Many of us have now been working from home for some time. Some of us may have a dedicated work station, and some of us may be creating space on the kitchen counter. Every job is different and the amount you’re able to achieve will vary between job types and home distractions, but there are some key strategies to working from home that may be useful:
Stick with your routine
Besides your commute, your morning routine should not look much different to your normal one. Wake up at your normal time, shower and get dressed. This will help you mentally prepare for the day ahead and get into the “I’m going to work” mindset. Try to keep a schedule and plan your day out. You could create a “to-do” list or an “achievements” list, it is helpful to plan for the next day or week and this will keep your mind set on a target.
Create a work space
It may be tempting to stay in bed or head to the sofa, but it is important for your body posture (and mind) to have a proper station, much like your own desk at the office. It will also help you avoid distractions and leave your work behind at the end of the day. You can find further information on setting up your workspace and a DSE assessment form on the Health & Safety pages on The Hub.
Don’t just sit there…
If you’ve gained an extra hour or two from not commuting, it’s a good opportunity to exercise, either by going for a walk outside or working out inside of your home. A lunchtime walk can also help make you feel like you’re not stuck inside all day. If you are sitting down all day make sure to stand up regularly to stretch or move around.
Get some fresh air
Open your windows to let in as much natural daylight and fresh air as possible, take short walks if you live in an unpopulated area – be sure to wash your hands as soon as you return home.
Stay connected with your colleagues
It’s a good idea to set up regular check-ins via phone or Skype. Create Skype chat groups and send a message each day to your colleagues about a goal you’ve accomplished. This is a good incentive for others to pursue their goals and keeps you all focused and organised.
Consider opening up to your colleagues about how you are feeling and coping with the current situation. Everyone is going through something similar and acknowledging that can help you to support each other.
Fight the urge to multitask
It can be overwhelming being in the house all day – the cleaning guilt could begin and you may feel pressure to catch up on chores. There is nothing wrong with taking a little break and putting on a load of washing, but don’t let the pressure of chores distract you from being productive – allocate some time to each.
If you have kids, prepare for disruptions
It’s difficult to get work done if you have children at home, but it is not impossible if you plan ahead and have some flexibility. Here are some top tips:
- Explain the situation – if your children are old enough to understand the impact that coronavirus is having on your day-to-day life, explain it to them. You may find that they are more understanding towards your current working situation.
- Mix up your hours – if your job allows for it, try to squeeze in work when your children are asleep or occupied, like early morning, nap time and at night. It is not ideal, but you’ll be more productive, are likely to achieve more (important for your own wellbeing) and feel less conflicted if you have quiet time to yourself.
- Get help if you can – If you can co-parent, take turns between watching the kids and working and agree a plan. It’s a new routine and will take some adjustment. When you are working, try to work in a separate room or area so your kids don’t know you’re there or know that you are working and are able to give you some space.
- Try new activities – time consuming projects like crafts, stickers, puzzles and lego, are sure to buy you some time.
Take time for you
Be kind to yourself – don’t judge how you are coping compared to others. It is perfectly fine to have ‘off’ days. Switch off and try something else instead. Remember to reward yourself for tasks that you do complete.
- Work Life Support – Health Assured your Employee Assistance Programme
- Physical Health & Musculoskeletal – Health Assured your Employee Assistance Programme
- Every Mind Matters – free plans, expert advice and practical tips
- TED Talks – Make Stress Your Friend