The Ultimate Working from Home Guide for the COVID -19 times!

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Okay, let’s be totally honest about this, right now I bet you are loving working from home... come on, admit it! You’ve got your suit jacket over your white T-shirt and your trackie-daks and slippers on underneath. You’ve got Netflix on low in the background and you plan to get a coffee at your local at lunch (takeaway now that no one can sit in a café). Sheer bloody luxury, mate!

Workplaces are hectic and we certainly can’t wear our trackies every day, but they also provide us with a few things that we really like, and things that help us get stuff done. Things like: routine, structure, focus, accountability, and colleague camaraderie to get through the difficult moments together.Working without these for long periods of time can be hard, really hard, and rightnow your home is probably set up more for rest and relaxation (R&R) than work.So here’s a guide for some things you can do:

  1. Have a real space to work in: yep, have a real desk and a real desk chair, and put it somewhere nice in your home, not the cold corner where you never sit if you can help it.

    If you live in a small apartment and you don’t have that luxury, make a desk box (find a nice wicker box or something you love) so that you can unpack it every morning on to your kitchen bench or dining table perhaps, and pack it up again at the end of the day. This will mean you lose nothing and you also don’t have to live with work stuff all over where you eat or cook (so annoying!).

    Parent tip (I am one) – have a high place to work where kids can’t reach your equipment. Work on a higher chair, or at the kitchen bench. You will be amazed at how much you can get done without little hands all over your computer!

  2. Make it a nice space, make it feel good: If you like candles, have a nice smelling candle on your desk (safely away from curtains or paper of course!), if you prefer a family photo have that, if you like a nice snuggly blanket have that. If you’re using a box, put it in the box and take it out every day. How you feel at your workplace is VERY important. Have a think about it, you should love to be there, make it feel good, put some effort in!

  3. Have a work hours routine, END your day at 5pm, START your day at 9am (or something similar): this is essential for good mental health. We are not meant to be on task 24/7, it will melt your neurons! Have a real sense of how much time you are working and how much time you are using to relax. YES you must have time to really relax and switch off, even if you are working from home and in your slippers for the day, you should have at least 5 hours of R&R every day!

    Parent tip – schedule in a routine for your kid as well, put lots of imaginative free play in it, and lots of exercise! Get them out of the house at least once a day either in the garden or going for a walk (social distancing of course).

Dr. Louise Metcalf

Dr. Louise Metcalf

Senior Psychologist with nearly 30 years in practice.

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