Have you suddenly been asked to work from home (wfh) during the Covid-19 crisis?
For many of us this might be new, or it might be something we do occasionally. It feels for now it is the new normal, at least temporarily. But how should you work from home and remain connected, effective and productive?
Even if it’s just short-term, here are some ideas as to how you can shift more smoothly into this new way of working:
1. Have a routine for your day which includes a transition from home to work and work to home. (This is more than just physically moving from your bedroom to kitchen table and back again!)
You might still get up at the same time, shower / dress and have breakfast as normal.
Go out of the house and get some fresh air, a walk or cycle – whatever you would normally do to start your commute to work.(If you usually drive, maybe challenge yourself to walk for at least 15 minutes, come rain, hail or shine).
Set some goals for what you want to achieve each day
Have a lunch break away from your workspace
Have regular breaks – get up and get some water, go for a walk around the house but just get away from your screen at least every 90 minutes
At the end of your “shift” get out of the house again in the same way you would leave work.
2. Have a designated workspace.
Make sure its clutter free.
Set yourself up away from noise and distractions (if possible).
Have a comfortable chair and workspace – with good light!
If you can, work with a window open to get some fresh air.
3. Connect with your work colleagues.
This is critical for your mental and emotional health.
It helps you remain focused, connected and engaged.
Have a video call with at least one work colleague a day.
Allow time in the call to ask how the other person is doing.
Hold regular morning calls with the team, preferably with video. “ Zoom Cloud Meetings” is a good tool for this. This helps keep each other accountable.
Make an effort to call, rather than just email, when you have a query or want some help with something. Not only does it help with general communication (we have all been on the receiving end of poorly worded emails that are lost in translation) but it is also a good way to connect with colleagues who might not have anyone else to talk to.
4. Keep healthy and active.
Create some new healthy habits that you can continue.
Find some quick and easy recipes for lunch ideas at home.
Use the lack of a staff canteen or fast food outlet to eat more healthily. Nourishing your brain helps your focus, memory and general cognition. Also, vitamins and minerals are essential to keep your immune system fighting fit!
Start cooking dinner at home, like lunch time, you could find some easy recipes that are healthy and nutritious. This will also give you an excuse to get out of the house to buy any ingredients you might need!
Continue doing some exercise whether or not you’re already a gym junkie, yogi or runner. If you can’t get to your normal studio / gym – there are plenty of free workouts on You Tube. As I write, the advice is that running and cycling outside it still okay as long as it’s in open space.
Start doing some exercise. If you are forced to wfh for an extended period, now is your chance to work in some time to work out to your daily routine. Some of my favourite free exercises on You Tube are The Body Coach for workouts (all different types) and Yoga with Adriene, clearly, for yoga. Obviously, walking is free and a great way to get moving, reduce your blood pressure, get new oxygen pumping in your body and being out in nature helps to reduce stress too!
5. Take time to look after yourself.
Uncertainty creates anxiety for many of us. Using all of the tips above will help with mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Take this opportunity to learn something new. Read more books and enhance your brain power.
Set yourself some personal goals too. You might want to get yourself into a particular yoga position within 6 weeks or run 5km? It might be to read one new book a week or try a new recipe every other day.
At Rosby Consulting, we have been involved in several initiatives with large organisations encouraging people to work from home. Albeit, not the entire organisation at once like many are doing right now – but certainly where space or talent demands it.
Right now, with many companies and governments enforcing a complete wfh rule it might feel quite strange to suddenly be at home full time.
Whether you have always worked from home, occasionally wfh or have never worked from home, this new normal might take a while to get used to. Share these tips with your friends and colleagues so that you can all remain connected and effective.
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