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Are you working from home?

March 20, 2020 - If you’re working from home due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, we salute you!

  • Work From Home

We understand that the initial joy of working in your PJs may have been replaced with distractions, lack of focus, procrastination, cabin fever or demanding pets and family members. As a community that has been built around wellbeing, here are some tips to help protect your physical and mental health.

1. Create a workspace

Find a dedicated area that can become your ‘office’, preferably with a door. You don’t want your work to intrude into your home life (and the lives of your housemates or family members). Equally, it can be distracting if others keep walking in on you.
Try to avoid checking emails or making calls in front of the TV or in the kitchen. If you don’t have a separate room, find a quiet corner that works for you.

2. Define a schedule

Even though it may be tempting to sleep in or watch a box set before breakfast, try to maintain the same boundaries between home time and work time as if you were still “going” to work. By sticking to a regular schedule, you can try to avoid getting swallowed up by your workload (or not doing enough to keep on top of things).

  • Getting ready for your working day
    Go out for a walk before your start the day or, if you are self-isolating, spend ten minutes in your garden/on a balcony/ or by an open window, to get some Vitamin D. This helps to reset your circadian rhythm.
  • Starting your day
    Start the day with a phone call or video chat with a colleague to ask them how they are, just as you normally do when you first arrive at work.
  • Structuring your day
    Take regular breaks and a lunch break, just as you would at work. Try to discourage personal intrusions such as friends dropping by to hang out or interrupt your work. These can cause you to lose focus or get behind on your work. Although the location of your work has changed, you still have work to do!
  • “Going home”
    To leave work stress at your desk, turn your computer off. Use your usual commuting time to take a few moments to breathe and unwind from work or go for a quick walk (if you can).

3. Get tech’d up

Take full advantage of work tools and communications technology such as Skype, WhatsApp and Zoom.

4. Move

Pay attention to your posture. Adjustable desks support good posture. You might also want to switch from sitting on an office chair to a Pilates ball and back to avoid sitting for long periods in the same position.
Try out our simple grounding movements

5. Kids (or pets) at home?

Firstly, appreciate that this time is going to involve compromise, preparation and appreciation that you are not a super hero. It may be possible to rethink your hours so that you work in the early morning or evenings when the house is quiet.
Make a plan that allows you to assign your work tasks and also daily activities to keep little ones busy. Older kids can add their ideas to the plan, then stick it on the fridge. Setting tasks that can be completed independently such as easy crafts or small chores can help keep them busy and quiet.
You can even get them to try out some yoga poses

If there is a partner in the picture, work together to divide childcare responsibilities. Talk to your supervisor or manager to understand exactly what needs to be completed, deadlines and expectations. If you are finding it difficult, ask them for ideas and help. They might be able to share some practices that are working for other team members. Be upfront with your clients and colleagues about potentially embarrassing situations such as dogs barking or children walking in. That way, if a disruption does occur, it is no big deal.

Finally

If you’re feeling at all anxious or uncertain, speak out to a colleague, manager or Human Resources. You can also check in with colleagues to see how their day is going. Unfortunately home is not a safe haven for everyone, so if you, or someone you know, is unsafe or in danger, contact the authorities. We all need to do what we can to help each other through this time.

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