Our Top 10 Tips for Working from Home (in a Crisis)
1. Block your calendar – even if it’s just “work” for 1hr slots and set the reminder for your next “meeting” 5-10 minutes before so it’s a trigger to take breaks, get up and stretch, or have a 5 minute dance party. Alternatively, you can also set alarms on your phone or home device for the same break prompting function.
2. Stay hydrated. Many of us drink more at work, whether that be water or tea, than we would at home, so take a bottle of water to your workstation, sip away and stay hydrated.
3. Have a hard start and stop time for your day, and revise what this is based on what suits you now.
4. Start a realistic routine. Social media is great for motivation, yet equally awful at making us feel inadequate! If working out 7 days a week doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. If reading 5 books a week feels impossible, don’t do it. Whatever makes you happy, carve time into your week to do that - this may be something new and challenging. Timeslot your day so the to-be-completed tasks don’t take up valuable headspace, making you more productive and focused when required.
5. Set a bedtime. Sleep is so important and critical for our overall health and wellbeing, now more than ever. Set a bedtime wind down alarm, and then a second one, if needed, to get you in to bed at a sensible hour to get as much sleep as possible.
6. Start virtual tea breaks. It’s important to have down time with our teams to talk and check on each other’s mental health. We’re all in an unknown situation and going through the cycle of grief, we’ll all hit the stages at different times; so, it’s important to keep connected and talking.
7. Light a candle. Not only will this hide the smell of your bins you’ve still to take out, it triggers your senses so if you find a lapse in concentration, breathe in. A nice smelling candle is super relaxing, calming and will get your concentration back quicker.
8. Bring your home life into meetings. Some meetings are critical, but some, are less so, open your world. Children especially are curious, but once they find out what you’re doing they are going to be a lot less interested! So, get them “involved” in the less formal meetings. Also bring pets, and home décor into it – it may start a conversation that doesn’t involve COVID-19
9. Wear your lanyard. If you are trying to work and balance childcare one tactic is to wear your lanyard; when you wear it you’re in “work mode” so not to disturb, when you’re not wearing it, the kids can come talk to you (see point 8!)
10. If working your normal hours currently doesn’t work for you, speak with your line manager. Remember, this isn’t working from home, this is working from home during a crisis. We all need to exercise patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.