Whether you’re a new freelancer or one of many workers now housebound by Coronavirus (like myself), setting up a healthy environment to work from home has become a huge priority across the globe. As of the 17th of March, all businesses that can allow for flexible working have been advised to do so, and along with this there comes a lot of uncertainty around when we will next see our colleagues/offices IRL (in real life). As one of my colleagues said this week, it feels a bit like ‘Day one in the Big Brother House’.
As we are a business that has already adopted this way of working and we have been doing it for a while, I thought it would be helpful to share some tips for those newly working from home, as of this week. How to maybe avoid burn-out and to try and help us all stay sane whilst home working in these uncertain times.
If you’re a fellow yogi like me, maybe use that extra hour now you aren’t commuting to do a morning vinyasa and meditation – I know lots of yoga studios will be moving to online offerings in the coming weeks. If not, maybe use the extra hour to go from couch to 5K like one of my colleagues, or take extra time with the kids’ breakfast. Just make sure you don’t lose that hour you’ve gained without that horrendous commute!
Choose the right spot, make sure you’re creating a physical and mental divide between work and comfort. Being in the right setting will help you focus. Have a tidy round, make sure your work setting is less distracting to you, put that wash on/do last night’s washing up, before you start your day.
Set boundaries, decide on a time for your working day to start and end and make sure you include a lunch break. Putting boundaries in place with both colleagues and clients can also help ensure that work doesn’t spread into evenings and weekends.
Make sure you take breaks: it is so easy to slip into a mentality where you don’t move away from your desk until 12/1pm for lunch or even not move to eat your lunch. If you work on a screen, make sure you take screen breaks, make a cup of tea, get up walk around (don’t forget your steps)!
Always change location for lunchtime! If you work on the kitchen table eat elsewhere, go for a walk on your lunch, just make your colleagues know you are taking lunch so that you don’t start getting calls midway through your tuna salad (this happens regularly).
Most importantly stay in contact with your team, whether this is a daily call-in/video-call or any other method. Having a community means you have people to lean on for support, share tips and advice with, and generally keep one another on track. I imagine the longer we all practice social distancing the harder it will get on everyone’s mental health, and in turn the more important keeping in touch will become.