Unprecedented advice from companies and governments has led to the shut down of theatres, shops, airlines, offices and even country borders in a bid to lessen the effect of the Coronavirus (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public).
This has led to a companies shift their whole workforce from company offices to working from their comfort of their own homes.
This brings its own set of challenges for people who are used to the strict routine of office life leaving many asking the question, How do you cope with working from home?
Firstly don’t panic, it can be done and very successfully. Using data from 2018 (https://www.thehrdirector.com/business-news/health-and-wellbeing/four-million-working-from-home/) 4.2 million people work regularly work from home in roles from Virtual Assistants to Graphic Designers and flexible Office Workers to Chief Execs and CEO’s.
5 Top Tps
In response to the question how do you cope with working from home here are my 5 top tips:-
1) Get Dressed Like You Would For Work
This helps gets you in the mindset that you are going to do some work and not just potter round the house as though it is your day off.
So put on your usual work attire whether it is your choice of clothing or an employer’s uniform.
Then you are ready to start the day.
2) Keep a schedule and make sure others respect it
Create a plan and let people know when you are working and when they can contact you for a chat. Set up a Focus Zone in your own home (https://helpwithadmin.com/focus-zone/) where you can concentrate on important tasks with no distractions and do some deep work to keep your in-tray down.
To keep your spirits up tick off things on your list when you have completed them.
3) Create and maintain a real workspace
As it could be for the long haul (there is talk of people having to isolate for months) set up a proper workplace. Not the end of the sofa or a place on the floor. Clear some area of a table and lay out your paperwork and tools and make it a work only area so work papers do not get mixed up with the tv times or your latest book from Amazon.
It is hard to concentrate if you are spending all your energy trying not to fall off the arm of the settee.
4) Make sure there’s plenty of light in your workspace
With all the guidance around of self-isolating it may feel the only option is to lock yourself away and wait till things get better. But we are only just coming in to spring and there are still dark and fairly short days which can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorders (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/) so even if you are not going out, open all the curtains, turn on your light switches and get as much light as you can in to the areas you are working.
5) Don’t spend all of your working time at home
RestAlthough it is a good thing that working from home you do not have to stick rigidly to the 9 to 5 office hours so if there is an urgent task you can start a bit earlier and finish a bit later make sure you do not burn yourself out.
Even at home take mini breaks such as a 10 min break for every hour you have spent on your PC, don’t forget to have a real lunch break and keep hydrated at all times.
Keep In Touch
This is the age of Mobile phones, Messenger, Whatsapp, Tiktok and all the other forms of communication so don’t forget to use them and check in with family and friends to keep spirits up.
You may have to self-isolate but it’s still good to talk.