Personal video calls with family and friends are great as you can pretty much be in your PJs and no one will bat an eyelid but work calls are another matter. It’s still important to look presentable even if people can only see you via a tiny square. So while you can be wearing your fave fluffy slippers and tracksuit pants on the bottom, your top is another story. You need to look business ready up north so it’s a great idea to have a few comfy, yet polished tops that you can quickly throw on when it’s time to jump on a call.
While working from home outfits are largely about staying comfortable, I think it’s still possible to achieve that and maintain an element of polish to most of your ensembles. And your choice of top is an easy way to do that. Think man style button down shirts, cosy knits that are made for snuggling in, wrap tops or simple long-sleeved tees with statement details like a subtle puffed sleeve or ruffle. These are great for wearing when you’re jumping on a call but are appropriate for being in WFH mode.
I’ve rounded up a few great options for you to check out, and there are some gorgeous picks at every price point. And yes, you’ll definitely be able to transition these tops to the office once everything is back to normal so you’re guaranteed to get plenty of wear out of them.
Shop my edit of work-appropriate video call tops below.
With social distancing rules in place we face a much different Easter this year. There are no big family gatherings or going away for the weekend, as we’re all asked to stay in our homes and minimise contact with others. Given kids generally look forward to this time of year (particularly the chocolate!), why not try to maintain as many of the traditions that you can, or alternatively start new ones. Embrace the Easter egg hunt, take a ‘trip’ and still partake in a gorgeous family lunch (albeit virtually), and enjoy this time of year.
Have a virtual family Easter lunch
Just because we can’t enjoy big family gatherings right now doesn’t mean you can’t still maintain the tradition of having Easter lunch with family. Simply co-ordinate a set time to sit down for a meal, pop everyone on a video call and have the next best thing to having everyone sitting around the table.
Arrange an Easter egg hunt
There’s definitely no rule saying you can’t do Easter egg hunts so go ahead and embrace this tradition. Stock up on plenty of eggs, arm the kids with their own baskets and set them loose. Note: if you find really good hiding spots this could keep them occupied for awhile…
Join the rest of the world in totally and utterly embracing all things baking right now. There are endless recipes to try, particularly with kids, but if you’re going to maintain the Easter spirit why not try baking your own hot cross buns?
Arts and crafts
A quick Google search will unearth more than enough craft projects to keep the kids entertained for the long weekend. From bunny hats to baskets and baby chicks, you’ll have more than enough to occupy the little ones in your life, and also inject a little extra Easter spirit into your home.
Go indoor camping
If you can’t go away over Easter as you usually would, why not go on a ‘trip’ anyway? The novelty factor of being able to sleep somewhere different is something we all enjoy so why not just set up camp in the backyard or indoors. Bring plenty of snacks, watch movies and do something to break up your daily routine. This is one activity kids will particularly enjoy.
Set up an indoor picnic
What kid doesn’t love a picnic? Prepare a picnic lunch, pop a rug in the living room or outdoors and enjoy a picnic as you normally would, but with the convenience of not actually having to leave your home.
If there’s one thing I make a point of doing when working from home it’s that I still try to make an effort to dress up in outfits that I love. Not to say I don’t love being in my cosiest, softest pieces but as I’ve said here, there’s something about actually putting on a proper outfit and getting dressed that helps me get into the right frame of mind to power through my to-do list. So here’s what I’ve worn over the last few days.
Who else can’t live without a great pair of jeans right now? I have had this Camilla and Marc pair forever and they’re so comfortable and hold their shape really well. I decided to pop an earthy Bec and Bridge chocolate top on as I wanted to wear a warm autumnal shade and finished it off with a pair of fun AJE statement earrings.
Credits: Top, Bec and Bridge; Jeans (similar here), Camilla and Marc; Earrings, AJE
Whenever I’m feeling a bit flat wearing a bit of colour always helps so I thought why not wear a pastel yellow today? Also dresses are such a comfortable option to wear all day so it was a no-brainer. The sweet smocking and puffed sleeves also added a nice feminine touch. Topped it all off with a statement necklace because why not?
I wanted to get a bit more dressed up today. because I had a few conference calls to do so this ultra cute pink suit was the ideal option. I’m still embracing suiting when the WFH circumstances call for it, and this suit as an added bonus is really quite light and perfect for work. Also who else loves the longline silhouette of this Manning Cartell jacket? It’s such a great cut and is perfect when worked back with denim too. I wore these Camilla and Marc heels because, well, frankly I just really wanted to wear them.
I wanted to squeeze in a workout today and was also going to be spending a large chunk of my time with the girls in between working so activewear seemed the ideal option. The beauty of this Camilla and Marc set is that it’s such a sleek design it makes you feel like you’re not really wearing activewear. I wore this bum bag by P.E Nation when I had to duck out to pick up something from the shops, and have also had my Huawei FreeBuds handy at all times because it means I can make calls and listen to music throughout the day unencumbered.
Having had my own business for several years now I usually split my time between an office in the city and my home office to work. Given current circumstances I’ve had to re-assess my current work space at home to make sure it’s conducive for working from home for the forseeable future. And as the girls are currently home with us, it’s been important to ensure that my work space is set up to maximise productivity in the bursts of time I do get to sit down at my desk and power through my to-do list. Here’s what I’ve done to ensure I’ve got a functional space I actually want to spend time in.
Allocate a designated work area
Last year I took over a spare bedroom in our home to use as an office, before that I was working wherever I could pop my laptop down. I’ve noticed a difference in how it affected my productivity. Now that I’ve got a designated spot to sit it helps get me into work mode. However it wasn’t having an office that did this but the fact I finally had one assigned place I associated with working. So whether it’s your kitchen table or another room, try allocating a particular spot to work from and consider it your office for the next few months.
