Working from home sounds like a great idea to many people during the coronavirus pandemic, but it can bring its own set of problems. It’s all too easy to get distracted, and before you know it your self-discipline and productivity have gone right down the pan!
We’re here with a host of tips and tricks to keep you on track with your work and preserve your sanity during self-isolation, as well as specific ideas on keeping your small business running during this uncertain time.
1. Create and Decorate Your Workspace
To separate your work and home life, you should find a separate workspace - ideally one with a door you can close on the rest of the family! A room of your own to work in will really help to define the boundary between work and private life and make it easier to transition into (and out of) work mode.
If you can’t have a separate room, try to designate a certain space in your home as an office instead, and ask other members of the household to be considerate of your space and work times.
Make sure you have all the things you need to work at home in your workspace so you don’t have to stop work to search for them. A potted plant or two will also help to cheer up your surroundings, as will inspiring or funny posters or memes.
2. Stand Up & Move
Exercise is important at any time, but especially now during self-isolation. Covid-19 may mean you can only get out of the house to exercise once a day, so getting up and moving around regularly while you are in the house will help keep your mind and body healthy.
Schedule breaks from time to time to get in a spot of exercise. There are some good short YouTube fitness videos you can work out with, or have a look at some of the at-home fitness apps around.
3. Set Goals
Working from home can mean the days start to blur into one another, so it’s important to set short or long-term goals to keep you focused.
You should set some small, achievable goals at the start of each day, even if it’s just to declutter your email inbox or computer hard drive. Set some long-term goals too, like researching how to adapt your business online, or the next steps you need to take to grow your business.
4. Keep Doing Your Routine
Keeping to a routine is one of the key strategies for successful home working. Get up at the same time every day, and stick to your normal working hours.
Getting dressed every workday helps your brain get into work mode instead of sit-around-in-pyjamas-and-watch-Netflix-all-day mode! It doesn’t have to be full business attire, but anything other than your onesie or dressing gown is a good choice.
5. Stay Healthy
It’s easy to eat junk when you’re working remotely, but you really need to try and eat healthily during this period of self-isolation. Try preparing healthy meals and snacks in advance so all you have to do during your workday is reheat in the oven or microwave.
6. How to Stay Productive Based on Your Industry
Small Brands & Businesses
COVID-19 and self-isolation may mean that you have an opportunity to rebrand your business and promote it online. You could create photos for online selling with sites like Magento, Shopify, eBay, Etsy, or WooCommerce, or through social media such as Facebook, Instagram or even TikTok by creating photos and videos. You could start a YouTube channel, podcasts, l or IGTV series too.
Ring lights like the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II Ring Light Complete Kit are ideal for shooting videos, while the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II 19" ring light kit is a good choice for shooting flat lays, filming, and live streaming.
If you want a product photography kit for retail, you can achieve professional results with the Spectrum 23" Product & Food Photography Lighting 'WORK HUSTLE' Table Kit.
Fitness Gurus or Yoga Instructors
If you’re a personal trainer or fitness instructor, why not try streaming your fitness sessions?
This is a great way to get your students involved in classes while they are at home, and you can create photos and videos for Instagram, YouTube, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, etc. You can also make great images or videos for Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace, or other business websites or blogs you have.
You’ll need a good-quality and versatile lighting setup for this, like the Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe II LED Ring Light or the Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe II Complete Makeup and Beauty Studio ring light softbox Photo and Video Lighting Kit.
Lighting your workout space couldn’t be easier, but if you’re not sure of where to place the ring light and softbox combo, here’s a diagram:
Teachers or Online Mentor
If you’re involved in teaching or mentoring, you can set up a virtual classroom for your students by teaching on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Skype.
There’s a range of different lighting options that would suit home schooling or mentoring on a diverse range of platforms like Udemy, Google Hangouts, Video conferencing, Free Conference, Jitsi CISCO Webex Meetings, YouTube, or Vimeo, etc.
Lighting choices include the Spectrum Aurora LED Firefly Diamond-Luxe Ring Light that can be attached to your laptop over the camera for even and flattering lighting.
The Pro LED Lighting 'Skype' Video Conferencing Desk Lighting Kit is ideal for any type of video conferencing and live streaming, as is the Spectrum Aurora 14" Mini Pearl II LED Ring Light Kit.
The Skype lighting kit is easy to position for the best light, as shown in the lighting diagram:
If you’re in the beauty biz, then you can film/Livestream hair and makeup tutorials with the Pro Makeup & Beauty 13" Lighting Portable LED Kit - "SLAY LIGHT" or the Youtube & Beauty 19" Pro Ring Light & LED panel Kit - Gold Luxe II.
These lighting kits are great for beauty tutorials, YouTube, influencer video/photos, portfolio shots, Instagram posts, Facebook posts, Pinterest or Snapchat.
If you’re a makeup artist, hair stylist, lash and brow specialist, run a beauty salon or have an online website, why not maximize your online presence by creating before and after images or tutorials for people to follow along at home.
Here’s a diagram of how to set up the Youtube and Beauty 3-point lighting kit to get the best results:
Why not turn your home into your photography studio space? You don’t need a huge budget or large area to use our lighting kits, like the Spectrum-PRO 10" Eclipse LED ring light or the Spectrum Photography Lighting 'STARTUP FASHION LOOKBOOK' Kit.
These kits are great for flat lay photography, fashion lookbook, portraiture, product photography, pet photography, family photography, collaborations, editorials, etc.
For a slick, professional look, you can choose from our wide colour range of photography backdrops, and you’ll need a backdrop stand like the Spectrum Professional Photography Studio Background Backdrop Stand Kit to safely hold your backdrop.
If you’re looking for a good lighting diagram for fashion, here’s one that will work with the Startup Fashion Lookbook Kit or any double softbox setup:
Hospitality (Bars, Cafes, Restaurants, etc.)
You may not be able to open up to the public during the pandemic, but you can update your food menus, take great food photos for your blog or online food delivery service (like Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Grab, and Take Away).
Food photography can be difficult, so why not make it easier with a professional-spec food photography lighting kit, like the Pro 'Foodie' 60cm Studio Food Photography Table & Led Lighting Kit, or the 23" Product & Food Photography Lighting 'WORK HUSTLE' Table Kit.
Food and product photography tables are a great help, and it’s easy to set up the lighting you need, like in this diagram of the Pro Foodie Photography Table and LED Lighting Kit:
Coronavirus won’t last forever, but while we’re working through this, don’t forget to keep in touch with family and friends through video calls and messaging. Talking to others helps keep you and them mentally and emotionally healthy, and one bright spot in this pandemic is that many folks are reconnecting with loved ones in a deeper way than before.
Stay safe, and stay positive!