Now a lot of us are now working from home I thought it might be helpful to share some ideas to help cope with the change.
Routine–Set your start and finish times. Making to sure to add in some breaks throughout the day. Use an alarm if it helps. Try and keep to your usual sleep routine.
Being in a 9-5 routine might be harder for those who are juggling childcare, caring for dependents or supporting others. More flexibility may be required over your working hours. If this is the case for you, try and switch off at least an hour before bed to give you a chance to wind down and relax.
Breaks– remember your lunch break! Whilst often people miss this when they are in the office or get into the habit of eating whilst working, maybe now is a good time to start a new habit. Take the time to leave where you are working, have something to eat and do something different. If you have been working at your screen most of the day consider a walk (even inside), stepping into the garden or reading a book.
Distraction– it is normal to get distracted. When you think about it, this likely happens in the office as well; coffee break, chat with colleague, five minutes on your phone etc. Don’t criticise yourself if you do get distracted. It can be intense working a full day alone. Allow yourself moments of distraction or mini breaks throughout the day. This can help with your concentration overall.
Separation– If possible try and keep your work area separate from other parts of the house. Having a physical barrier where you can shut the door can help reduce the risk that you will overwork. If it is not possible to physically shut out your work area, try and create other barriers to help maintain the boundary between work and home. Some examples are listed below.
- Spend 5-10 minutes at the end of the day tidying up your workspace.
- Write a short to do list if there are some things you need to carry over to the next day.
- If other things come to mind during the evening, write them on this list and leave it until the next workday.
- Once you have reached the end of the day resist any temptation to go back and check emails/calls.
- Some people can find it helpful to get dressed for work in the morning then, at the end of the day change into your non-work clothes.
Connection– working from home can be isolating and at this time most of us are experience a reduction in our usual social contacts. Message and call colleagues throughout the day just to keep in contact. If you would normally meet colleagues outside work can you now do this through technology i.e. FaceTime, Skype, Zoom.
It takes time to adjust to routine changes, be kind to yourself whilst you adapt and develop a new routine.