Even before the current lockdown, some of us were lucky enough to have found ourselves working from home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus and to help #flattenthecurve. Have you found your groove yet? There’s plenty of advantages; an extra hour in bed and not behind the steering wheel, no dress code, unlimited coffee and snacks, but it does have its challenges too.
Here’s 8 S’s to help you stay sane while you’re earning those bucks.
- Set up a wonderful workspace – This is key in ensuring you can stay focused for a long time without hurting your neck, shoulders, elbow, or any other part of you that would otherwise start aching if you work from your bed or the couch every day. This will also help you separate your workspace from your living space, giving you a better chance of not being distracted by your day to day home surroundings (pets, kids, the tv, etc). Here are a few guidelines to setting up a wonderful workspace.
- Stay connected – We don’t know about you but we feel a bit isolated when our team mates aren’t next to us or in the kitchen when we take a break. This can bring on some serious cabin fever. Make sure you reach out, call your colleagues, check in and or even try having a social video call, it’s always comforting to see we are all in this together. Here are a few apps that could help you achieve this.
- Stick to a schedule – It is very tempting to fall into a pattern of late nights, late mornings, eating badly and lounging in pj's, but this is exactly what you shouldn’t do. To remain productive you need to stick to your daily routine. Don’t change your alarm, stick to your normal wake-up time and get started with your usual routine. Instead of staying in your pj's, have a shower and put on something comfortable that you wouldn’t just wear at home. Sticking to a routine can help maintain some normality in strange times like these and getting dressed up a bit will help you feel good about yourself.
- Sit down, or rather, stand up! – It can be tempting to work all the way through the day without taking regular breaks. Whether you feel the need to prove that you can keep up the production levels while working from home, or whether it is just the lack of distractions - this will not hold up well in the long run. It is vital for your mental and physical well-being that you take regular breaks but also to ensure increased productivity. Scared of piling on the pounds? Walk around the house a few times, do some light stretches or squeeze in an at home workout session. Even cooking a nourishing meal in your lunch break will get your blood flowing.
- Switch off – Switch off or close your computer and shut the door (if you have a separate office space) at the end of the workday. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “oh, I’ll just check my emails while I wait for the pasta to boil, etc.” But that is exactly what you shouldn’t do! Imagine getting in your car after a regular workday and driving home. Try to keep up that ritual even when working from home, and leave your work in the rear-view mirror, like you usually would, for the rest of the evening.
- Set your screen time – If you’re able to work from home right now, chances are your work is largely digitally based. And what do most of us do when we’re finished working? We log onto social media and scroll endlessly for the rest of the evening. This has adverse effects on your mood, sleeping patterns and cognitive ability. Most smartphones have a built in option to limit your screen time, but here’s a list of apps that could help curb this habit.
- Start something new – If you find yourself having more time than usual why not use that time constructively and sign up for an online course or watch a few webinars. Educating yourself in your field or even learning new skills is never a bad idea. Learning something new during this strange, and possibly frustrating, time will help keep your spirits up and give you a sense of accomplishment.
- Spend time with your family – Family comes first! Your home may be pulling double shifts serving as a office, school, recreational area and safe haven at the moment, but it’s important to set boundaries and stick with some sense of normality during the day, especially if you have younger children. Routine is very important. So if the whole family ate at the dinner table at a certain time of the day before, or the kids are bathed and ready for bed by a certain hour, try sticking to that schedule. It will not only keep you sane, and also keep you focused on your loved ones when it is so easy to take time with them for granted.
What are some of the work from home issues you’re struggling with at the moment? We’d love to hear how you’re dealing with the lockdown and working from home. Share with us on our Facebook page and member’s group.
If you need any information about the current pandemic please visit https://sacoronavirus.co.za/.