Article by Ceri Wheeldon
I was chatting to friend who works full time in a traditional 9 to 5 working environment about the impact of the Coronavirus. Apart from the obvious concern about the virus itself, she said she was dreading the prospect of having to work from home although she has in the past done so on the odd ‘snow’ day. With many companies asking employees to work from home as a precautionary measure, and individuals self isolating when returning from abroad, many are working from home for the first time. I realised that I have been working from home for nearly 30 years – initially for short periods of time while managing a medical condition, and later full time.
Initially it took some adjustment – and in the early days it was without the benefit of wifi!!
So, I thought I would share my tips for those who are finding themselves working from home due to the coronavirus crisis.
Tips for working from home
- Set yourself working hours to mirror your normal working day.
- If you look forward to a really good cup of coffee on your way in to the office – buy yourself a better quality coffee to start your day at home.
- Work at a designated workspot away from distractions – with good lighting. Ideally set yourself up to work in a separate space from where you usually relax.
- Plan your day – if it helps designate tasks at specific times in your schedule. Write them down.
- Make it clear to friends and family that you are WORKING from home- and not available to make social phone calls or face time during working hours.
- Set yourself specific break times – take a walk around the garden, do a yoga routine – something to ‘refresh’
- Switch off personal mobiles to avoid distraction – and temptation to check social media!
- If you are feeling too isolated – if possible switch planned business calls to zoom or skype video calls – at least you have more of a sense of ‘meeting’ somebody during the day.
- If you find it difficult to get into work mode when at home, dress as you would for the office – go outside and re-enter the house and start your business day.
- At the end of your business day do something specific to draw a line under work and the start your personal time – for me its cooking a meal from scratch while watching the news in the kitchen.
- Enjoy the time you are saving by not commuting by catching up on that book you have been meaning to read, or that arts project you haven’t got around to starting.
Personally I love the freedom of working from home – I cannot imagine ever going back to working in an external office. You may find that once the crisis is over you will want to request the flexibility of continuing to work from at least part of the time!
Feel free to add your tips to the list .