Working from home seems to be the future, or at least the foreseeable future.
While some welcome the new working regime, others yearn for the hustle and bustle of the City, and even shoving ourselves on the Central line on a Monday morning seems like a familiar comfort we didn’t realise we’d miss (or is that a step too far?).
Although working from home seems to be a new normal for most companies, a lot of employees are not set up to work this way. Some of us are cradling laptops on our sofa, desperately trying to concentrate while our children clamber over us craving attention, while others get distracted by clearing out that cupboard with god knows what in there! How are we going to make this work for another one, two, maybe even three months?
We believe the answer is routine! With a routine you will be able to envisage how much work you will realistically be able to complete without feeling riddled with guilt that you aren’t giving 100% of your attention to work, kids, your partner, or even that sad little cactus in the corner that is looking sadder by the day. Here are some simple tips to help keep things afloat and one’s sanity!
1. Set that routine! Get yourself up at the same time you normally would for work, but before you read those emails or watch another dispiriting news piece, do something to start your day off nicely! Whether this is locking yourself in the bathroom for that extra 15 mins away from the kids or taking a brisk morning jog, do it!
2. Don’t expect too much of yourself! Whether you’re working from home with or without kids, don’t set yourself an unrealistic list of tasks to do out of guilt. Only set yourself the tasks that you can realistically complete and communicate this to your boss/clients/colleagues. Remember, this time, we are all in this together!
3. At the risk of sounding like your mother, eat well! It’s easy when working from home not to take a lunch break and opt for the sweeter treats, but now more than ever eating well is important. Not only does nutritious food provide us with brain fuel, it also gives our immune system a boost to help fight off any unwelcome demon virus which tries to step through our door!
4. Facetime, Zoom, Houseparty, Whatsapp…whatever works for you! Let’s use all this technology we have readily available (sorry technophobes) to stay connected and keep in touch. Working from home can get pretty lonely at times, so a friendly face can make all the difference. Be kind and check your colleagues are thriving and not just surviving in this bizarre time.
5. Stretch. Those. Legs. I know not all of us enjoy the outdoors (some of us only enjoy the outdoor…beer gardens) but to keep your endorphins replenished you must keep moving (while we still can). And they say, the best ideas come when you step away from work!
6. Make sure, just as you would in your office, you start and finish work within your contracted hours. It is easy to just let it run on and on, eating into precious family or essential relaxing time for the brain, but if we are all going to be in our confined spaces for the foreseeable future, it is important we separate our work from our recreational activities appropriately.
Finally, try to remain positive, keep at it, walk, run, laugh, cry – we will get through this!