With coronavirus’ rapid spread, chances are many of you will soon be working from home. But before delving into the ways to successfully manage this if you’re new to the game, it’s important to recognise the privilege in having the ability to do so.
Not all people are able to fulfil their job requirements via a computer screen, yet we all need work as a means for survival. This is particularly the case for those in the service sector. And remote work is not an option for medical workers—especially during a pandemic.
That being said, to those who are newly working from home due to the recommendation of your government’s public health experts, welcome. Anyone who has had the luxury of working remotely prior to fears of covid-19’s spread can attest to the privileges (and many challenges) it can come with.
Here is some key advice from people who have spent many years working from home to get you started.
Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean you can’t set boundaries—both with your family and friends and with your employer. This means making all parties aware that despite it being unconventional – you do have to respect work hours. This is the best way to not be bombarded with random calls or texts during the day, and not be bombarded with work e-mails or messages after your scheduled hours.
Always take a proper lunch break
It’s easy to forget about the importance of breaks and nutrition when you work from home. It’s good for your health and for your sanity. Even if you’re stuck at home, make sure you switch off for an hour – watch something relaxing, catch up on Instagram, go for a brisk walk (if safety instructions allow).
Have a designated workspace
This does not mean that you need a traditional office, some people can be productive in spaces they also relax in. But try and figure out what area in your home you feel the most productive in.
Take time in the morning to get ready
It’s very easy to fall into the routine of jumping right into work after waking up. This doesn’t mean you have to necessarily also put on office attire—working in comfortable pyjamas can actually be bliss. But it’s important to take time to properly wake up. Shower, grab a coffee, go for a walk, or have a decadent breakfast before scrolling through your emails.
Take sick days
If you’re not well, take sick days. If you’re a freelancer, it’s understandably a much more difficult decision to take, powering through illness is a lived reality for many, but constantly be mindful of your health.
Don’t short-change yourself during breaks. They’re a proven method of increasing productivity.
Stay away from social media
It’s difficult for most of us to stay away from our phones on a regular basis whilst at home, let alone during a pandemic. But in order to be able to finish your work in a timely manner, you’ll have to set some limits.