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March 2020 the month and year the whole world changed due to COVID 19. We have all had to adjust to changes and a new way of living. One of the biggest changes was working from home. Some jumped with joy at the fact they were out of the office for a while, others panicked as they were trying to look after their kids as well as try and do their 9 hour work days.
Either way it was a change none of us were prepared for but thankfully over time we have adjusted to it and can help each other feel more productive at home while taking care of ourselves too.
Here are some top tips for working from home:
This is the biggest NO NO. As easy as it is, to lie in bed with the laptop on your knee, it never works out! You are not only causing harm to mental and physical health but your work will go downhill too. Lying in bed means you are not getting out of your PJs, or getting steps up or even getting your daily dose of fresh air. You also might not be as productive as you think, it is very easy to lift the remote control, put on some Netflix and get easily distracted from what you are meant to do.
Try and follow your normal work routine as much as possible. Wake up, get dressed, have some breakfast and get the laptop out. Keeping your mind and body in the same routine that you were used to, benefits yourself in the long run. It helps with your day to day routines and also your sleep at night, but remember once work is over, switch off, working from home is important but so is your wellbeing.
Talk to other members of the house hold, at the end of the day you are still working, you aren’t there to deal with distractions which is exactly what will happen if you don’t let them know. Yes you are more flexible and could maybe try and make the kids lunches or put the TV on, but you need to have quiet time to work and time to do it. Talk to family members it would benefit you all. Sometimes kids / partners think you are off work when working at home, make sure they know this isn’t the case, at the end of the day, your job still needs to be done, inside and outside of work.
A nice quiet space away from kids, the TV, and the fridge! Yes even the fridge can be a distraction. Have everything you need in one place to keep yourself dedicated to the work you have to do.
Yes even with working at home, you still need to give yourself a break. It is proven that 5-10 minutes of a short break each hour can really help with productivity. It isn’t easy when there are screaming children in the house, dogs barking, postman knocking at the door all while try to work at a screen all day. Take your lunch, go make a cup of tea or coffee, step away from the screen for a minute. Working from home isn’t easy and it can harm your mental health if you don’t give yourself a break.
Working from home can make you feel isolated, you miss your work besties, the people who you have worked with and seen 5 days a week for how many years, the coffee breaks, the craic, and now you are at home looking at a screen. Keep in touch, don’t be afraid to lift the phone and have a conversation. Staying connected helps their wellbeing as well as their own. If you are struggling, talk to your manager or your work colleagues, I can guarantee you aren’t the only one feeling the way you do and there are a lot of people in the same boat.
At the end of the day you are only human. You can only do so much!
Times aren’t normal but as each day goes by, we are closer to getting back to a little bit of normality. Don’t be hard on yourself, you can only do what you are able to do, and everyone is different and deals with things in different ways. It is ok to have an off day and it is ok if you wake up and are the most productive you have ever been. Achieve what you can, get the job done and remember to take care of yourself too.