The past few weeks have seen a fundamental shift in the working environment for many people across the globe due to COIVD-19. Whilst we had previously seen a rise in flexible working, this has now been accelerated to protect the population with vast numbers now working from home. The idea of working from home might have its positives for many, but actually adapting to this new style can be tricky for some as it can present a challenge to the work-life balance and your wellbeing if not handled correctly. To make the most of the situation and protect your wellbeing consider the below to make sure your time working in isolation is a success.
Create a designated working space
One of the first and most productive steps is to take some time creating your new working environment. Choose a specific area or room to work in and stick to this. This helps to create a distinction between working and relaxing that can quickly become blurred when working from home. Make sure there is enough space for a desk if you need one and is quiet enough to concentrate. Take some time to organise yourself with paperwork and any necessary equipment to hand. Comfortable seating is also very important, but is often overlooked. Dining room chairs are typically not designed to be sat on for a full working day so try to make this as comfortable as possible so it supports your back.
New working routine
Depending on your field of work and your working hours, your working pattern might be the same as if you were in the office. However the home work situation may require temporary changes within this to ensure you can complete all that is required of you. For example, it may be more difficult with children at home so be sure to communicate any concerns with your managers so any changes can be implemented. Communication is vital here rather than trying to struggle through. Maintaining as much of a routine as possible is crucial to your wellbeing. Give yourself routine breaks to make drinks, discuss your ideas with others and a full lunch break away from your desk. This will help to refresh your brain, particularly helpful on difficult tasks, and again separate working time and relaxation time. Where possible, try and mute any work related communication when not working to give yourself a chance to switch off.
Your wellbeing is one of the most important factors in these uncertain times and forced self isolation can very quickly take its toll, particularly if you are used to working as part of a team or in a customer facing role. You might struggle adapting to being at home with none of your previous socialising with friends or keeping fit at the gym and this is to be expected so don’t beat yourself up about it. Take advantage of the technology available to you and keep in touch with friends and family virtually, people are even hosting pub quizzes online you can take part in. Consider the time you now have at home as a chance to work on new projects or hobbies you may have been putting off. It is also important through these times of uncertainty to keep positive. We are not sure when this period might end but remember that it will and this is temporary. Try to take every day as it comes rather than focusing on the what if’s.
It is important to talk; this is an unprecedented situation and managers should show compassion. Let them know if you are struggling as they will be here to support you the best they can through these times or direct you to the additional support available. You could schedule in a weekly catch up with the team to discuss how everyone is getting on and actions for the week ahead. Ultimately, we are all in this together and the technology we have means people are only on the other end of the phone. This period of working from home may have come along unexpectedly and have pushed you outside your comfort zone, but try to view this as positively as possible. This period could provide you with a prime opportunity to work on new projects and strengthen your relationships but make sure you are taking steps to take care of yourself and stay safe.
If you feel that you would like some extra support and tips to work from home please do Get in touch