Following the PMs briefing last Monday lots of people started working from home. I’m still working in the office at the moment (on a very skeleton staff, most staff are at home) but am all set up ready to work at home should I need to.
I’ve never worked at home before so I thought I’d get some advice from someone who does often split their time between home and an office (because they know what both are like so can provide good advice for someone used to an office suddenly changing to working from home life). So I got some tips from Zoe Cumberpatch who is a Geologist and due to her role at the University works in a variety of locations all over the world!
I’ve not had to put any of these tips into practice yet but as lots of people I know have I thought it could be useful to outline the advice now in the hope some of it helps!
1) Plan in plenty of extra time for everything.
It takes a lot longer to do your everyday tasks and you also need to get used to new equipment and using different systems and procedures to get things done. When you’re busy this is frustrating so over estimate how long tasks will take so you don’t end up feeling ‘behind’
2) Make sure you have adequate food and resources but not overstocked.
Snacks are good – forever grazing because you’re now closer to your kitchen won’t make you feel good long term.
3) Separate sleep, eat, exercise, social and work as much as possible
Different rooms for each if possible but if not could be different outfits for different parts of your day, whatever it takes. Getting showered and dressed to go to work will help you mentally ‘clock in’. Zoe said she actually puts make up on for their virtual ‘work social’ so still feels like getting ready to go out – these rituals can help you get in the correct frame of mind for the part of the day you’re in. Given that we won’t be going out much even after work this is vital for our mindset and letting us focus in work time but then switch off after.
4) Fresh air and light (open windows and curtains) is sooooo important
I mean it is normally anyway but whilst we are more tied to our homes than we are used to these things will do a lot to improve mood and help keep you alert.
5) Water is also key.
If you are like us you’ll be in good habits of drinking water in the office but have less of a habit in place at home. Transferring those habits to home life is now essential..
6) Take breaks
It’s easy to feel guilty about not being in the office and so skips breaks or work longer. Short regular breaks have been proven to sharpen the brain and improve your productivity – as a rule a quick stretch or walk to get a glass of water every half an hour will help keep your productive.
It’s important we all make the circumstances work for us as well as possible right now and I’m hoping that these tips will help me if I need to work from home and in the mean time that they can help you.
Thank you to Zoe for giving me her advice and allowing me to share it to help others.