10 WAYS TO STAY SANE WHEN WORKING FROM HOME
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing numbers of office workers are now being told to stay at home.
For those who aren’t used to working from home, it can be difficult to adjust to this new-found freedom/isolation.
This guide offers 10 tried-and-tested ways for home-based workers to stay productive.
On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organisation officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. Those of us who are lucky enough to be able to work from home are being told to do so in increasing numbers by our employers, and a handful of coworking operators are shutting up shop temporarily to help mitigate and contain the pandemic.
Despite the circumstances, the prospect of working from home might be quite exciting for newbies to the scene. But those of us who have spent many a minute (nay, hour) battling the urge to put the kettle on for the tenth time will tell you: it’s not always all it’s cut out to be.
Help, however, is at hand in the form of the following tried and tested tidbits of advice.
1. Stick to a routine
As tempting as it is to have an extended lie-in and just “work a bit later”, try not to. Wake up at the usual time, take a shower, and get dressed for the day. This will help you to maintain a work-life balance and prevent you from being caught off guard in your pajamas on that all-important conference call. (Failing that, wear PJ bottoms and business attire on top.)
2. Have a nice breakfast
The dregs of a box of Coco Pops followed by a flimsy piece of toast at 11 am will not suffice.
To survive to work from home, you need sustenance. Think porridge with fruit and honey, granola with yogurt, eggs benedict… the fancier the better.
Might as well spend that commuting time wisely.
3. Get some exercise
It’s really easy to feel stagnant when working from home, so this one is really important. Try to integrate some form of movement into your work from home days. Unless you’re ill of course, in which case you should be resting at home, not working from home.
Yoga with Adriene is a go-to for many remote workers – it’s free, fun, and accessible.
4. Be comfortable
Make the most of the lack of dress code and dress as comfortably as possible. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to dress casually if you don’t want to. Some remote workers prefer to don office wear because it puts them in the right headspace for work.
5. Let the light in
It’s a pandemic, not the Blitz. Open up those blinds and let the light in. Science tells us you'll feel better and more productive for it.
6. Stock up (but don’t stockpile)
When working from home, there’s nothing worse than getting to lunchtime, and realizing all you’ve got left in the fridge is a wizened stick of celery and a moldy cabbage.
Make sure your fridge and cupboards are stocked with healthy lunch ingredients for the week ahead. But don’t take it too far by stockpiling: a single loaf of bread, some fillings, a bag of easy peelers, and a packet of biscuits is fine. Promise.
7. Call a friend or colleague
Staying in touch with friends and coworkers can help alleviate feelings of loneliness. Instant messaging platforms like Slack enable remote teams to collaborate and stay in the loop.
8. Switch off socials
It can be hard to focus on all the new memes and fake news stories flying about. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break from social media and check a reputable news source a couple of times a day for updates. Work can actually be a welcome distraction.
9. Have an “escape route”
Not a literal escape route, but a mental one. Find something else to occupy your mind when you’re taking a break (that isn’t pottering aimlessly around the house, putting a wash on or reading the divisive comments on the latest news story).
Use this time as an opportunity to reconnect with something you enjoy, such as:
Discovering new music
10. Cut yourself some slack
Working from home takes some getting used to so don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s normal to feel a bit unproductive and “blurgh” at times and you should forgive yourself if you don’t get as much done as you’d hoped. There’s always tomorrow!
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