As the nation hunkers down into self-isolation, it’s important for us to remember to look after ourselves as our workplaces become a lot closer to home. Working from home for a day or two is very different to complete remote working with no interaction with colleagues and there’s no replacing that, however, by following these small bits of advice we hope you can maintain some element of normalcy.
1. Stick to a routine
As tempting as it is to rock out of bed 5 minutes before you start work, try and continue with your regular routine as much as possible. Wake up at the same time as you would for working in the office, shower and get dressed. You don’t need to get fully suited up, stick to comfy joggers if you want, but definitely don’t spend the day in pyjamas!
2. Break bad breakfast habits
Most of us are guilty of skipping breakfast or settling for a slice of toast (or bowl of cereal) in the car. Now’s the best time to break those habits. Use the time you’d normally spend on your commute to make yourself a good breakfast and take time to have a tea, coffee, or other (non-alcoholic) drink before your working day starts.
3. Stay connected
The communication we have with colleagues in the office is actually really important for your wellbeing, even if it can be annoying at times. You might think you don’t care what Kevin from accounting did over the weekend, but that social interaction helps keep you sane. Have regular phone calls with your colleagues and build in extra time for small talk.
4. Get comfy
As tempting as it is to work from your bed or the sofa, it’s not great for your posture or wellbeing. Make sure you have a comfortable working environment set up. Find a space in your home that’s clean, appealing and functional. Make sure monitors are at a good height and you have good lighting. If you have pets, they’re going to love all the extra time they have with you but this can be distracting. Make sure you get some interesting treats or toys to entertain your furry friends while you work.
5. Have breaks
Take a full lunch break of 30-60 minutes and eat a good, light meal. Make sure you take some time for yourself; go for a lunchtime walk if you can, do yoga, read a book, or watch an episode of your favourite show (but the less screen time the better). Use this as a time to recharge, you will find it makes the afternoon go much faster. It’s also important to take regular breaks throughout the day, work in 50-minute sprints and take the last ten minutes of the hour to stretch your legs
6. Stay hydrated
Regular trips to the water cooler are essential to the office experience that shouldn’t stop when you’re working remotely. It can be easy to get through loads of tea or coffee when you are at home which can actually really dehydrate you. Remember to drink plenty of water to keep that brain working.
7. Be there for each other
Working alone for long periods of time can be really difficult, especially with the uncertainty and stress of the current situation. If you start to feel lonely or isolated, tell someone. Pick up the phone to a colleague and talk it through, we’re all in the same boat and you’re almost certainly not the only one that feels this way.