I know. We are all currently feeling a bit lost. With the corona virus outbreak (that is the only time I will be saying the ‘C’ word I promise) a lot of us are struggling to comprehend how this will affect our lives. There is so much to think about including staying healthy, looking after relatives, and somehow maintaining financial stability whilst we are losing our jobs. It’s pretty much like an apocalypse if you have been to the Supermarkets – stop hogging the pasta. But we are also in the process of being encouraged to work from home. For some, this isn’t possible. For example my part time job is working behind a bar, and I can’t exactly pour pints from my bed. However for the self-employed, the office workers and many more, we have to now work from home.
If you saw my blog post the other week about being an introvert, a little at home working and peace and quite is the dream. But what looks like a never ending spiral of WFH, even for us its a little bit disconcerting. How many of us already have cabin fever and its day 1? But for those who have never worked from home before, its a bit of a minefield. I wanted to make this little guided to help those who aren’t used to working from home or are anxious at the thought of staying at home for a lengthy period of time.
Before I share my tips with you though I wanted to remind you that whatever is happening, whether you have lost your source of income, are self-employed so can’t gain sick pay, or are suffering from the virus, it will get better. Look after those you love, distance yourself from those more vulnerable than you and we will get there.
I don’t think I can really stress the importance of having a designated area to do your work. As tempting as it is to have a soft desk area (i.e. sofa or bed) for everyday work it will not motivate you. For the one off, having the luxury of doing work from your bed is a dream. But it seriously demotivates you if this is an everyday routine. Whether its at your home office, your dining room table or kitchen work top. Have you own little area which you can consider your work space and your work space only. It is also better for you mentally not to work in the same space as your sleep. As when you actually come to go to sleep at night, it will be harder to switch off.
Like you were to do if you were physically going to work, set an alarm at your usual time. Get up, get ready and stick to a working schedule. By having a certain level of organisation in your day you can get more work done, and finish at a regular time like you normally would. Obviously your schedule will depend on what you do at work however here is a good suggested one:
7AM-8AM – Wake up, get dressed, do makeup, have breakfast and ready like normal. DOn’t be tempted to stay in your PJs all day because it does no-one good.
8AM-8:30AM – Take some time for you before you start work. Read a bit, a bit of self care or ring family.
8:30AM-12PM. This is time to work. Whether its online meetings, emails, conference calls this is head down time.
12PM-1PM. Lunch time. Try and have a lunch that is the same length as your normal lunch break and at the same time to keep regularity and consistency.
1PM-4PM. Work…. again.
4PM and onwards – Starting work at a decent time means you can then finish at a decent time. This is the time to get some housework done, do some shopping, some home workouts. Perhaps you could do a bit of baking, learn a new hobby, batch cook some food. This is your time to relax, have a Netflix binge and FaceTime relatives.
I know that that is a very basic guide, but you can adapt it, switch it up or change it to suit you. Another point is to male sure you allow time for your lunch. When working from home it is so easy to snack all day and not eat consistent meals – TRUST ME ITS LETHAL. Put down those crisps and cookies and get a good nutritious lunch. If you don’t before, then maybe its time to start?
I know this is very matter of opinion as some people have to work in silence, and others have to have noise in the background. But I am one of those who has to have some sort of noise in the background. Whether its the radio, podcast or shitty day time TV. I know a lot of people say don’t put the TV on when you work, but I like having the conversations run in the background. By all means don’t go on a mammoth Netflix binge when you have deadlines, but instead put a chat show on, or have a google at some series that are just good background noise. I, for one think Netlfix should have a section for this.
Another good shout is a podcast. Like the radio its easy to put on in the background and they generally are quite light hearted. I have been binging ‘Shag, Married, Annoyed’ by Chris and Rosie Ramsey and honest to god if you aren’t listening to it you have to be. It is absolutely hilarious, and so so real. I physically laugh out loud when I am listening to it.
Social distancing does not mean we are confined to our houses. You are able to stretch your legs and go for walks. This is one of the best ways to get in a bit of exercise, reach your daily step count and maintain your sanity. Take your lunch with you or a coffee and have a gander. It might even give you a new perspective of the place where you are living.
There are bound to be office withdrawn symptoms. Well… dependant how well you get on with your colleagues. But FaceTime them, do a big group chat and don’t completely isolate yourself from human interaction. Especially if you live alone, or know someone that lives at home. Take regulars breaks and ring them, text them or FaceTime them. You aren’t the only person in this boat so make sure you keep connections up.
I hope this has given a bit of perspective on how to work from home. I have a few posts like this that I want to do, to help those like myself who is struggling with coming to terms with whats going on right now.
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These are such good ideas! I’ve been working from home since last April and I still sometimes struggle with it but these tips are really helpful. Being strict but balanced is always a good way to go about it I think. Like setting yourself times to do things but scheduling in breaks and time for other tasks to find that balance is great x
Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.co.uk
Thank you Lauren! And yes balance is essential!!