It is safe to say we are living in unprecedented times. We are being advised to isolate ourselves and maintain a social distance from others to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Anxiety levels are at an all-time high as we worry about our health, that of our vulnerable loved ones and the impact the disruption will have on our businesses.
In response, businesses have asked their staff to work from home and banned all forms of non-essential business travel.
So, we thought we should pull together a guide to help you make the most of this time. (The full guide consists of 22 essentials when working from home – do you want a full guide? Sign up for free and download now.)
1. Start your day right
When you work from home, it is easy to roll out of bed, turn your laptop on and start working. This approach is not recommended. Start your day as you would if you were commuting to the office.
Starting your day right means that you stick to the same morning routine. Sticking to a schedule will bring some structure to your day.
Some reports do not recommend that you visit public gyms so if your morning routine involves going to the gym then exercising along to videos from YouTube will help you keep to that routine. This early morning burst of endorphins from exercising will also help you stay productive and energised throughout the day. So, go ahead and have your morning routine of exercise, shower and breakfast and get dressed and ready to head over to your “office” prepared for a productive day.
2. Set up a working space
When working from home, it is tempting to work from anywhere at any time but that can cause some challenges with family members who need to understand how, where and when you are working so they can respect your boundaries. We recommend that you invest in setting up a workspace so that moving to and away from that space will signal the start and end of your working day. Invest in a suitable desk and chair to provide adequate support while you work. We also recommend good lighting to avoid strain on your eyes. If you already have a home office setup and are already equipped to work from home, then you don’t have to do anything else other than to be disciplined and use your workspace accordingly. If working from home is all new to you, then take the opportunity to create this space and to be disciplined in using the space purely for work. Position your workspace somewhere with adequate natural light. Being able to look through a window and access fresh air will make a massive difference if you need to spend hours working from home.
3. Turn notifications off
While working from home, we encourage you to stay connected and to keep communications channels open. Still, we also recommend that you disconnect from all social media and turn their notifications off because these will only disrupt your flow and increase your anxiety if the networks you are following are scaremongering.
4. Turn the TV and radio off.
Do not be tempted to keep the TV on in the background. The constant reporting on the spread of the virus will keep you in a state of anxiety and panic. So turn the TV and news channels off and only turn it back on when you’re taking a tea break or having your lunch break—playing positive, soothing music in the background does you no harm if you are used to working with music.
5. Stay away from on-demand shows
It is also tempting to tune into your favourite shows, thinking you will only watch one episode and get back to work but knowing how addictive these shows are. It will be better to reserve it for the end of the working day. Wasting time binge-watching Netflix shows are a real threat.
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