For most Australians, this is not the new permanent norm. Working from home is a means of getting through this pandemic safely.
Sure, we may be a little cramped than our usual work environment, or we may have to share our home office with our children, spouse, family, flatmate or fur kids, but it’s not forever.
Mindset is important
Remember, this is your work. Your source of income, your intellectual challenge, your creativity, its whatever your purpose is during the working day.
Take a shower and get suitably dressed. This is your real job. Let’s not forget many fellow Australians have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
Set up space
Preferably with natural light, find a desk or table to work from and ensure you are sitting with proper sitting or standing posture. This will be your workspace. If you focus with soft music playing, put it on. Whatever is going to make you productive, just do it. Sorry kids, what was that? I had my noise cancelling headphones on 😊
Schedule your day
Write a to-do list, keep a diary, whatever works for you to clearly know your set tasks and cross them off once you’ve achieved them. Your working day should be the hours expected of you.
The beauty of being at home is that you can split these hours up to suit you, your boss and colleagues and your family. At the end of the day, your set tasks should be complete, ready for the next day.
Take breaks to refuel, exercise and stretch
A dear friend and elite fitness professional shared her tips when confined to home:
- Eat healthy and regularly throughout the day
- Drink 2 litres of water each day
- Don’t cheat on sleep, stress hormones nosedive when sleeping
- Spend time outdoors, barefoot in nature – it’s called ‘earthing’
- Sing out loud. Singing requires deeper breathing, similar to meditation. Plus it’s fun to do solo or with the kids!
- Allow yourself a little treat as a reward for good work. Then burn it off later exercising.
- Schedule exercise, whether it’s a run or walk around the block or treadmill, physical exercise is good for our overall wellness.
Know your tools-down time
Set clear boundaries when working home. Routine is fabulous. Know when it is time to start work, when to take small breaks for morning, lunch and afternoon tea, and know when it is time to shut down for the day.
Because we are not physically leaving the office like we are used to, we need to mentally bookend our working day. If you’re used to going to the gym after work, or to a café to meet a friend, then go for a run outside and grab a coffee at home to signify the end of the working day.
Communication makes the world go around
To be effective and to help eliminate any unnecessary stresses during these uncertain times, create a work/home structure that everyone agrees to. That may be whoever you share a home with, and/or your employer.
It’s important to clearly define how you like to open the workday, such as a morning coffee whilst writing your to-do list, then how you close the workday.
Stay in touch using apps, email or phone. You may be physically home alone, but your colleagues are just a click away.