“We don’t have to do it all alone. We were never meant to.”
As someone who has worked from home (WFH) for most of my career I have a few tips that might be helpful for you. Some of you will be used to doing occasional days at home and others will never have done it before at all, for everyone this sustained period is a new and evolving space. Here’s some quick tips, if anyone needs more support do contact the coaches or me…
1) Establish a routine
When we work in an office a majority of the time the rhythm of the day is somewhat dictated to us and we will be in very established pattern behaviour around that. Finding ourselves outside of that routine can be disorientating and disturbing. Make a new routine that works for you and contains elements of the old one that feel familiar. Set your alarm, eat breakfast, get dressed…all be it a little more comfortably maybe (bear in mind tip #2!) if it’s safe to do so take a walk before you start work to give you a sense of having travelled somewhere and your brain a chance to get into work mode and then again at ‘home time’ to relax and let go of the day.
2) Set up video call capability – or ask a friend to help you to.
It can be daunting using new technology, it can also be daunting doing video calls, put the two together and there’s a recipe for anxiety right there! I suggest it strongly here though because this prolonged period of social distancing can be isolating for people. As humans we are hard wired for connection and seeing others faces is a big part of how we communicate and feel safe. Try out WhatsAapp and Facetime for one to one conversation, and Zoom or Skype for group chats. They’re user-friendly and pretty straightforward to use and will give you that greater sense of your friends and colleagues. Why not meet up and share your lunch with your pal you usually sit by via Skype? Schedule in regular face-to-face time even if you don’t have an agenda laid out. So much of our work is done through incidental conversations so even without a plan, you never know what value that chat will bring.
3) Make your space
Not everyone is fortunate to have a home office space… and even if you do you may find it in high demand with most office workers WFH now or soon. Get creative in how you make yourself comfortable. For inspiration head over to Twitter for #wfhsetup where you will see people making good use of ironing boards, laundry baskets and garden furniture to make a space they can call work! Make it distinct from other areas and if it’s not separate, then tidy away all your work things before repurposing the space for home living/evening time.