Working from home has always been a marmite subject, you either love it or you hate it. However, during the current COVID-19 pandemic a lot of us don’t have a choice but to work from home.
Working for a company that encourages agile and flexible working, including working from home, I am relatively used to home-working. It’s usually sporadic and more as a one off for me, as I do prefer being in an office environment.
Knowing that this would be lasting for a significant amount of time, I knew I needed to set up a good workspace in my house to help me keep a good routine. I have taken over my dining table and set up a monitor and my laptop to mimic my set up at my desk at work. I also made the conscious decision to bring little things from the office home, such as my mug and my desk plant. This has helped me keep in the mind frame of work.
I live on my own and going out to work forms a lot of my social interaction for the day aside from seeing family and friends, so I was conscious that missing out on the social interaction could begin to really affect me. Working from home indefinitely has been a big shift in mentality for me and I am still getting used to it, but the longer I am here the easier I find myself settling into my slightly altered routine.
I am in constant contact with everyone from work and we enjoy having Zoom calls throughout most of the day. We set up one call for the day and people can jump on and off as they please, I definitely see it as a comfort. The background noise is nice and mimics the office environment with people talking to each other on there. We also use Zoom for any meetings both internally and externally.
I would be lying if I said being in isolation wasn’t affecting me and I think the unknown is very intimidating. But being in constant contact with my friends, family and colleagues is the key to helping me and them overcome this.
The best thing I could suggest to anyone who is struggling with this is talking. Talk to anyone and everyone you can, and as hard as it may be, try and keep the focus of the conversation away from COVID-19 as constantly talking about it and fixating on it is not healthy.
Ensuring you stick to a routine is important as well, don’t roll out of bed and slump into your sofa still in your pj’s to start a days work. Getting a shower and getting dressed helps get you in a good mindset for work. I am not suggesting a full suit or dress and heels, casual comfy clothes are good, as long as it is something different to what you would sleep in.