Now that working from home is the norm for many of us, the reality of having to adjust to this temporary situation both professionally and personally will now probably be setting in. For many we are also helping children with school work, trying keep them occupied, working out how to get the weekly shop and possibly helping to provide provisions for elderly or vulnerable family, neighbours and friends.
In our last blog we looked at how to exercise well during Coronavirus and we wanted to follow this on with a blog about keeping well mentally during this time, based on the experiences that some of us have had at Opus so far.
Our A – Z of keeping well during coronavirus is based on our own experience up to now and will hopefully help give a sense of perspective and perhaps some inspirations as we all adapt to a different working lifestyle for the time being.
Ensure you have everything you need to be able to work from home and that it is easily accessible. A successful remote working set up should emulate the normal office environment as much as possible.
Make sure you set regular times in your work routine to get up from your chair and take a walk, make a coffee and get mobile. If you are usually due breaks during the day make sure that you take them and use them as an opportunity to refresh your mind and stretch your legs.
Working from home can mean you get lots done, but it can also be an isolating experience, especially if you are used to having lots of colleagues around you. Keeping in touch is vital and knowing that someone is at the end of the phone should you need to talk can really help.
Got children at home? The main thing is to not to stress too much about having them around while you work. You’re not expected to be a super parent all the time and it’s ok if colleagues occasionally hear your kids when you’re on a call – it’s a part of life right now.
Take a look at our blog on how to exercise well during Coronavirus for some great tips on keeping fit whilst at home.
If you feel you need to adjust your working hours it’s important to speak to your employer to work out a solution to enable you to do this at this time.
Setting smaller and more achievable goals is a good idea during lock-down. Things won’t always go to plan every day and sometimes the smallest goals will seem insurmountable, so go easy on yourself and celebrate what you are able to achieve however small each day.
Try to make sure your working environment is as comfortable as possible. Clear away a space, preferably at a table or desk to allow for a dedicated work space.
Try and clear away your work at the end of the day so you have a tidy space to greet you each morning.
Stay connected with current events, but be careful where you get news and health information from.
There are so many opportunities to join online groups, learn new hobbies, take part in online training courses and so on. Many of these are being offered at no cost at the moment.
If you feel inclined, now could even be a great time to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill.
Keeping your brain occupied and stimulated is important right now to avoid boredom setting in. Enjoy the luxury you have right now to read books, magazines and articles, listen to podcasts, watch films and play games.
We all know that laughing makes us feel happy and less stressed. It can also boost our immunity too! Here at Opus we have really enjoyed connecting together remotely, some departments have even got together for drinks a quiz and a few laughs recently!
Take care of your mental health at this time and be kind to yourself.
If you are feeling anxious or worried, Mind.org.uk has some fantastic self-help advice and tips on Coronavirus and your wellbeing.
Try to enjoy the ‘new normal’ as much as you can. This is a time when we can all learn so much about ourselves, how we adapt to certain situations and how strong we can become as a result.
If you’re juggling work and school age children, talk to your them about how they are going to organise their own home learning, make them aware of what time lunch will be and manage their expectations on when you will be available to be able to help them with school tasks.
Plan your working days well and as you normally would when in the office to help you keep some structure and keep on top of tasks in your to do list.
If you use an electronic diary look at blocking time to complete tasks in between your meetings so you stay focused on what needs to be done.
When working remotely it can be difficult to keep focused as lines of communication aren’t always as clear as they would be if in the office. If you have questions or are unsure about what you are working on make sure you ask questions and check in with line managers and colleagues to gain the clarification you need.
Try to follow your ordinary routine as much as possible. Get up at the same time as normal, follow your usual morning routines, and go to bed at your usual time. Set alarms to remind you of your new schedule if that helps and write to-do lists if needed.
Social media is helping many of us stay connected right now, however, it can easily become a distraction too. Try to limit the amount of time you spend on social media each day, especially whilst working.
We have helped many companies get their home working technology rapidly deployed in just a matter of days. Here is an uplifting example of how we helped our customer Anna Freud set up for home working so they can continue to support young people and their families.
Through all of this an understanding that we are all in this together certainly seems to help with the current uncertainty. When we see that it affects us all, knowing this helps make us stronger that we will come through the other side and that this isn’t a forever situation.
A great way to keep in touch with colleagues and also with friends. There are a number of applications out there to help you keep in touch by video conference. Contact us if you’d like advice on the business video conferencing solutions that Opus can offer.
Take care to make sure your seating position is correct at this time to avoid back issues. Try not to slouch and remind yourself to sit as straight as you can.
If you feel at any time that you are struggling at work make sure you talk to colleagues, your line manager or HR about how you feel. It’s important not to struggle in silence at this time.
Make sure you spend time on you – do things you enjoy like reading a book, doing the gardening, taking a walk or enjoying a long soak in the bath.
When the routine isn’t really a routine it’s easy to slip. Quality rest and sleep is vital to our health, so try not to stay up too late and ensure you get the normal amount of sleep you need each night.
As Opus we are perfectly placed to provide technology solutions to allow your staff to work effectively from home with the same functionality they have in the office. Contact us to find out more.