Remote Working: Optimising Your Work Day While Working From Home


In the past year we have seen an exponential growth in demand for training in the areas of Resilience, Wellbeing, Communication and Mindset, with the pandemic accelerating the need for individuals and teams to build and develop new skills to adapt to the new ways of working.


As the virus spread and country after country began to shut down, our business was faced with a pivotal sink or swim moment. We were used to travelling from place to place to deliver in-person training and coaching events, and one by one these events were getting cancelled. We quickly scrambled to deliver each of our programmes online, and what started with basic home studio zoom calls soon turned into a €10,000 investment in new technologies, a new team of staff dedicated to delivering online programmes and our office converted into a full-time filming studio.


What we have learned is how drastically the pandemic has transformed the way organisations and teams operate, communicate and collaborate. Remote and hybrid-working is here to stay, and leaders and teams alike need to learn how to adapt and redesign their ways of working if they want to thrive in the post-pandemic world.


It is not surprising that currently our best-selling programme currently is our new Hybrid & Remote Working Programme, a game-changing 10-week course aimed at elevating the performance of teams and leaders in a hybrid-working world. The programme teaches teams how to work smarter, adapt and thrive through lessons in leadership, wellbeing, mindset, resilience and communication in a virtual working world.


Even after the rollout of the much-anticipated vaccine, the 9-5 office life might never be the same again. While some might adopt a blended approach of a few days working remotely and a few working in the office, remote work is here to stay. At McNulty we don’t believe in having a work-life balance. The reality is that we have a work-life blend. This involves integrating non-work related activities into your daily work schedule. In order for this to be sustainable we must be flexible in how we navigate this new world of work. Now is the time to be proactive and take control of your work day so that you can optimise your performance and take care of your health and wellbeing simultaneously.


Set yourself up for success by implementing some of our top tips below!


Stay Connected


People are feeling lonelier than ever as we miss those casual chats by the coffee machine. Make sure you are still checking in with your team before getting down to business. Schedule a 1:1 or a virtual coffee with one of your team with no agenda other than to check in and see how they are doing. Perhaps consider planning a virtual team activity to bring some fun back to the “office”. There are tons of options now for online cooking tutorials, painting with prosecco, online team building and more.


Sick of video calls? Why not schedule a walk and talk over the phone instead of yet another video call. Keep it interesting by using different forms of communication where possible.


Stick to a Schedule


Book end your day with a morning and evening activity. This time would have previously been spent commuting and is a good way to signal to your brain that your workday is starting or ending. It is also a great opportunity to get some exercise, catch up on reading or calling a loved one. It’s important to have a work cut-off point: finish your workday at a set time and try to avoid checking emails until you start work the next day.


Fatigued by meeting mania? Take 5-10 minutes between meetings by scheduling 25- or 50-minute meetings.


Have a Dedicated Workspace


Dedicate an area in your home specifically for work activities. If possible, this space should have plenty of natural light and ideally separate from where you sleep. Working in your bedroom can have a negative impact on your sleep quality. Avoid working in your bedroom. Your room is a place for rest; if you bring your work into that space, your brain associates it with productivity which can disrupt your sleep. If you do have to work in your bedroom, consider making boundaries – use a room divider or a bookshelf to create a separate workspace.


Get Outside and Disconnect


Schedule time in your day to get outdoors for at least one hour during daylight and disconnect from technology. One thing we have noticed over the last couple of months at McNulty is how many of our clients get little or no exposure to daylight. People start and finish work in darkness.  Ideally, get outside before lunch, exposure to natural light early in the day will help improve the quality of your sleep. Aim to spend a minimum of 60 minutes outside. Fresh air gives us more energy and mental focus, and helps to destress the body and mind.


Fuel and Hydrate for Performance


Eat real food – try to stick to single ingredient foods. Swap out the granola bar for a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. Opt for fresh vegetables instead of a readymade meal. Good nutrition increases cognitive performance and results in people who are happier, more engaged, and more creative at work.


Stay hydrated – drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, and always keep a water bottle close by while you work. Dehydration can lead to lower productivity and challenges in focus, decision-making and reaction.


Move Every Day


Movement is great way to get your brain fired up and improve mental agility. Movement increases energy, reduces stress, and calms the mind and body. Research shows that exercise may stimulate the production of brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, which energize and elevate mood [Chaouloff, 1989]


Step challenges are great but walking by itself is not a sufficient level of physical activity for those of us who spend the majority of our day sitting. Integrate mini breaks during your day, try to perform simple stretches or bodyweight exercises in between meetings. Daily movement is critical for health and wellbeing not to mention it will reduce risk of injury and help to improve posture. There is an abundance of home workout content online, find an activity you enjoy and make time for it every day.


If you would like to learn more about our Hybrid & Remote Working Programmes, please reach out to



Published: 15 February 2021