After 10 weeks in lock-down, working from home has become the new normal for many of us. Whilst some have managed to maintain concentration and productivity, many are still navigating the ups-and-downs of this new way of working and that’s ok…after all, we are living through a global pandemic! So whether you’re working hard or hardly working, we have some useful ‘wfh’ tips from the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Uptown Style Magazine, Luona Negut. Luoana talks structure, snacking and suitable home wear when seeking to maximise productivity in the new workplace, whilst simultaneously trying to create a work/life balance.
How do you create a work/life balance when your work and home space are one and the same?
I'm lucky enough to be able to have a sperate room for my office. I go in there and it's a different space for me that I know is just for work, it means business when I'm in there! This way, it makes it easier for me to just finish up my day and close the door knowing outside of that room is my home life. But if you don't have a separate workspace, you can easily create one from your kitchen table or somewhere in your home. You can re-adjust these spaces to make it "the workspace". Once you've established that "this is my working space from 10am-3pm”, then it becomes easier to focus from anywhere!
We are all creatures of habit, how have you maintained structure and routine whilst working from home during lock down?
I have very early starts! My day starts at 5:30am to be exact, this way, I feel like I'm ahead of everyone. Every Monday, I plan my weekly schedule and break it down into what I need to do each day. This helps me visualise the workload I have and mentally remove the clutter, making it easier to focus on other things that need my attention. I make sure I work till 2:30pm each day, this gives me time to live my life after work, cook, call friends and pop out for errands whilst it's not too late. Starting work at 5:30am gives me a good 8-hour working window, while I intermittent fast till lunchtime.
What are your top three tips for maximising concentration and productivity?
• Start early, your brain is fresh in the morning.
• List out what you need to do for the day, number the tasks 1-10 from priority to less important and do the hardest ones first so they’re off your list.
• Keep your phone in a different room if it’s not needed for any of the tasks at hand, this will help to avoid addictive distractions.
Any bad (and hard to kick) habits to be avoided when working from home?
Oh yes, I get distracted a lot by my phone and food! I love to snack when I work, it helps me to focus but it's honestly the worst habit when sitting at a desk all day, so I've started to intermittent fast to beat the habit whilst also keeping my phone in another room to avoid distractions.
I've found that intermittent fasting is great as I have a goal in mind, so not only does it help me to avoid snacking but I know that at a certain hour I need to stop working and take myself away from my desk. Concentrating on that goal and giving myself breaks also allows me to be more productive for longer!
Are pjs suitable wfh dress code?
How I dress definitely affects my productivity. I make sure that I get ready as if I were going to the office, of course with much more comfortable clothes, but the routine hasn't changed! For me, it's the routine - the getting ready part that gets me ready for work so pjs when wfh are a big no!
What are your must have stay-at-home style brands?I wear Fabletics all the time and White Company loungewear, the material is so comfortable and soft!
As you prepare the upcoming issue of Uptown Style Magazine, what fashion and accessory trends are emerging during this quarantine period?
There’s certainly a focus on minimalism in all areas as well as a growing notion of self-care whilst feeling comfortable and sexy at the same time. Beauty routines also appear to have changed and simplified, with people rethinking what to buy and the influence behind purchasing decisions becoming more prominent. Many of us are accepting that we don't need as much day-to-day however people are opting for better purchasing or lifestyle choices, such as healthy makeup or no makeup options or more sustainable brands due to the growing awareness of the environmental impact of pollution and waste.
As someone who is as organised in the office as they are at home, why is our Sienna tote your favourite organiser bag from our Classic Collection?
Even though I'm currently working from home, my work bag is still my work bag. It has all I need, if I have a quick meeting to run too, I know I can find everything I need in a perfectly organised way. It's a beautiful bag that I call my ‘life bag’ and the ‘portable office’. I work from different spaces all the time and take my laptop with me everywhere and the Sienna tote allows me to be stylish while going from A to B or meeting to meeting.