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Still working from home? 7 tips to shake off the monotony

Still working from home? 7 tips to shake off the monotony

Posted 18th August, 2020 by Sarah

While the government has started to encourage workers back into the office, a huge number of global businesses have announced that their employees will continue to work predominantly from home until at least the new year.

While some people might be embracing the flexibility offered by remote working, for others the novelty of lie ins and never having to change out of their PJ bottoms has well and truly worn off.

So if you’re suffering from a severe case of Zoom Fatigue and you’re starting to feel like it’s Groundhog Day, you probably need to start mixing things up a bit.

Here are seven ways to shake the working from home monotony…

Recreate the office environment

The whirr of a decade-old printer, the tap-tap-tap of your colleague incessantly banging away at their keyboard, the loud munching of someone scoffing a packet of crisps – it’s amazing how, after four months, you start to miss the office sounds you once found insanely irritating.

If home working is beginning to seem a bit too quiet, head over to Close your eyes and you’ll feel like you’re right back at your old desk. We give it five minutes before the benefits of home working come flooding back to you.

Increase motivation through gamification
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Pictured: a screenshot from Forest

New app, Forest, uses a game-style premise to incentivise you to stay off social media and focus on the task at hand. When you’re ready to start work on a specific job, you set a timer and plant a ‘seed’. If you see the task through to the end, your ‘tree’ grows, but if you exit the app it dies.

Over time, you can cultivate your very own virtual forest (which in all likelihood will bring you more pride and joy than the wilting basil plant on your windowsill). Better still, the app founders have partnered with charity Trees for the Future to plant real trees – they’ve almost reached the one million mark.

Embrace colour psychology

As you’ve settled in to working from home life, you’ve probably perfected your monitor position, accumulated a few desk accessories, and made sure there’s always an ample supply of snacks within arm’s reach.

But if you’re still finding yourself feeling lethargic or demotivated towards the end of the day, it might be because your surroundings are the wrong colour. Studies into colour psychology in the workspace indicate different colours can evoke different feelings and emotions. Cool blue tones can help to boost productivity, while splashes of bright yellow can spark creativity. Avoid too much red, as it can be overpowering and cause headaches.

Let science determine your WFH soundtrack

You’ve probably already heard that classical music and soothing nature sounds can boost productivity at work, but the brains behind music subscription service focus@will take things one step further.

A team of neuroscientists, musicologists and producers have spent seven years curating an instrumental music library that’s scientifically proven to increase focus by 200 to 400 per cent. What’s more, you can take a personality quiz to determine which tracks are right for you. Categories include spa sounds, cinematic numbers and electro beats. They currently have more than two million subscribers and counting, and offer free trials.

Find happiness through dog walking
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Having a dog to walk is a great excuse to leave your desk and get outside for a bit of fresh air and exercise. If you don’t have your own pooch, popular website Borrow my Doggy can connect you to local dog owners looking for a bit of help.

As well as the physical benefits of dog walking, spending time with man’s best friend has been shown to increase happiness levels. A Psychology Today article entitled ’Why dogs make you happy’ outlines the science behind this, explaining that being around dogs increases your levels of the ‘love’ hormone oxytocin and lowers your levels of stress hormone cortisol.

Revolutionize Zoom calls

Currently in beta and due for release in the autumn, new app mmhmm is set to banish the words “Hold on a minute while I just share my screen” from video call lexicon. The innovative new product aims to make video calls a better experience for everyone.

As explained in this preview video, the standout feature of the app is the way it revolutionizes presenting over video. Rather than having to choose between live video and screen sharing, you can combine the two and have slides, web browsers and live phone demos pop up alongside your face. The app integrates with Zoom and Google Meet.

Run away to the Caribbean
Barbados 2

If overhauling your workspace and adopting a furry friend just isn’t doing the trick, it might be time for something a little more radical. In a bid to bring tourists back to the island, the government of Barbados has launched a new scheme to give international visitors the chance to work remotely on the island for up to a year. The work visa, called the Barbados Welcome Stamp, is open to worldwide applicants with an annual income of at least $50,000. Happy Hour by the beach certainly sounds tempting.

Words by: Samantha Shillabeer

Categories: COVID-19, Small Businesses

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