Many of us have been forced to work from home during this lengthy lockdown, which can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on the situation.
As always, HÖRFA are here to help in any way possible for anyone struggling to cope with the dramatic change to work life.
Here are some top tips to keep you working productively and effectively during lockdown, whilst also keeping you sane!
Stick to a Routine
Stick to your routine as closely as you can. Start and finish work at your normal time, or as close to it as you deem suitable. You may find that your 9-5 is better suited as 8-4 whilst you’re home. Without a commute to contend with there and back, it could afford you the flexibility to finish an hour earlier.
Don’t forget to break for lunch. You need brief respites from your work to keep your brain fresh and focused, so don’t overdo it, always take at least half an hour to eat or more to allow a needed rest from your screen.
Also, get dressed! It may sound funny, but there could be temptation to just lounge around in your pajamas because you’re not going out anywhere that day. You won’t need to wear your usual work attire presumably, but at least get dressed to feel “up and at ‘em” and raring to go!
Create a Workspace
If you have a specific place to work, then it feels more like a professional environment and will generate a more effective and productive performance.
Having a laptop in the front room with the TV on will never be as fruitful and successful with all the distractions around. You may also find that when you’re in a room surrounded by others, your attention will be frequently drawn away.
Although locking yourself away from others in your home can feel a bit lonely and isolated, you can take regular breaks like you would at work to have a coffee with your partner, or play with your children.
Set Rules for the Rest of the House
If you have a partner or little ones at home, or if you live with parents, family members or friends, try to set a few ground rules and ask if they can follow them to help you concentrate on working.
It may be a rule for your children not to disturb you during certain times of the day; although it may sound a bit cruel, but if you can lock yourself away for a few hours to work productively then you could reward yourself with a 30-minute playtime with the kids. So, don’t disturb daddy between 8-11am and then he can be free to play football in the garden for a bit, or to go for a walk.
When at work, you’ll often find yourself attending meetings, either within the office or at other offices; also you’ll sometimes have to get up from your desk to talk to someone in another department; you may pop out for an hour at lunch and have to walk a few blocks to reach your favourite eateries… so the point is to keep that mobility up, don’t just sit there stationary all day long.
When you make or take a phone call, have a wander around as you talk, and with your commute now nonexistent then you could also turn that time it into a fitness hour or something else that could keep you healthy and refreshed.
Get Fresh Air
When you allow yourself a break, use the time to get some fresh air into your lungs. The weather over Easter has been bright, warm and sunny, so make the most of that and have your breaks outside. You’ll come back to your workspace feeling rejuvenated and positive.
Stay Connected with Colleagues
If you work on a team then check in with them regularly like you would do in the office.
If you are not currently connected to your coworkers then it could be useful to catch up with them to see how they’re coping, you may even have some tips you can share with each other to help. Or it may just be nice to chat after not seeing them for so many weeks now.
Take Time Off
If you’re still working every day from home, then you still need holidays and days off. Let’s say you’ve worked from home for the past four weeks, then it’s about time to you took a day off to do something else. Fortunately, we have just had a nice long bank holiday weekend over Easter, but you can still afford yourself a day off if you feel the need for one.
If you’re unlucky enough to feel unwell, then don’t hesitate to call in sick. Fingers crossed, it’s not the dreaded coronavirus, but don’t feel compelled to carry on working, just explain you’re not well and get yourself better. Just because you don’t have to leave the house, it doesn’t mean you should work through any illnesses. Rest and recover, only returning when you’re well enough.
Treat Yourself to Bonuses
So, you may not be getting commission or a bonus this month like you may have done if things were operating normally. But, if you feel that you have been working well and you’ve had a good week then treat yourself for that, finances permitting, of course.
If you have worked hard all week, then treat yourself on Friday night to a takeaway and a few drinks. Buy yourself something nice online to congratulate yourself for a job well done. Don’t let all the labour and sacrifice go unrewarded – if you’ve done well, then let it show!
Just remember that your environment is completely different to normal, so you’re results will not be the same. Don’t be too hard on yourself for that.
If this current crisis has taught us anything, it’s that work and business are not the most important things in the world, so make sure that your family and your health always comes first before your profession. Life is far more important than work life, never forget that.