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All of the team at Women Who Count are now working from home due to the coronavirus crisis and we hope that as many of you as possible are able to do the same. It looks as though we, as a nation, will be working this way for the foreseeable future and for many of us, this is completely different to our normal working lives. A prolonged period of working from home is very different to the odd day now and again and add to that, the fact that you can’t hot desk in a local café mean that we could quickly grow to resent it.
Here are some tips from the Women Who Count team on how to survive working from home.
1. Don’t see working from home as an opportunity for a lie-in! Get up at the same time as you normally would to maintain a routine and your circadian rhythm which will contribute to your energy levels.
2. Just as you wouldn’t have a lie-in, don’t spend your whole day in your pyjamas! It helps your working mindset if you’re dressed – you don’t necessarily need to wear very formal clothes but try to dress in something you’d be happy in when leaving the house.
3. Prepare your workstation – make sure you have a clear desk space and, preferably, an ergonomic chair that supports your neck and back to prevent injury. Set up a video conferencing service (Teams/Skype/Zoom etc) with all of your colleagues or clients so you can have individual and group calls, meetings and messaging throughout the day. It’s very important to feel connected and keep in touch during this time.
4. Set clear boundaries with family or flatmates who might also be at home. It might be fun at first for the children to come to sit on your knee in your home office whilst you’re on a conference call, but the novelty will wear off. It’s best to start as you mean to go on.
5. Create a working day. When you’re working from home, you have to self-motivate. You don’t have people popping by your desk to ask you questions or even just to break up the day. Your energy and motivation will peak and trough. Try to work during the peaks and be kind to yourself in the troughs – maybe that’s the time to go to the kitchen for lunch or take a brisk walk, if you can.
6. And in a similar vein, plan your work for the day, scheduling intensive work for when you’re most productive. For many people that’s early morning so perhaps schedule more administrative tasks or phone calls for the afternoon.
7. Make sure you take breaks. Go for a walk, take time over lunch, meditate, whatever it takes to tear you away from the desk. It will help your physical and mental well-being over time, as well as your eyesight.
8. Don’t try to multi-task all day: leave the domestics such as dinner prep or laundry etc for later as it will distract you from your work. Fine to do a little in your breaks but don’t overrun!
9. There is a tendency at home to work longer hours because of the lack of commute, but this isn’t healthy. The Women Who Count team recommend that you finish at around your usual time to maintain a routine and enable you to balance working and home-life.
10. Finally, close the door on the home office or put your laptop away at the end of the working day. And relax!
Do let us know if you have any tips and tricks for home working as I’m sure new habits are going to evolve over the coming weeks.
You can still contact me and the team and we would love to hear from you. Do keep in touch but the most important thing is to stay at home and stay healthy.
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