Working from home - our survival guide

In these strange and uncertain times we have been asked to adapt to a lot of new situations and experiences. For many of you this includes working from home, or having a partner/spouse working from home.

Our guide below will help you to put actions into place to alleviate some of that stress.

Have a dedicated working space

This will help you focus on your work and allow you when finished to switch off/walk away. It may be your dining room table or the spare room, regardless ensure you are able to close it all down at the end of the day so you aren’t tempted to work longer hours than really necessary.

Try to make sure it is somewhere that has good lighting and enough workspace, also ensure you use a good chair which supports your back.

Set up a routine

We will all find the current situation hard, but if you can set up a routine which can be followed, no matter how loosely it will help you.

Start at the same time each day – this does not necessarily need to be at 9am (if your employer does not stipulate this). Perhaps you are using the nice dry weather and lighter mornings to get your daily exercise in before your day starts. I know I love getting up early and getting my daily walk in before the rest of the world wakes up!

If you are prone to sitting at your desk all day with very few breaks, now is the time to set up a good habit. Set your phone alarm to go off every hour during the time you are at your desk. When the alarm goes off, take 5 minutes break – go get a refreshment, get some fresh air, or even just stand up and do some stretches. Stop for lunch! Perhaps use this time to go out for your daily exercise – get some fresh air, move away from your laptop/computer, and eat lunch.

Stop at the same time each day, again we need to be a little flexible regarding this as it will depend on your workload etc but try to ensure you are switched off for the evening by a set time.

With a lot of us no longer having to commute to work we have more time, try not to use this to work – go and have some time to de-stress, spend it with your partner and/or children. You will not get this time back when we return to our normal routines!

Set up a “to do” list

By doing this, it will allow you to focus on what you need to get done each day.

I create a new task list each day, moving the items not yet completed to the following day – at the top of the list. If actions are urgent then highlight these to ensure they get done.

Avoiding Overwhelm

If your action list continually keeps growing and you feel you are never completing tasks here is tried and tested way to change that.

As above, set up an action list for every day, then “chunk” the list into sets of 4-5 actions. Concentrate on those actions and only move onto the next chunk when they are all completed. Again, a great way to ensure you take a break – after each chunk is completed go and take that 5-minute break!

This ensures that all those tasks we put off time and time again get done.

Finding the right time

If you are sharing your workspace with your family this can be tough.

How do you manage a client/team call when you have your partner/spouse on another call speaking at the same time? If you have children at home this can be equally disruptive.

I would suggest that you set up a diary of calls that you both need to do, try where possible to ensure you both aren’t on a call at the same time, this will then avoid you both trying to talk over each other and also ensure that the children have someone to occupy them when the other is on the call.

Don’t Stress!

We are all finding this time challenging in one way or other.

Some of us are being asked to work from home, for the first time and whilst the first week may have seemed perfect – sneaking in some day time television etc., as time has gone on you may be finding being out of a routine especially challenging. We are also working on our own and for many of you this will be really hard – we are so used to social interaction each day with our work colleagues that to sit in your house and potentially speak to no-one can be really stressful.

We also have the added issue of our spouse/partner and children being at home!

Just remember no-one has got this 100%, we are all in this together and your colleagues/friends and family are having the same problems.

Why don’t you set up a call once a week to catch up with your team, not to talk about work but to genuinely ask how you are all getting on? I personally have found the interaction in virtual coffee mornings beneficial, and I have worked on my own for 11 years! 

Talking is the best medicine we can give ourselves.

Helpful Links

I have included some links below if you are looking for some guidance or some inspiration during this time

Social Media Guidance – One To Three

Networking Groups *currently all online* – The Athena Network

Fitness *currently all online* – FastTrack Fit Camp

HR Advice – Organic P&O Solutions

How can JMVA help you?

If you need help in getting a routine set up that will maximise your working day to it’s full potential then please email me to talk about how we can help

Are you struggling to get everything done?  Contact us to see how we can help you get through your tasks!

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