Monday Morning Desk!
No morning commute, no stopping by your colleague’s desk to say hello, no lunch at your favourite restaurant or café around the corner from the office — the daily routine is feeling much different for many workers as the world works to contain COVID-19. If working from home is creating challenges for you, we are here to help. We have worked from our home offices, kitchens, couches, favourite cafés (not possible right now, sadly), and a range of other locations with a Wi-Fi signal. Consider these tips to stay productive, healthy, and sane as you adjust to your new way of life.
The Coronavirus has created the most challenging and difficult time for us all. I hope our tips will provide ideas for you and encourage you all to stay connected with each other and be kind to one another.
This probably goes against every expert’s tips for managing your time while working, but I find that verbal communication helps me focus on my work. When the conversation is over. I need to talk. Emailing, texting, or other messaging just doesn’t cut it.
I am not talking hours of time, but when I was in the office, I needed to get up and visit someone face-to-face instead of asking my question electronically. Not always, but when it involved more than a simple explanation on my end or a quick answer on theirs. It’s collaboration, and sometimes you get even better ideas from that discussion.
Now that we all are isolated during these times, I find talking to someone keeps me on track, not to mention calm and less likely to go crazy. So, pick and choose which work conversations would be better over the phone or in a video meeting, and go for it. If nothing else, you’re making sure people you used to see every day are doing OK, and maybe that verbal collaboration will lead to more hacks for working from home. You could always do an email after the conversation confirming what you both said.
I would also encourage telephone calls and video chats to check in on someone. You can have group chats on FaceTime and Whats app!
We all spend significantly too much of our lives looking at the glimmer of smartphones, tablets, computers, and televisions. Each day, I aim to spend the first 45-60 minutes without looking at any of those screens. I make cup of tea. I talk to my husband, Eric about what’s on his agenda for the day. I go on a walk or a run around my neighbourhood.
It helps me feel fresh and ready to focus on tackling my work and responding to emails. In today’s current climate, which involves me tweeting and updating linked in, I find this routine to be even more essential for my mental health.
Several times a week, I like to get up early to spend time outdoors. I am happiest when I begin my day by walking up the Wrekin with my friend, no matter what the weather. It doesn’t matter how many times we have walked up the Wrekin, it’s always a struggle halfway! When we reach the top, the views are the reward. Alas, I am looking forward to returning.
Look to YouTube to keep energy high. Joe Wicks exercise plan is amazing! Or for calm look to meditation, there are many things to try. Consider having video links to encourage each other or have a giggle!!
Stick to your regular morning routine, shower, get dressed etc., if you want to wear something smart to feel good, then do it. I am currently writing this blog in Harry Potter lounge wear!
Have your breakfast!
Ensure you have a designated area to work in. Some homes are lucky and have offices, but if you haven’t got this, a kitchen table or worktop can be just as good as long as you are comfortable. The sofa may not be a good place to work as its too comfortable – if you catch my drift! Just remember you need to concentrate so having the TV on or children running around is going to disturb you. Find somewhere to call your work space.
Schedule breaks from the screen, during these breaks get some fresh air or exercise – remembering social distancing when you are out.
Have boundaries, aim to start and finish work when you normally would. Make a clean break when you’re not working and tidy your ‘office’ for the end of the day.
The best thing you can do is stay home and keep well.
For folks who aren’t used to working from home, our new reality might feel like every day is a free-for-all. In order to maintain a routine (and your sanity), consider keeping a planner to map out what each day should look like, both professionally and personally. What tasks do you need to complete for your current assignments? Which co-workers should you virtually check in with, and when? Then, what chores do you want to complete once you’ve shut your laptop for the day? If you concoct a plan for both work and home duties, they’re less likely to intersect. I know the dishes are begging to be washed but save that for once you’re off the clock.
It is important to remember you are not alone. If you’re feeling isolated, pick up the phone!
Contact us if you have any ideas for others regarding isolation.
Search through our library of blogs to keep you busy!