I’m lucky that sometimes I can work from home and find that it can be a very productive, enjoyable even! Not only do I get more actual work done, but I also seem to be able to fit in the washing, changing sheets and fix something that’s been nagging me for ages. However, whilst occasional is fine, long term and for an indefinite period, I do seem to find more difficult.
I have to remind myself, sometimes twice a day, what day it is! Whilst I am not getting any younger (and today might actually be my birthday, I thank you) it does seem strange, but then these are strange times!
There is loads of advice now about working from home, including mental health issues, but yeah, right! That’s not me!
Actually, it might be...
Everything has so suddenly changed that some people now find the lack of the usual routine difficult to get on with. The lack of office banter, now having to make your own cuppa or just having general background noise to your day.
However, those that haven’t been furloughed and are now lucky enough to work remotely, then you might find the following helpful:
Set up your workspace
Get your workspace set up as best as you can. Don’t perch on a coffee table next to the sofa and in front of the TV, these are not good long term solutions. Try and find/make some space in another room, or a corner of a room that now becomes your workspace.
Try to avoid interruptions
If you share a house with family or housemates, then set some rules – you are not to be disturbed! Parents with children might find this difficult but everybody is now very understanding if there’s the occasional child noise in the background – it shows that you are juggling life but still willing to help and work!
Keep in touch with colleagues
If you work with other colleagues then it is vital that you set up a WhatsApp group or similar. This is for office banter and should be allowed whenever, same as your normal level of banter so that people can chat and keep those important work relationships going.
Routine is key
Set yourself a new routine - you can no longer make the tea round for everyone as usual at 11.30 every day (I was so good at doing that…) But include doing things like the washing up and so on as part of that routine – you will get so much done, work and home, and feel such a good sense of achievement!
Take regular breaks
I’ve said to all my staff that if they need to go for a walk (on their own or with a family member of course) to just get a break and fresh air then do – does not matter what time so they don’t have to wait for their lunchbreak - but do let others know that’s what you are doing.
Don't consume too much negative content
Try and avoid the news and also social media whilst working. There’s so much repetitiveness in the news that is will have a negative effect on you. Likewise, social media is full of “my neighbour’s friend whose Dad works for a big scientific company says that his best friend from school’s niece has a really good friend who knows someone who has categorically said that this is all fake and there’s no problem – AND their cat AND dog agrees.”
If you are feeling down, then talk to someone! Everyone is in this together. If you're are struggling with balancing work for any reason then talk to your manager, they will be able to help you through these strange times.
Whatever your situation is right now, just stay safe and positive – we’ve got this!!!