For many people, working from home is the norm, like us. However, for anyone who is used to working in an office or being out and about, suddenly having to work from home may have been quite a challenge.

Here are our top tips for working from home during the lockdown and beyond:

01. Set your start/end time

This is key, you don’t want to end up working more hours than you usually would. You may need to restructure those hours around other responsibilities at home. Be realistic, fair, and most of all stick to your routine. If you don’t have a routine, things can easily go awry.

02. Put the time you would’ve spent commuting to good use

This could be for anything you like… extra sleep, organisation, time with your children if you have them or exercise for example. This is bonus time, choose what you would like to use it for and make sure you don’t feel guilty for it if you decide to sleep in. We’ll all be back in the routine of commuting eventually, make the most of the time you have at your disposal.

03. If you would usually take lunch to work, prepare it and put it in the fridge the night before

This frees up time at lunchtime, you have your lunch ready to eat and will avoid your break being taken up by food preparation.

04. Set up your workspace

If you have a computer-based job, make sure that you have your desk/chair set up as best you can. If you spend each day straining or in an uncomfortable position, this will create stress within the body and mind. Ensure you have good lighting too.

05. Keep your workspace clutter-free

Take the last 10 minutes of each working day to tidy up your workspace. Close the laptop, shut the diary and shut down the area. Make sure it is tidy and ready for the next workday. If at all possible, do not use this area for any other activity so you keep your work mode in this area of the house. If this isn’t possible, make sure you tidy all your work away into a box so you can’t see it when you’re in home mode.

06. Take regular breaks

Just because you’re not in an office, doesn’t mean it isn’t important to take breaks. Every couple of hours at least, get up from your workspace, take a break and a drink. Take 5-10 minutes with your mind on something else. Listen to some radio, check in with members of your household, ring a colleague for a chat.

07. Get dressed and ready for work as you normally would

It is very tempting to get up and stay in loungewear all day. Sometimes, we agree, this is nice. However, as a general rule we find getting dressed for business gets us and everyone else in the house aware we are in work mode. It’s also great at the end of the day because you can shut down your laptop and change into your loungewear as a way to mark the end of the working day. If you have children, it’ll help them to know when you are out of the office.