, one would take some time during the day to “go and grab lunch”. This habit disappeared during the first months of the pandemic as one had more control over the availability of food in your house. Having lunch while sitting in front of the computer with my camera off became a new reality until I realized how bad was this to my productivity. In my experience, productivity and happiness levels increased after I decided to leave my desk and have lunch in the living room with my housemate or family over the phone. As humans we still need to disconnect and use those “sacred” times of the day to relax and distance ourselves from work.
3. Schedule recurring video calls with friends
Although you might be already fed up of zoom calls, one specific call that I recommend prioritizing is the one with friends or family. Talking some minutes a day to talk to socialize with the people you care the most is an incredible boost to motivation since you feel supported and loved, even virtually. Having dinner online gatherings with friends from KI is a fair replacement for lunch time during no-pandemic times.
4. Exercise regularily
You’d probably heard this repeatedly, but yes, exercising regularly is even more important now that we spend higher amounts of time sitting in front of a computer, plus we don’t walk our way to work/school. The secret is that it doesn’t has to be an intense workout. You should adapt routines and exercises to your level/requirements as long as you are constant. Regular exercise also improves productivity!
5. Pay attention to your workspace
Feeling comfortable in your workspace at home is one of the key ingredients to be productive. It is very important to keep your space clean and pay attention to your posture. Make sure you are sitting well and that you are not hurting any part of your body while sitting hours in the computer. Also make sure to have proper light. For more ideas on how to improve your workspace check out my blogpost.
Hope you enjoyed these recommendations based on my personal experience.
Stay healthy and productive!