My top 5 tips for working from home successfully during a pandemic!

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I’ve been working from home for almost 10 years now, so the situation we’re all in, working from home, is not new to me.  I feel for those who were thrown into this significant change, juggling kids and tossing coins for prime position in the study (if you’re lucky enough to have one).

Working from home was something I chose to do, not something that was thrust upon me without notice. 

I had time to choose a space in my house, decorate (name plaque on the door of course!), buy furniture and make sure the light was coming in, just where I needed it! Spoilt right?!

Despite the office space, I remember those first few weeks, setting myself up on the couch so I was comfy, staying in my PJ’s all day and having difficulty concentrating as the TV remote called me!!

What an adjustment this was from the corporate space and boundaries I was used to working within!

Although I was free to leave the house without restrictions, there were times where I felt like the job owned me; I was always at work and dreaming of an office environment to physically walk away from.

It was a slippery slope to developing some very bad habits. 

I soon learnt that I was becoming more unproductive by the day, I felt unprofessional in my snuggie!! unfit and just not in the zone for work. Home was work and work was home.. I had blurred all the lines, yet I never really had ‘free’ time.

I know everyone’s situation is different and the ideal ergonomic set up is unlikely available if working from home is new for you (think stand up work station and treadmill!!), however there’s a few small things you can do to maintain a healthy work/life blend right now as we work our way through this pandemic, one day at a time.

Here’s my top 5 tips:

  1. Get Dressed!! Put your Oodie in the back of the cupboard and get some real clothes on… Active wear? Fine! Jeans and a t-shirt, even better. A suit, if you must! It’s all about shifting your mindset to work mode. Find your name badge or your unform and get your kit on ready for the day.
  2. Create a new routine: get it in the calendar! Include your meal planning and Coles delivery, set aside time to exercise and virtually socialise, as you normally would.
  3. Set some boundaries: We’ve all had a zoom call where the dog/child/husband walks in unannounced! What does your work day look like and how will you separate work from home? Close the door? Turn off the laptop at 4pm? Name them and let everyone in your house/team know!
  4. Exercise: Just 30mins a day can shake the funk if you’re having a bad day. Stop cancelling on the most important ‘meeting’ of the day. You owe it to yourself!
  5. Stay connected: What’s app group, Marco Polo, walk and talk, virtual Friday drinks – lock in your preferred method and keep chatting. Check in on your favourite people and make sure they’re doing ok too.

So as tempting as it is to stay in your comfy clothes on the couch, stick to a routine, keep your body moving, keep in touch with your mates and find time to recharge on your own. You’ve got this!

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