Look for good lighting
I’ve found good lighting is so important because there’s nothing worse than squinting at a screen because the light is too bright or not bright enough. If you can, try and set up near the best source of natural light in your home. If that’s not possible make sure that you’ve got a good overheard light or lamp to provide adequate illumination.
Get rid of clutter
I did a major decluttering session to help set up my office and it was really useful in ensuring that I had a clean desk space, free of unnecessary junk to work at. I find having too many things around is really distracting and having an area that’s free of clutter helps to get me into the right productive frame of mind.
Have comfortable seating
Having a good chair is crucial. If you’re going to be working for several hours in the one spot find yourself the most comfortable chair, with appropriate support in your home possible. You don’t want to find that you’ve done your back in after sitting in a bad chair for months.
Have the office basics covered to ensure you’re functional
One thing about working in an office is that there’s a steady supply of stationery and equipment to ensure that you can do your job. Try and emulate that as much as possible at home so you’re not scrambling for a notepad when you’re on a call with a client or your screen is just a fraction too low and it’s starting to get massively uncomfortable. Assess your space, see what you need and try to have those supplies around where possible.
Lots of organisational tools
I’ve found it’s so much easier to keep things ordered when I’ve got the appropriate organisational tools handy. Think storage boxes, folders, trays… all these things ensure that I’ve got a spot to put everything and I don’t have things just floating on my desk taking up space.
Dot your space with things you love
This is the fun part! It was important to me that my office had personality. So I’ve decorated with prints that I love, furniture that I find aesthetically pleasing and touches like a vase of flowers or snacks at the ready. This all inspires me to spend time in my work space, but of course it’s different for everyone. Curate your own space according to the things that motivate you and inspire you.
I’ve always tried to stay active in whatever way I can and recently I’ve been doing group fitness training with David McIlwaine of Fit4Dreams and Mum Squad. Now that that option is on pause for awhile I’ve been trying to figure out effective ways that I can still work out from home, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that regard. Recently I asked David to share his tips for keeping exercise a part of my daily routine, and here’s what he said.
Why is it important to keep on top of your fitness regimen during this time?
“Training is a great way to feel like you have done something for yourself.
With so much happening from day to day and conditions changing at every turn it can be really stressful. It’s easy to feel like things are out of your control and that can take a toll.
Once you have done a good workout though, you have done something positive for yourself. Nothing can take that away from you and it gives you strength to take things in your stride knowing you have done what you can to stay #fit2fight.”
If you’re stuck indoors, with limited or no equipment at all, what are some of the best workout moves you can do?
“When you’re stuck indoors with limited or no equipment at all, it’s hard to beat the classics.
Exercises like push-ups, lunges, squats, the plank and sit-ups are great.
On top of that, you can use a chair to work on the backs of your arms with tricep dips or stand on cushions or close your eyes to introduce a balance challenge to your squats or lunges.
If you’re starting out, you might like to begin doing push-ups on your knees and then build up to doing them on your toes.
As you get stronger you can prop your feet up on a cushion to lift them up as you take on the push-up position and make it hard to balance as you lower your chest to the floor. This really really encourages you to engage your core as you do your push-ups.”
What are your suggestions for a workout routine that can be done outdoors if you’re lucky enough to have a backyard to work out in?
“If you’ve got a backyard you can designate a workout zone on either side.
Then you can run between them.
So you might start with 24 push-ups on one side of the lawn, run to the other side and back and then do 20.
You repeat that going down by 4 push-ups at a time ie 24,20,16,12, 8 & 4.
That means you’ll be running across the yard 6 times. You can use that as your exercise system and just change the exercises or the repetitions and if you want to make it harder you can mix it up a little.
Try running up and back across the yard to double the distance.”
What if people want to up the intensity?
“Lie down and get up again on the turn around and see how much harder the exercises are when you get to them.
Remember when you add the extra run, you just do your exercise on one side and the lie down and get up on the other.
Once you finish that you call it your first round and take a minutes rest.
Then you can do it with the plank with say a 24 sec hold then 20, 16, 12, 8 & 4 second hold to finish. Running across the yard and back in between each.
If you’re looking for an even higher level challenge when you finish your plank you can jump two feet at a time across the lawn instead of running. This will really get your heart racing.
You can also try lunging across the yard, do 24 squat jumps when you get to the end and then run across the yard and back, ready to lunge across the yard again and do a set of 20 squat jumps. You keep doing that and reduce your squat jumps by 4 at a time.
As you get fitter, you start reducing the set of exercise by 2 at a time or even double the number for each set..
Then to finish off the workout you can sprint across the yard and back twice and then add in different stomach exercises while you’re still puffing from your run.
Just sprint across the yard twice and get straight down and do:
How can people adapt their workouts so they can still get a good workout at home?
“You might just concentrate on doing more or lifting heavier weight when there is lots to gain in doing every exercise properly and to the best of your ability. So much improvement will come from being able to concentrate on the details of your exercise because it’s easier to focus on that when you are on your own at home.”
What are your suggestions for ways people can keep moving right now?
“Some easy simple suggestions keep moving during the current coronavirus restrictions are:
walking on the soft sand at the beach
going for a ride
running on the soft sand at the beach.
doing some stair repeats or
finding a nice steep hill to run up.
Fit4Dreams is still doing personal training sessions at this time but also they have just launched group sessions online. If you’d like more information or to sign up you can email David at [email protected] or give him a call on 0414 138 778.