COVID-19: A Short Guide To Working From Home
If you've been working from home - or will be shortly - because of the COVID-19 outbreak, by now your back is likely hurting from being glued to your laptop or phone. Your email inbox, text messages, and group chats are filled with friends, family, and co-workers sending proper sanitation practices, or sports memes claiming the world is over because the NBA, NHL, and MLB have all postponed their seasons.
While all of this is going on, your work is not just allowing you but encouraging you to work from home. Sounds great, right!?
Despite offering safety, comfort, and flexibility, working remotely can negatively impact your wellbeing and emotional health. Here are a few tips for prioritizing wellness while working from home.
Don't Turn It Into Solitary Confinement
In an office setting, you become accustomed to colleagues stopping by your desk or chatting with people during your lunch hour. Working from home eliminates the social contact that we all tend to take for granted. Combat this issue by making more time for extra-curricular activities. The hour you normally might have spent commuting can now turn into a workout, a run outside, or playing sports.
Take A Breather
After you've gotten yourself settled for the day and you're plunked down in front of your laptop, you can often start to lose track of time and it'll get dark outside before you know it. Taking a short break here and there will help you focus and work better in the long run. Go outside, have a snack, or even disconnect completely for 15 minutes. Make sure you take some time to step away and stand up. It might sound small, but this can make a big difference in efficiency and preventing burnout.
Make Your Home Office Fit Your Needs
In an uncommon situation such as that of the COVID-19 issue, creating a home office for most people usually means that you're sitting on the couch, feet up, and your laptop on your lap. While this sounds comfortable, in the long run it's not the best way to sit or maximize efficiency while working from home. Establishing your workspace at home should become the perfect opportunity for you to embrace your creativity and build something unique to you. Do you like listening to music? Low or different coloured lighting? Plants? Make the space entirely your own. Whatever it is that makes you feel the most comfortable, try to fill your space with what you love. This will drastically improve your mood, and you'll notice it almost immediately.
Mindfulness Promotes Wellness
Having to abruptly change your routine and be forced to work from home can cause a significant disruption to a lot of people. Every day, allocate some time to focus on you. Taking time to practice some positive affirmations that are in tune with your personal beliefs, feelings, outlook, or environment can make all the difference during this time of change. You may also want to take this opportunity to evaluate your work and discover ways that you can improve your role or department. Being able to work on your own is an excellent indicator of your work ethic.