Coronavirus (COVID-19): 6 ways to work from home productively

How are you doing right now? Have you got into your working-from-home groove yet?

Over the last few weeks, along with pretty much the rest of the world, we have changed our everyday living and working to a different style of ‘business as usual’. What does that even mean now anyway? No one’s really sure, but let’s go with it…

Even though we’re all currently working from home, Azimo is fully operational, so we’re still enabling individuals and small businesses to send money abroad quickly and easily – including our many customers working on the front line in the fight against COVID-19. Our support centre is also still open as usual and we’re right here should you need us.

So, now that many of us are starting to get to grips with working from home, staying at home, sleeping, eating and exercising at home, how is everyone coping? 

Hopefully you’ve found what works for you by now, but here are a few tips we’d like to share with you from the Azimo team.

Establish a routine


When working from home, routine can easily go out of the window.

Having a working schedule each day and sticking to it will help you stay more focused and keep your energy levels up throughout the working day. 

Some people find that getting up at a set time and going through the usual rituals each morning helps set them up for the day. You could even leave the house at your usual time, go for a short walk and come back in time to start work. Others go a step further and start their working day earlier than usual with their first morning coffee. It’s about what works for you. 

To help you stay on track throughout the day, divide tasks up into segments – you can use Google calendar to make this easy. If you find social media a distraction, try removing shortcuts from the browser and staying logged out of your accounts during working hours.

Create a workspace


If you can, create a dedicated room, desk or corner where you can work which will help you concentrate and stick to your schedule. A comfortable and supportive chair, a monitor, headphones – try to recreate your usual work environment as much as possible so that you’re comfortable and focused. 

Short on space? Take a look at these home office ideas for small spaces to get some inspiration. If you have family or housemates, set boundaries where possible so that you’re left alone to concentrate during work hours.

Take regular breaks


Working from home can blur the boundaries of work and personal life even at the best of times, but during these strange times of coronavirus restrictions and lockdown it’s even more important to have a cut-off point. 

Make sure you take regular short breaks – schedule it in your daily plan and in your calendar. While on a break don’t look at anything work-related. If possible, step outside for some fresh air before returning to your workspace. 

Book regular days off to unplug completely – your body and mind will thank you for it. And, probably, so will your colleagues.

Switch off out of hours

switch-off-out of-hours

Try to stick to your working hours, and turn off work-related notifications when your day is over – especially if you’re signed in on your personal devices. If your job is Monday to Friday, take weekends off to recharge.

A daily ‘exit list’ is also a good idea. Before you leave your desk, write down your tasks for the next day – even if you have them on an online management tool. It will help you achieve a cut-off point for the day.

You may be finding weekends more difficult at the moment and work helps you keep your mind occupied, but try exploring other ways to focus your mind away from a screen, like baking, drawing, board games or puzzles. 

Be active


Maintain your exercise routine, or even create a new one. Eat healthy, go outside even if it’s just a quick walk around the block – the fresh air will do wonders. 

There are so many free health and fitness resources online, such as HIIT workouts, yoga and Pilates, so there’s bound to be something to suit your fitness level, interests and enthusiasm. If you’re sitting for hours every day or using your phone a lot to check news or messages, these yoga stretches can help strengthen your back and correct your posture. 

Remember to look after your mind as well as your body. There are some good online resources about mental wellbeing while staying at home that offer advice and tips on things like reframing negative thoughts, and how to get good quality sleep. You could also try meditation and mindfulness exercises, which can help relieve anxiety.

Stay connected


Seeing another face somewhere else in the world has suddenly become even more important to many of us who would otherwise feel very isolated. Thankfully technology allows us to do this in many different ways, so make the most of it. 

Check in on your friends, family and colleagues. Socialise after work, even if it’s just a video call or ‘virtual coffee’. Remember, you’re working from home, not another planet.