We are in unprecedented times; with things seeming to change by the hour, it is hard to predict what will happen next. Some employers are asking people to work from home, you may have even decided to self-isolate due to health concerns but want to keep on top of things even if you’re not in the office. Working from home may be new to you and you might be finding that distractions are making it a nightmare. At NEXA we may find that the way we work in Bristol will have to change in the coming weeks, so we’ve put together some advice on how to survive if you must work from home.
Your working week is normally structured, from your daily commute to the desk where you work. It’s important to find a dedicated ‘work’ area so that you get out of bed and, if possible, away from your couch. To help you start your day in the right frame of mind you could even go out and walk down the street and back (whilst we are still allowed to). Make sure you get up and dressed for work, as this will help to get you in the mentality of work mode. Continue working set hours if you’re able, though you may decide to work different hours than you would normally, perhaps finishing some things when the kids are in bed and the house is quiet.
You may not be the only person working from home, and your pets and family members could be keeping you company. It’s essential to set rules so they know when you’re working and when you’re able to spend time with them. This is why a private dedicated workspace is best, as it means you can close the door to start work and hide it away when you finish.
Silence isn’t always golden
You may be surprised to discover that you are far more productive when you’re in a busy workplace than in the silence of your home. Just having a little chat whilst making a brew with a co-worker can add so much to your day, while being home alone can make you feel lonely and isolated. It’s important for your mental well-being that you still feel connected, even if you’re social distancing in Bristol. Could you and your work colleagues have a morning catch up over Skype, or Facetime, or even have water cooler moments via Messenger? It’s easy to fall into the loneliness trap, so build communication with others into your daily schedule.
Distractions are everywhere
Your workplace could be distracting from time to time but wait until you see what awaits you at home! From that pile of washing, to Netflix, Facebook, pets and of course Rightmove, no matter where you turn there will be something that wants your time. Turn off all unnecessary apps and, if you need background noise, put on the radio rather than the TV, or you’ll soon find yourself getting dragged into the next big boxset and your working day will end before it’s started.
You will go crazy if you don’t build some fresh air and exercise into your day. Maybe take a walk around lunch time, or even read a chapter of a book in the garden (weather and government permitting). Many home workers also advocate an afternoon siesta for recharging the batteries, so if you’re feeling a little tired, why not have 40 winks?
What do you want to achieve today? Your homeworking life will be different from your time in the office, so make sure you set yourself goals – that way, you’re in control of what you complete each day and you know you’ve been productive.
As normal as possible
At NEXA we understand that this is a strange time and, where possible, it’s beneficial to keep things as normal as possible, whilst being respectful of your health and that of others. Working from home can help and if you have a structure, set rules, are mindful of your mental health, and stay away from distractions and set goals, life can continue without too much disruption.