With the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many companies are mobilising to allow employees to work from home.
However, after interacting with colleagues for eight hours a day, working from home is a massive change which can present new challenges for many of us.
Here are some general tips to help you look after yourself and keep productive during this time.
- Establish a new routine
Creating a daily routine while working at home can help you stay focused, balanced and feel productive.
Set in place one or two things you do each morning to signal you are starting your working day. For example, sit down with a cup of coffee and map out your schedule – identify the tasks to achieve as well as the times you’ll take breaks.
It is also just as important to have an activity that signals the end of the working day as it is easy to let the two blur when working from home.
- Don’t work on the lounge
Trying to work from bed or sitting on the lounge is not conducive to being productive. It also doesn’t signal to the mind or body – it’s time to work.
Create a space in your home that’s dedicated to working. Consider one with natural light, enough space to spread out and an area that limits distractions – especially if you are a parent with school age children at home.
It is also important to find a chair and table combination that is comfortable enough to sit at for several hours.
- Connect, connect, connect
One of the most challenging parts to working at home is the isolation. In an office environment we may stop to have a chat on our way to grab a coffee or get something off the printer. It is also easier to seek clarification and build collaboration when we’re working side by side.
When working remotely, it is important to schedule regular team meetings as well as reaching out to create impromptu, short and informal ones.
Having virtual coffee catch ups and lunches is also a great way to maintain camaraderie. While you may feel hesitant to initiate contact, you might just help a colleague or friend who is feeling particularly isolated or anxious.
Aim for at least two conversations with someone else each day.
- Utilise your commuting time
As you won’t be commuting to work, you will have extra time in your day and nothing to motivate you to leave the house.
Build in some physical exercise into your schedule and to get out into the open air. Call a friend for a chat and stroll up and down your driveway while you talk.
This not only introduces physical activity but will help feel connected.
- Be kind
This is a time of great uncertainty and it is going to have an impact on how each and every one of us think and feel about ourselves and our world.
Acknowledging when you feel frightened, frustrated or angry can take some of the power out of these and is queue to take a break and refocus.
It is also helpful to limit the amount of media, social and other wise, that you access. Most importantly and beneficially – be kind to others.
Showing empathy supports others during these trying times shifts negative emotions within yourself into more positive and empowering ones.