With a second lockdown now under way, working at home has once again become a reality for many people. As mentioned in the first of these blogs, the foundation for any working lifestyle is the routines and habits that you create and do on a daily basis. If you’ve been pushed back into working from home mode then these may have been tipped off balance once again. So, how can you establish a working from home approach that works for you?
How do you like to work?
There are two ways to approach any working day: one is with plenty of structure and routines that are predefined and the other is with spontaneity. Very few of us are either one or the other of these and most will incorporate elements of the two. This can throw up a number of factors that you might want to consider when it comes to shaping a new working from home approach:
- Wear what you feel comfortable in. For some people this will be exactly what they’d wear to the office and for others it will be yoga pants and a sweatshirt. Don’t feel guilty about your choice as, for most of us, it’s not going to affect the quality of your work. The only exception is a video meeting which might require a certain standard of dress.
- Create a routine – or don’t. If you want to keep the same structured day that you’d have in the office then get up and shower, have breakfast and dress then start work at 9am. Take your coffee break at 10.30, lunch at 12.30 and give yourself time to stop for tea in the afternoon. If you prefer something more fluid then the great news is that you can create this for yourself in these conditions. Although you might need to bear in mind any contractual requirements on you to be available at certain hours, outside of this you can work at the times that suit you the best.
- Where do you usually get your energy? This may come from the outside world, from other people, situations or things – or it could be that your energy comes from your own inside world, recharging on your own and spending time in your own company. It could also be a combination of the two. It’s essential that you keep feeding whichever energy source works the best for you. For external stimulation get involved on social media, go outside for regular breaks, set up a Whatsapp group discussion or have the TV on when you feel like you need some company. Go easy on yourself if you don’t get as much done as you normally would because the usual sources of stimulation aren’t there. If you get your energy from internal sources you may already be feeling quite good – use the time to decide how, and when, you want to connect with other people in a way that feels comfortable to you.
- Do you miss your commute? Believe it or not, you might. If moving around to different locations is something you miss then try integrating a short drive into your day, a jog or walk or sit outside in the garden, weather permitting.
In addition to the above, working from home in a situation you’re not used to can require some extra self-awareness. Make sure you monitor your feelings and see how lockdown is affecting your mood. Journaling is a great way to just write down how you’re feeling or you can look at the way you’re responding to other people – are you calm and accommodating or short tempered and impatient? Working from home can be a great opportunity to find new ways to work and enjoy a different experience – for many of us it will be temporary but that doesn’t mean we can’t get the most from it while it lasts.
Find out more by booking onto our by booking onto our Well-Being While Working Full or Partly from Home training course.