Why I love working from home by associate Amy Houldey

As a freelancer, working from different (and sometimes unusual) locations isn’t new to me. I must admit, that I love working from home instead of having to commute across London and spend the day sitting in an office with people you have to pretend you like. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, lots of people across the globe are now being forced to work from home whether they like it or not.

If you’re struggling to get into a routine at home, or simply want some tips, here are some things that I find work for me…

1. Moving my body when I wake up

when working from home it’s very easy to wait until the last minute to get out of bed and then open the laptop straight away. But if you take this approach you might end up sitting in the same position all day and doing very little movement which isn’t good for your health or wellbeing. I like to get up much earlier than I need to (I also have a one-year old daughter – so lie ins aren’t really an option!) and use that time for me. I’ve started doing online yoga classes for an hour most mornings, followed by breakfast with the family. This time gets me in a good headspace when I do finally sit down for work.

2. Getting washed, dressed, and maybe even putting on make-up

this point is linked to the first as it’s also about getting you in the right mindset. In the past, I have sometimes just stayed in my PJs to work, but I don’t think that sets me up mentally to do my best work. So, I always make sure that I get ready as I would if I was leaving the house. It honestly helps so much in getting your mind switched into a different gear.

3. A space that is mine

this isn’t always possible, but even if it’s just a table in the living room, dedicate an area to yourself when you’re working. Keep this space clean and tidy, light a candle, some incense, anything that makes you feel relaxed and also comfortable. I work so much better when I enjoy being in the environment I’m in.

4. Cleansing my workspace

this isn’t for everyone, but on a regular basis, I cleanse the space that I work in by burning sage. This ritual helps to focus the mind and get my in a clear headspace. I find it particularly useful before calls with clients because it brings me into the moment.

5. Play music you like

I love to listen to music whilst I work. I’ve got my own favourite playlist which you can check out here on Spotify.

6. Make time to get outside or at least move away from your workspace

this is really important as there can be the tendency to just stay at our workspaces when we’re at home, but don’t! Particularly right now when most of us are confined to our homes. There are so many free workouts and gatherings taking place online every day. Why not schedule to attend one of these? It will also encourage you to move away from your laptop for a bit too.

7. Switch your work email off at the end of the day

it’s an obvious one but such an important one. Give yourself some time to switch off. It can be hard to get into this habit, but I have started putting my phone onto aeroplane mode in the evenings until I’m ready to start work in the morning. Having time away from being “switched on” is so good for your mental health. Remember, that unless we’re doing lifesaving work, most emails or calls can wait until the next day.

It’s because of all of the reasons I listed above that I love working from home. It gives me the freedom to create a working environment that I thrive in. It also enables me to structure my day in a way that I need. We all work differently, some of us are most productive first-thing, others late at night. I personally feel that this gives us the ability to create a bespoke working rhythm for us.

These are wild times and I certainly feel very privileged right now to have the ability to work from the safety of my home and still earn a living to support my family. I know there are many other people who are not as fortunate. I also know that during these times it’s more important than ever that we stay connected. That’s why I’m hosting an online Connection and Grounding Circle every Sunday evening at 8pm (GMT) via Zoom. It’s completely free to join, we spend the hour meditating, breathing, and sharing where we’re at. I’d love for you to join, so if you’re interested please email me hello@amyhouldey.com and I’ll share the Zoom link with you.

Please take care of yourselves. Amy.