Published 23 April 2020
If you’re working from home as a result of COVID-19, the following tips and strategies can help you to maintain a routine, stay productive and remain connected to your colleagues during this time of change.
Create a daily routine
This might include setting morning tasks, scheduled breaks, and a consistent, end-of-day knock-off time.
The following activities can also be helpful.
- Go for a walk before work and then start your day.
- Put on work clothes - it’s important to get dressed as you would for work.
- Set up a dedicated work space at the start of your work day.
- Write a daily schedule as you would for work usually, but add in breaks, lunch etc.
- Communicate this schedule to your family members/housemates so that they are aware of when you’re taking breaks and when you shouldn’t be disturbed. One way you might do this is to put a copy of your schedule on your door or in the kitchen.
- Have a morning video or phone meeting with your team (around 15 minutes) – this is a good way to check in and will also help you to set up your day.
- Take tea/coffee breaks in the same way that you would at work – choose a cup to be your ‘work cup’ for the day.
- In between meetings, take the opportunity to get up, stretch, and/or do a five - 10 minute mindfulness or breathing exercise.
- Take a lunch break away from your work area, and eat outside if possible. Eating lunch or having a coffee break with your family members/housemates can also help to break up the day.
- Pack up your work space at the end of the day.
- Walk or exercise at the end of the work day.
- Headphones – to block out background noise.
- Notebooks for work – use these depending on tasks and lock away at the end of the day.
- Create an office space if possible – partition off an area, set up a desk, place familiar things around you that help make space feel like an office.
- Have a sign on the door, e.g., Please do not disturb, I’m in a meeting. Open the door between sessions so that your ‘home colleagues’ know when they can consult with you (ask for snacks, where something is, etc.).
- Have a ‘door policy’ for children, partners and other housemates, e.g., when the door is ajar you can come in, and if it’s closed please don’t interrupt me.
- Have a shower at the end of the day.
- Change out of your work clothes when you finish the work day.
- Make time to speak to colleagues during the day, to simulate the sorts of informal catch ups you would usually have in the office environment.
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