Ahh, another lockdown! Although by now we have all had experience with what a lockdown entails, it is never easy to make that quick transition from working in the office and being social to being couped up in your house. Unfortunately, working from home is not just about being in your pyjamas and sleeping in late every day, it is still a professional job and needs to be treated as such. Not only is it important to set yourself up for success when working from home, but to also communicate with your managers and continue to take care of yourself during this lockdown. This article provides some great tips on how to manage this lockdown and continue to be the best you can be at work, and at home!
It is extremely important to set yourself up and have a clear plan in place in regards to how you will work from home. Some key areas to focus on to maximise your work-from-home experience include:
- Maintaining a regular schedule, as not only does it provide structure to the day but it also helps you to stay motivated.
- It is important to set up a distraction-free workspace that will be dedicated to working. It is easy to let your home and work life blur into one when working from home so by separating your workspace with your leisure space it will help you clock off at the end of the day.
- Get dressed every morning, to get your brain in the ‘work mindset’.
- Communicate expectations and boundaries with anyone who will be home with you, so that they know you are off limits during that time and you are able to do you work without distractions.
- Take regular breaks, as the brain is like any other muscle and needs rest. These breaks can include a short walk, reading the newspaper or stepping outside to enjoy the fresh air.
- Set realistic goals for you to accomplish each day.
A further key consideration when setting yourself up to work from home is for those of you who have kids, how you will manage the school holidays. Normally if you are working through the school holidays you might have arranged care and outings, but due to the lockdown it may mean that your kids are with you and also want your attention. A good strategy to handle this is to time block, that is doing some activities with your kids, then highlighting that you need to work now and setting them up with a different activity.
After setting yourself up to work from home, it is important to consider how you will interact with and keep your managers up-to-date with your work. If your manager does not communicate with you, then you communicate with them – let them know what you are working on and where you are up to. Some key ways to maintain communication include:
- Sending end of day emails to communicate what tasks you completed and what you are currently still working on.
- Utilise chat and video applications such as Zoom to keep in touch with your manager frequently.
- Be proactive in asking for help when you are working remotely.
The last key factor is making sure you are taking care of yourself during the lockdown. It is crucial that you find time for yourself and focus on the positives of being in lockdown. Such activities that can help you take care of yourself include:
- Mediating, as even 10 minutes can have a great impact on your overall mood.
- Get outside as regularly and safely as you can, such as laying out in your backyard or going for a stroll.
- Use YouTube for online exercise classes or engage in a hobby.
- Cook some great food.
- Work on projects that you have never had time for before.
- Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!
- Self-pamper yourself, such as putting on a facemask, having a warm bath and pouring yourself a glass of wine.
Thus, it is important to manage the many new challenges that lockdown brings to maintain a successful work life and continue to take care of yourself. Look at the positives in every situation and see what you can take away from this time in lockdown.
Written by Holly Gregory, Marketing Assistant CIRCLE Recruitment & HR.
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