March 28, 2020 3 min read

In our joint effort to end this pandemic together, we’re all doing our best by practising social distancing, washing our hands and even encouraging remote working. Luckily technology is enabling more and more people to work entirely remote and helping us self-isolate effectively. While we might be able to maintain our work lifestyles at home, we don't often discuss the effects of isolation on our productivity and mental health. If you feel like you need a helping hand in settling into home working, follow these top tips: 

1. Maintain a routine

A disruption in our normal working routines can cause us to feel emotional and overwhelmed, especially when we need to limit our interactions with other people. It's all about re-establishing a routine into our daily lives, although adapted to our new arrangements.

For example, keep waking up at the same time every day as you used to. Maintain some from of exercise if that was built into your day - if you used to go to the gym, then try a home workout instead. Even getting dressed for work makes a huge difference to our day, by creating a sense of routine and normalcy. 

It can be a little tough when your kids are now at home, but incorporating a routine into their day helps ensure you can keep to yours. Ensure their day is well balanced with learning, play and rest so they don't end up trying to keep busy themselves. This helps them stay on top of their school work and also allows you to keep your concentration and focus on your own work.

2. Limit your working time

Working from home can create feelings of guilt, which tends to make people work more than they would have done in the office and results in people using extra time to 'catch up' on tasks, rather than leaving it as a period for rest.

This can also happen because there is no longer a commute to work, which essentially is a transition period for getting into work mode. Moving from bed to desk immediately does not give us enough time to mentally prepare and we may find it difficult to differentiate time for work and rest if we don't create boundaries. 

3. Use video communication

A lot of meetings which normally take place in-person will now have to be made via video call. But we can also use video call to speak to our loved ones who may be isolated from us during this time. Our reliance on social cues and facial expressions can make non-video communication emotionless and robotic. 

Being on camera may not be easy at first but over time you will realise the opportunity it brings you when you are able to see your friends and colleagues as well as help you feel connected.

4. Keep moving

It is important to stay active while you are working from home. At work you would normally be moving around the office speaking to colleagues, attending meetings or taking breaks in the staff pantry. You should try to maintain the same movements while working from home.

If you live in a small space, it might help to reorganise furniture to optimise your working environment. For example, you could move your desk towards the window to create the perception that you are in a new space. You could also try adding flowers to your desk area or re-arranging it a little to look different. 

5. Learn a new skill

Let's face it. The constant monotony and isolation of working from home can be really taxing on mental health. Therefore if work is becoming monotonous and you're feeling less and less productive, it might be time to reengage your mind with a new skill. The harder the skill, the better! Perhaps you might want to pick up some beginner coding lessons or brush up on a new language you've always wanted to try. The internet is a wealth of resources for picking up a new trick or two.

6. Tackle long-awaited tasks 

I'm sure we all have a long list of tasks that we are saving for a rainy day. And now is the perfect time to tackle them, such as looking at new career options, repairing old furniture or clothing that has been put aside or even redecorating. Scheduling these in between work tasks breaks the mundaneness of the day and clears up your task list for newer items that need to be added in.  

We hope you are able to make the most of working from home


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