COVID-19 has turned the world into a place we barely recognize. Yet life must still go on and that means work, school, study and staying healthy mostly within the confines of our homes. Working from home takes some getting used to at the best of times, but under the current circumstances it is even more challenging. If you have recently found yourself working from home, these tips might help you get through your work and stay sane!
Create An Ergonomic Working Space
If you don’t normally work from home you may be reading this seated at your kitchen bench! Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It won’t be possible for everyone to set up a home office in a separate room of their home complete with an ergonomic chair and widescreen monitor. You just have to do the best you can with what you have (or what you can get your hands on!).
If you can’t purchase what you need (Officeworks and similar stores have seen their shelves cleared of products as large parts of the nation make the move to working and schooling from home), ask your boss if they are willing to purchase it for you, or alternatively if you can borrow some equipment from the office. A good list to start of with is:
- Widescreen monitor (laptop screens can cause eye strain)
- Laptop stand (if applicable)
- Headset charger
- Phone (depending on your job)
If you have to make do with what you have these workstation tips and hacks might help.
Manage Your Time
COVID-19 has had an impact on everyone’s life. You may find yourself at home with children, a partner, flatmates or a combination of these, so the way you managed your time in the office will no longer be relevant. There might be constant interruptions from young children, homeschooling responsibilities or the call of household jobs distracting you, so it is important to find new ways of managing your time. Psychologist Meredith Fuller speaking in the Sydney Morning Herald says:
“Some people feel a little bit lost when they don’t have all the normal triggers and rituals of the workplace…they will have to work a lot harder to achieve their goals and not fritter away the time. It’s so easy to say ‘I’ll get to it later, I’ll just put the washing on’.”
It might seem simplistic, but lists are one of the most effective ways to structure your day.
Divide tasks into morning, afternoon and possibly evening slots so you are clear in your head what you are aiming to achieve each day. Try and schedule the most difficult tasks for when you are the most productive, whatever time of day that may be. Once you have completed a task cross it off the list. You might be surprised at the sense of satisfaction this brings.
Breaks are important so don’t forget to schedule them in. Eat your meals away from your computer and try and step away from your desk at least once every hour or try some desk yoga.
Look After Your Mental Health
With the new restrictions on movement in NSW, face-to-face conversations with people outside of our immediate household are almost non-existent. And even though you may not notice it, a large part of working in an office environment is made up of social interaction. When you begin working from home, it quickly becomes clear how quiet things can get.
Humans are social creatures, so staying in touch with colleagues, family and friends is critically important to our mental wellbeing. Talking on the phone is better than emailing or texting, but video is the next best thing to real human interaction. Even if you aren’t normally a fan of video chat, apps like Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, FaceTime are about to become your best friend.
To minimise feelings of isolation, try and keep all regular meetings scheduled as normal. Stay in touch with your team leader as much as possible and arrange a virtual catch up with colleagues every couple of days so you know how everyone else is coping and what they are working on. Videoconferencing can also help with productivity and problem solving.
“Talking face to face can help collaboration, so consider videoconferencing for these moments” – Think With Google
Don’t forget to schedule some time for yourself. Whether it’s taking the dog for a walk, reading a book, listening to music or a podcast, watching TV or whatever your favourite way is to relax, make sure you set aside some time just for you.
And most importantly of all – KEEP WASHING YOUR HANDS!
On Line Recruitment is still here during this difficult time helping local employers snd jobseekers with their employment needs. Reach out to discuss how we can help you.