5 Mins Read
We are in the middle of the current coronavirus pandemic. At the time of writing, Covid-19 is fast reaching 170,000 cases and the death toll has surpassed 6,500 globally. Some of us (who are lucky enough to!) have either been given the flexibility or been asked to adopt working from home in order to prevent the spread of the virus. But it isn’t necessarily easy to “WFH” without succumbing to an imbalance between your work and home life – whether that be overworking or the opposite – and it’s tough to predict how long this arrangement will last. So we thought it could be handy to offer a few tips to optimise WFH during the coronavirus.
1. Keep your morning routine
Making sure you’re setting the boundary between your home life and work life is important. So this means that number one is to go about your daily morning routine and prep for your workday as you usually do – getting dressed and eating a nutritious breakfast. The only thing you really should take away from your regular ritual is the getting out of the house bit. Once you’re all ready, then start your work day.
2. Separate your work space
Keep your work space separate from your home space. This means staying away from the bed or your sofa, and sticking to doing your work on a desk. If you don’t happen to have this option, see if you can grab a stool or a coffee table to use as a desk, just so you can work remotely without feeling like you’re lazing around at home on a weekend. This will help avoid turning your entire flat into what feels like your office, and also keep you focused during work hours without distractions.
3. Keep non-work electronics at bay
For those who do have a TV at home, yes, that means turning the TV off during your work hours! Of course, this is unless your work requires you to watch the news or a particular channel. This applies to video games and books too, by the way. In short: if you wouldn’t typically do it at the office, then don’t at home either. Getting rid of the background noise will help boost your productivity during the day. Plus, it will make the time you get after work to indulge in your favourite TV show and nighttime read extra rewarding.
4. Prep your snacks and lunch
Unless you usually manage to cook up a fresh meal or put together an afternoon snack in your office pantry on a regular day, make sure you do this prior to your WFH day begins. Avoid lingering in the kitchen for longer than you usually would (to procrastinate) by setting aside some nutritious plant-based snacks to nibble on mid-morning or afternoon, such as nuts and dried fruit, crackers and hummus, or sliced apples and peanut butter (my favourite!). If you can, prep your lunch too to keep in the fridge or get it ready to reheat before your day begins. That way, you can really spend your lunch hour enjoying your meal and taking a break before you get on with your tasks, phone calls and online meetings.
5. Do take breaks
You wouldn’t be working non-stop in the office, would you? If you did, anyway, then you should probably start taking breaks at work when normal office-life resumes. This shouldn’t be any different just because you’re now at home. Remember to look away from your screen regularly, take short breaks to stand up, walk around and stretch, and fill up your glass of water or tea to stay hydrated. It’s important to make sure you’re working healthily – after all, working from home during the coronavirus is meant to keep you safe and healthy!
6. Go outside
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean that you need to avoid going outside entirely – it’s a measure that is designed to maintain social distancing, especially large numbers of people in small spaces. Of course, this doesn’t apply if you are obliged to self-quarantine or self-isolate if you have come into contact with infected people, if you have returned from travelling abroad, or if you suspect to be unwell. Otherwise, do go outside for a walk, fulfil your daily grocery list and errands.
7. Sign off at the end of the day
Again, to enforce the boundary between work and home life, it’s a good idea to sign off when you’re off work, just like when you leave the office on a regular day. So if you’re using email, Slack, Skype or whatever app or method of digital communication, make sure to tell your coworkers that you’ll now head off. Once you do, take that time off to properly relax, cook, resume your everyday activities and refrain from working until the next work day!
Read our earlier news coverage of Covid-19 and tips on prevention here.
All images courtesy of Pexels, unless otherwise specified.