Working from Home During the Covid-19 Lockdown
If you are typically office based and not used to working from home, it can be quite a daunting experience. You quite likely have family members such as young kids, teenagers, elderly parents and possibly even animals that need to be entertained. Suddenly work life and home life have been intermingled and your normal routine is in the far distant past.
Unfortunately, the crisis is here for a while and it is crucial we all play our part by following the government guidelines. As difficult as this may be, there are a few things we can do to try to maintain some level of normality.
The most important thing you need is a dedicated space that you use for your work. This is a space that you can go to and treat as your work zone. It may be a spare bedroom, a study or converted attic space, or if you are lucky enough an outdoor office space in your garden. You need to be away from the distractions of normal family activity around you. Your family members will also appreciate this as the last thing they need is to be tiptoeing around you the whole time.
Aside from having a dedicated work zone, it is also important to structure your day and treat each day as a normal workday. Start at a set time and allocate regular times for breaks and for lunch just like you would in your office environment. If your family see you following this pattern, they will grow into your routine with you. When you take breaks, nip out into the garden for some air with your cup of coffee. Check in with the kids and family and when ready, get back to whatever you are working on. It is important to also finish up at a regular time, walk away from your work zone and get back to the family environment as best you can.
Eating regular meals and staying hydrated will also help you to cope with what can be quite a disruptive change to your normal routine. Regular exercise will also help, even if its just a brisk walk within the guidelines for social distancing and exercise.
In your work zone, try to have a comfortable office chair similar to what you might use in your office under normal circumstances. Please don’t borrow one of those stiff uncomfortable spare chairs from the kitchen. You cannot sit on one of these for 8 hours a day and not expect discomfort. It would also help to have a good workspace with enough space for your computer and accessories. You don’t want to be balancing your laptop on a chair while you work. We want to create an environment that will sustain us for the length of this lockdown. A space that will allow us to work in comfort.
The other important thing is to not allow every day to become the same. Have you asked yourself what day it is at any point? If so, you need to make sure you don’t get sucked into working 7 days and just getting into the habit of being glued to the computer. Try to do a regular Monday to Friday schedule and make sure you switch off over the weekends and evenings.
Avoid having the TV on in the background while you work. If you want to catchup on the news or watch an episode of your favourite box set, take a break, and revert into the family zone. It can be nice to have some music playing on Spotify or iTunes in the background while you work if it is not going to be a distraction.
In terms of mindset, it is important to start each day as a normal workday. This includes dressing comfortably and putting yourself in that mental space of going to work. It is best to avoid falling out of bed and jumping straight onto the computer. If you are used to commuting, then by all means take advantage of the extra time in the mornings. Sleep a little longer if you wish, but when you wake up, go about your day with intent. Eat your normal breakfast, do your exercise if that’s what you normally do, get dressed and go to work. Do you want to be that person on the Teams call in the shorts and T-Shirt who looks like they just rolled out of bed?
We want to avoid a Groundhog Day existence during this lockdown!
Working from Home Essentials – https://bit.ly/3a6GoSW
Covid-19 Essentials – https://bit.ly/2xmDV9F