I have been working from home for 3 years but for a lot of us working from home is going to be a new challenge. So, I thought I would share some of the methods I found that work so that it will help you and your families better manage working from home while this lockdown is in place.
- Treat working from home in the same way you would as if working from your office or place of work. If you are not fortunate enough to have an office at home try to create one in the corner of a room in the house as opposed to lying on the bed in your pyjamas or your underwear gentlemen with the laptop on the bed and the TV on in the background.
- Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are there to work so I have found it is best to set up in the right way by getting washed, dressed at the start of the day rather than sitting in your pyjamas for a big chunk of the day. It will help set the day up in the right mindset and allow you to focus on getting work done and be more productive.
- Letting your family who are home with you know that when you are sitting at your ‘office’ that unless it is an emergency then you can’t be disturbed. Likewise, don’t feel the urge to “visit your office” out of hours. Boundaries are essential to help you maintain that all important balance so when it is work time then answer calls emails etc but once the end of your normal working day is done then resist the urge to check emails etc.
- Likewise, when it is fun time and family time ensure the boundary is kept and use that time to have fun, relax and unwind with your family.
- By defining boundaries which are your work space and your play space may seem unnecessary but it can make a huge difference to your mindset to help keep healthy boundaries and balance between work and family time.
- Set realistic goals about how much work you can do at home. It can be easy to say to yourself that since you are at home then you will be able to do even more than you normally would in the office. This is not going to the case as there are even more distractions at home so set small achievable targets for yourself to help take the pressure off.
- Don’t forget to take your breaks. It can be hard at times to tear yourself away from the laptop because you feel like you are not pulling your weight and working hard enough, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take breaks.
- Work in shorter bursts, our normal working day is interrupted by meetings, calls, chatting with colleagues even going to the toilet and it can easy when we are at home to just sit for hours and work without breaks which isn’t healthy for us.
- A change of scene is good for our minds to give them a break so if you are able to go for a walk in your garden then I encourage you to do it, maybe go stick a washing load on, empty the dishwasher, something beneficial to get you up and away from your office.
- Remember to eat. This may sound like a simple one but is so easy to skip meals and just work through with no breaks or snack on biscuits rather than eat a proper lunch so a bit of preparation
and even make your packed lunch in the morning or night before really helps as you no longer have the commute to work to deal with so the time is there to prep your food.
- Manage distractions. There are so many possible distractions working at home at is can be very easy to get distracted. Keep an eye on the length of the breaks you take when you are not focusing on work.
- Don’t forget to be sociable. While you are working from home doesn’t mean that you can’t give people a call or a face time chat. If you are used to working and interacting with work colleague then working at home can feel lonely if you let it. So, give your work mates a call instead of always sending emails or messages
- Finally, this situation won’t last forever. The lockdown we don’t know at the moment when it will end but it won’t last forever so allow yourself to have a wobble now and again when this gets to you or if you are not getting enough done as you would like. This situation will affect all of us and none of us are immune to it so it is ok to have a wobble now and again but it is how you respond to it rather than reacting to it which is the key to getting through it