Working from Home During the Coronavirus
6 Real Tips on How to Cope
There have been some really helpful articles and blog posts about this current dilemma, which a lot of office employees are experiencing. Whatever your circumstance, it’s safe to say that working from home during the Coronavirus isn’t as easy as it seems. At Heed we sympathise with the industries that feel like the ‘norm’ for them has become a distant memory. That being said, we too stress the importance of following the government guidelines to tackle Covid 19. We have therefore come up with our own 6 tips that we find to be the most realistic ways on how to cope.
Create Your Very Own Office
Working from home for some of you has proven to be difficult because of self explanatory reasons. We realise it literally isn’t the office, doesn’t have the ‘office environment’, which tends to act as a mental barrier from being able to get into the zone. But instead of spending valuable long hours dwelling on this, making a few temporary adjustments in your home space could really change the game.
Find a room inside your home which has the potential to let you ‘flip the switch’ from your home to work life. This will be your designated spot for work and nothing else. If you begin to utilise it as a Netflix room once you log off, this will go against your efforts of really distinguishing it as a new office. Leaving work at work will now mean leaving that one room, physically and mentally, until the following working day.
At your desk ensure you have your work / home laptop or computer setup at a level you are sitting comfortably and following the proper desk posture. It goes without saying that your company should have had you well equipped with remote working access and continuous IT support.
Despite your great efforts to adapt to your new office, it is okay to remain overwhelmed by Covid 19 updates which affect you. Trying to make a habit out of working in chunks and not reading / listening to the news during your focus time is best practice. Use your breaks away from the desk to get some fresh air or calling that one friend you can rely on, to ease your mind and bring you a sense of social normality.
It's okay if you get overwhelmed by COVID-19 updates. Trying to make a habit out of working in chunks and not reading / listening to the news during your focus time is best practice.
Video Calls Are Better Than In Person Meetings
A lot of people become anxious over the idea of ‘Zoom Calls’ or ‘Go to Meeting’. It seems more daunting to use a virtual platform to communicate with colleagues you usually only see in the office. Or you simply fall into the category of people who generally just hate the camera.
There are a few straightforward steps on how you can reduce any anxiety associated with Video Calls:
- Entering the call early to avoid facing an influx of floating heads all at once.
- Dressing accordingly / freshening up before a call to feel a ‘put-together’ and prepared feeling.
- Prepare some light notes that you could refer to if necessary.
The sooner you realise that video calls are actually the much better option in terms of comfort and overall experience, you will probably try to make use of them wherever you can. Not only are you able to attend meetings in your environment of choice but you are able to lay off the essential ‘in person’ body language. Live in the luxury of discussing the all important company matters in a less formal manner during this climate.
Consider An Alternative Device for Work
A work issued laptop is the best case scenario for anyone who is currently working from home. The contents of your own laptop is secure and never interfered with.
If you chose to handle working from home using your own laptop / computer, perhaps now is the time to create a new user. This will help with keeping distractions a minimum from the regular applications you usually use and prevents work documents taking space in your personal folders.
If you have the option to switch between a different laptop / computer, this is almost as good as it being issued by work. You are able to completely dissociate a work system from a device you may use to casually surf the web. Whenever you then log into this, you are prompted to only think of work related queries. This will also help you ‘flip the switch’ in your home work space.
Know the Hacks to Working Around Children
If you don’t have to consider this because it doesn’t apply to you, it might be useful for someone else you know. It is inevitably a stressful change during a pandemic, let alone if it isn’t handled a certain way. We aren’t childcare experts - but we’ve seen these hacks work for ourselves.
The ultimate hack is explaining to them why you are at home and how it is supporting the world whilst it handles something serious. Let them know how important it is that they continue to learn whilst you work. As soon as they grasp the reasoning behind it all they will begin to respect why things are the way they are. They won’t resent you for returning to your desk after their lunchtime break is over, because ‘mummy has business to attend’.
Another major hack is setting up a similar work space to yours so they also feel like they have a responsibility. A role to play. This could be within your work area or a room next to yours. You could even give them a mini headset if it makes them feel special. Sooner or later they will want to be involved in what you are trying to achieve. They will attempt a day of learning themselves.
Currently there are also some great virtual experiences for your children when they aren’t expected to concentrate on anything curriculum related e.g. Zoo Tours and YouTube storytimes. Perfect for helping them take their mind off the Coronavirus outbreak.
Whilst your efforts lie in maintaining your efficiency and work ethic from home, it is just as necessary to make the most of your time away from screen time.
Take Your Breaks the Right Way
Whilst your efforts lie in maintaining your efficiency and work ethic from home, it is just as necessary to make the most of your time away from screen time. There are various ways to do this, depending on your circumstances at home and whether you live alone or with a family of 5. See below for our suggestions:
- Use your lunch hour for your daily exercises and staying active as this can ward off depression.
- Eating healthy meals instead of snacking on junk (learn to love colourful foods over that frozen pizza).
- Make up for lost time with the children with an activity that involves everyone.
- Have a virtual lunchtime with friends or family members also working from home.
- Do some light positive reading or take a breather with a feel good Spotify playlist
Looking After Your Mindset
Although usually overlooked, your mindset is key to tackling these new arrangements you have in place because of the virus. Whilst we may not feel in control of our lives because of the uncertainty, we all at least have the option to handle things in a positive or negative life right now.
Meditation and yoga are recommended to relieve your stresses and fears over the Coronavirus. Mindfulness practices instead of scrolling through News Apps will aid with developing centred emotions.
Choose to look on the bright side of being confined to our homes. The country being under lockdown is most probably a time we will never go through again. Use this unique period of time to pick up a new language or that online course you’ve been putting off for a long time.
If those aren’t your kind of interests then just feed your mind with the positivity of being able to spend more time at home. You will be surprised with how much you really learn about yourself, your family and even your dog.
We hope you found this blog useful - feel free to get in touch to let the Heed team what you’d like to hear more about.