Working from Home: How to Stay Happy & Productive

Our personal tips and recommendations for overcoming isolation

Article

5 minute read

2020-10-12

More time with the family, less time commuting and no need to dress smart: Working from home certainly has its benefits. But for some people, internet problems and social isolation can make the working day drag on. Even those of us who can’t work from home are spending much more time at home than usual. How do you stay happy and motivated in a situation like this?

Lots of people are using the time to take up new hobbies, learn new skills or simply get comfy and binge-watch their favourite series on Netflix. I tried to start running (with limited success), learnt to skateboard (and broke my wrist), and have discovered lots of new music and books. And while I’m working from home, my two pet rabbits keep me company.

Curious to know how my colleagues are doing, I asked a few Getsafees about how their routines have changed and whether they have any recommendations.

Carina

Routine:

I miss the height-adjustable desks in the office. To take care of my back while I’m working from home, I change my sitting position more often, alternating between my gymnastics ball, my bed and sometimes working on the floor. Now and then I integrate a bit of yoga into my working day, and I’ve refined my juggling skills too.

Recommendations:

I would recommend reading The Plague by Albert Camus (and not just because it fits with the topic of the pandemic). On Netflix, you should check out Love on the Spectrum, a reality show about the dating lives of people on the autism spectrum. It’s different, fascinating and definitely heart-warming.

Maren

Hobbies:

I managed to improve my yoga routine with reminders for a short practice every day – and also discovered a new hobby in making homemade rhubarb gin.

Motivation:

Close proximity to my fridge with some snacks and regular random coffees on Zoom with the team definitely helped with the motivation.

Recommendations:

Finally binged all 7 seasons of Orange Is the New Black – a must-watch! And consider using the time to finish one of those massive books you’ve never had time for before – in my case Ulysses.

Mark

Hobbies:

I’ve started making scented candles and gardening (growing plants on the balcony). Also, I’ve been taking regular walks in Battersea Park, Battersea Power Station and along the Thames.

Motivation:

It’s been pretty easy to stay motivated at work. I have regular video meetings to catch up with colleagues about work and also socially. Not commuting each day is a big positive too. Outside of work, I have focussed on what I can do as opposed to what is not possible at the moment.

Recommendations:

On Netflix, I’ve been watching the comedy series Atypical, sitcom Schitt’s Creek, Brazlian drama 3% and French comedy Call My Agent!.

Stephanie

Routine:

Since all restaurants and bars in London close at 10pm already, my friends and I started playing Mario Kart in the evenings and having movie nights. It’s not quite how I imagined my life in London but still a good way to have fun.

Motivation:

The UK team has introduced a weekly team meeting on Friday afternoon which kind of reminds me of virtual afterwork drinks. It’s a time slot that we use to talk about topics beyond business to compensate for the missing social connections we would have in the office. Especially for all the newbies in the team this is a nice way to better get to know each other and keep up the team spirit.

Recommendations:

Currently I am watching Blacklist which I like because it’s quite entertaining, scary in some ways but not too scary, and I like the different characters. Other than that, I sometimes watch shows of comedians like John Oliver as it’s a fun way to stay informed and know what’s going on in the world.

Jacob

Motivation:

I haven’t had a problem with motivation. I’ve been reading a lot more often and exploring a real variety of genres and authors, which makes me feel I’ve used my extra spare time at home wisely. I can also wear more comfy clothes at home, which keeps me feeling positive.

Recommendations:

I’m really pleased I bought a Nintendo Switch at the start of the year – I’ve already got my money’s worth during lockdown. I’ve explored the fantasy worlds of Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Octopath Traveler and many others. It’s really calming to be able to escape into these worlds when you can’t go out and see people as often.

Emil

Hobbies:

I just moved into a new place at the beginning of the pandemic and figured I’d give my green fingers a go. A couple of months in now and 4 out of 8 plants have died. I guess that’s a 50% churn rate…

Recommendations:

Our team started playing Skribbl (an online multiplayer drawing game) during Friday evening team checkouts. It’s a lot of fun.

Ana

Routine:

I can spend more time with my dogs since working from home. Before work and during lunch time I go for a walk. I also started doing yoga.

Motivation:

I am actually pretty motivated when I work from home, and I use to-do lists a lot. Sometimes I feel I am more productive at home. But nevertheless I miss coming to the office and seeing everyone in person.

Recommendations:

I am addicted to the podcasts SWR2 Wissen, ZEIT Verbrechen, and Auf den Punkt.

Author: Tom