Working from home during a pandemic is uncharted territory for us all. Here are some top tips that will help you get the most from your enforced home set-up.
Get into work mode
Changing from your pyjamas, setting up a designated work area or desk space will help create a boundary between your home and work life, which will boost productivity and keep your mind healthy and happy. Deborah Serani, psychologist and award winning author says “(it is) important for me to keep a balance to my home and work life. I eat well, exercise, make sure to get restful sleep, and try to get in as much sunshine as I can in a given day.” Following your previous work routine and daily structure, as close as possible, can also lead to a smoother office to home working transition.
Creating boundaries around your working day is essential, otherwise you’ll soon feel like your living at work instead of working from home. Create important time boundaries, inform your colleagues of your availability and arrange a set time for lunch. Finish your working day no later than usual and try using your usual ‘commute time’ to do something that you enjoy, such as listening to music, meditating or reading. Overworking can have a detrimental effect on your health, as working long hours tends to reduce your level of fitness. This can result in heart problems, higher cholesterol levels, disturbed sleep, lack of energy and poor concentration.
Take regular brakes
Now that the regular routine of the office has gone, so have the little distractions that used to help break up the day, such as, making the tea round and catching up with colleagues. Without these little interactions during your home working day, you can easily become tied to your desk and start working long, unbroken hours. Establish some structure by engaging in chunks of focused work followed by short breaks - his will help maintain concentration levels and keep your wellbeing in check. Breaks will also give you the opportunity to keep hydrated and prepare proper meals, rather than constantly snacking on the not so healthy (but tempting) treats. Here are some healthy snack suggestions that may keep you on the straight and narrow: https://bit.ly/2QsHrW6
Communicate more than usual and make time for chit chat. For some, working from home can be a lonely and isolating experience, whilst others, living in large households may crave the support of friends and work colleagues. Luckily, we live in a digital age and there are lots of ways for everyone to stay connected. From video call apps, such as WhatsApp, and FaceTime to text messaging, or simply picking up the phone, there’s something for everyone. Think about arranging virtual events, such as group quizzes or take your lunch hour online via Microsoft Teams or Zoom and invite others. If all else fails, use the post! Who doesn’t like receiving lockdown letters, cards or other small pick-me-ups?
This is an extraordinary time we’re living through and while we need to try and bring structure into our lives, it’s also important that we stay kind to ourselves, and others as much as possible during this period.
If you’re keen to learn more about the IT systems, applications, communication and productivity tools that can support you with your workload or with staying in touch, why not consider our IT Users qualification? It’s funded by the Welsh government and could be a great way to develop your professional skills during this period of home working. Head here to find out more: https://www.acttraining.org.uk/apprenticeship-learners/it-users/