As the world confronts the COVID-19 virus, many people are being asked to work from home. The transition to working at home, while necessary and understandable, can present some challenges.
A few simple practices:
- many people are now working from home, looking after children whose schools have closed; they may even be tending to family members who are ill. Under the circumstances, work cannot be conducted in the same way. Where possible make some adjustments. What can be realistically accomplished, are there more flexible timelines for projects and assignments? Be compassionate and patient with yourself.
- many of us enjoy the routine, structure, teamwork and collegiality of our workplaces. Working suddenly from home can be disorienting, even unstable. We can feel socially isolated, less focused and less motivated to work. Balancing these understandable feelings may require some creative organization: working in concentrated 1 to 2 hour intervals, incorporating short breaks, connecting virtually with colleagues, team leads or managers on a daily basis at a set time.
- if possible, designate a separate space for work in your home. Even in apartments or open concept spaces, demarcating an area for work will help you feel organized, on task, and create some mental separation from the other activities in your household.
- working from home - in addition to the adjustments to our daily lives occasioned by the closures of many public activities and services – reduces almost everything in our lives to one place. This is a big adjustment. As much as possible stick to regular hours during the day for work; separate time and space for meals, relaxation, time with family, household chores.
- when we work from home the temptation to multitask or distract ourselves with household chores is great. Taking a break from work and rushing about to do a load of laundry is not taking a break. Practice keeping these activities separate and once again, demarcate time and space to work, time and space to do other things.
- give yourself a reprieve from the news. Working from home means easy access to televisions, computers and phones. Being informed is very important right now but being saturated by the news can be overwhelming and provoke anxiety and stress.
- Stay connected virtually to friends and extended family. Sharing stories, a good laugh, giving and receiving support, all are important for our wellbeing, for keeping things in perspective, and for giving us some mental and emotional space from our work.
- Practice self-care. If you can, get out for some fresh air and a daily walk. Enjoy lunch breaks and conversation with other family members at home. And without the daily commute to work, we can take some extra time to ease into the day and the changes we are all now facing.
Take care of yourselves and those around you.
If you need guidance, support and customized strategies to help you adjust to working from home, please contact me at email@example.com for more information on single 60 minute sessions.
Britt-Mari Sykes PhD - Integrative Career Counseling