makepositive’s 10 step guide to working from home

Adjusting to working from home full time can be a challenge for many. The loss of structure, the issues that can arise from having to share a workspace with family or roommates, and the loss of daily social interactions with co-workers are all issues that can arise from working at home, so here are some helpful tips from the makepositive team to help you cope:

#1 Make your bed:

To quote the US Navy Admiral, William McRaven: 

“If you make your bed in the morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and encourage you to do another task, and another… and another. 

By the end of the day that one task completed will turn into many tasks completed.”

#2 Have a shower and get dressed in the morning:

This may sound obvious, but it really helps. 

Working from home is not an excuse to leave personal hygiene behind. Also, everyone wants to turn their camera on now, so don’t put yourself in a situation where Barbara from finance can judge you because you haven’t combed your hair or changed out of your Star Wars PJ’s.

P.S. If you don’t normally shower, then working from home is the least of your worries!

#3 Exercise:

This may seem like an obvious one, but getting those endorphins flowing will help increase energy levels and improve mental health. 

There are a plethora of wonderful classes online for workouts; yoga, pilates, origami… alternatively try a good walk or run (obviously being mindful of continuing to follow keeping the government’s Covid-19 guidelines). 

Who knows, we may have the beach bodies we’ve always dreamed of by the time we can finally go on holiday again!

#4 Make a plan for the day:

It seems quite apt to quote Boris’ hero Winston Churchill right now: 

“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”

Giving yourself a clear structure for the day is key. We all know plans aren’t always followed, but they do give you a framework and clear set of goals.

Within your plan allow for regular breaks, exercise and interaction with colleagues. 

#5 Create a workspace at home

Step away from the sofa!

Having a well-defined workspace will help get you in the right frame of mind to start your work day.

Create a dedicated area or surface at home that you can work from. Make it comfortable, stick the radio on and settle in for a productive, well planned day of achieving your goals.


If every time we’re struggling with an email or bored on a call we reach for the biscuit tin, the only beneficiaries will be suppliers of elasticated clothing and McVities
(other biscuit suppliers are available).

Naturally, procrasti-snacking will be part of your day during this time, but try and keep it healthy with fruit, seeds or nuts. In a time like this keeping a balanced diet and putting the right food in our body is key.

#7 Take breaks:

It is vital to break the day up, it will help keep you sane. No one wants square eyes from staring at their screen all day. Concentration naturally fades over time without a break.

Take 5 minutes away from your desk, go and pester your housemate, spouse or kids… put a wash on, make a cup of tea.

#8 Keep in touch with your colleagues:

They may get on your nerves sometimes… you might disagree with them occasionally… but we are all in this together and keeping in contact will help us all.

Mental health is real and the importance of actively maintaining it is heightened in a time like this. Your colleagues may be struggling in silence, and a quick call or message from you could provide that little bit of interaction they need.

BE KIND and do what you can to support your colleagues.

#9 Don’t be a slave to the ‘Gram:

Distractions are not in short supply whilst working from home and there is perhaps none bigger than social media. A momentary glance at Instagram or Facebook can quickly devolve into an hour long dive down a social media rabbit hole. Try and actively limit your screen time down on these apps. 

No one needs to lose an hour of their life to COVID-19 conspiracy theories or Donald Trump’s most embarrassing moments! 

#10 Switch off at the end of the day:

This is a simple one: switch your laptop off at the end of your working day, put it in a cupboard and leave it there until the following morning.

Work has finished for the day so treat yourself.  Go and crack open a beer, pour yourself a large glass of wine or whatever you want to do.  After a productive day you deserve it!

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