Get out of your Uggs and rid of your ‘ugh’
23 August 2021
In a time where heels have more than likely been given the boot, what footwear are you wearing in your home office? Unsurprisingly, more than one Sauce team member has admitted to the socks and slides combo making a regular appearance under the desk.
As much of the world starts to return to normal and planes are finally taking off on other continents, Australia is in one of its largest lockdowns since the pandemic began. Greater Sydney has been in lockdown for over a month with no real end in sight, and snap lockdowns continue to make themselves more permanent – it looks like we will be working from home (WFH) for a while longer.
Everyone’s experience WFH has been unique. Some have had to take on the role of teacher to homeschool children and others have been left totally isolated, lucky if they have a pet for company. Regardless of which research you look at it’s clear to see that there are positive and negative impacts of WFH on both our professional and personal lives.
Some common feelings those in lockdown and WFH have experienced include:
- Feeling isolated, lonely or disconnected, both socially and professionally
- Struggling to ‘switch off from work’
- Lack of motivation
- Difficulty prioritising
- Uncertainty about work performance, progress and success
- General anxiety about the world
- Sleep issues
You may experience one of these, some of these or all of these. But how do you get out of the ‘ugh’ of WFH?
Getting out of your Uggs is a great first step! It follows the same premise that you get dressed as though you are going to work even if you’re only moving between rooms in your home. However, it extends even further to include actually putting on “proper” shoes. Because in the words of Min Seo-hyun, good shoes take you to good places.
Some other strategies we use at Sauce include:
- Creating a space in our home specifically for work. Try to avoid working from your bedroom or couch – these are your relaxation spaces.
- Daily check in with the team. At Sauce, the whole team connects by Zoom every day at 9:08am for a standing meeting and check in. Some of us connect from our study, others connect from their morning walk.
- Make our beds first thing in the morning. Admiral William H. McRaven has the right idea when he says “if you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”
- Take our full lunch break. It can be very tempting to grab a quick bite for lunch and sit straight back down in front of your laptop to keep working (I’m guilty of this). Instead, take the full time to make yourself something nutritious and relax, read a book, go for a walk or even do some housework if it means you’re not on your laptop.
- Have set ‘clock on’ and ‘clock off’ times. Create boundaries between the times you’re working and your ‘home time’. Once you’ve reached clock off time, finish up, silence your emails and close your laptop.
- Leave the house. There are numerous studies that show being in nature improves your mental health. I know we’re in lockdown but do what you can to get outside at least once a day. Go for a walk, read in the backyard or do a little gardening.
- Listen to music. Pop some of your favourite tunes on or choose some lyric-free beats (if you don’t want to be caught singing at the top of your lungs). Alternatively, you can search for ‘video game background music’ which is specifically designed to help you concentrate for long periods of time.
- Eat, sleep and exercise. These are the core components to your mental and physical health. Make sure these are priorities in your life. Eat well, exercise often and get the recommended amount of sleep.
Give these strategies a go and before you know it, you’ll be out of your Uggs and rid of your ‘ugh’.
You can also check out our 2020 WFH series for more tips and tricks!
- WFH how to: achieve work life balance from home
- WFH how to: stay connected and production when working from home
- WFH how to: set up your new home office