Unless you’re one of the frontline heroes bravely tackling work in the trenches (thank you to our amazing NHS workers; supermarket, farming and food delivery people; power, water, wifi and electricity bods; factory, warehouse and retailers keeping us in futons, dumb bells, books and booze; social workers looking out for the vulnerable, and anyone else heroic who we haven’t listed – we salute you. You are literally lifesavers) you’ll be very familiar with working from home right now. You’ll have got the gist of it and will probably fall into one of two camps – those who thrive on it and those who find it a daily struggle.
As journalist Polly Vernon writes in Grazia magazine: Working from home can feel discombobulating. The emotional disruption of not going to a place every morning – the impact of your physical office not being a central part of your life any more is huge. We’re institutionalised from five years old innit! Getting up and going to some place every day of the working week is all we know. Take that out of the equation – the obligation, the responsibility, the sense of purpose; the distraction of other people, the physical logistics of getting there, even – that’s a lot of stuff to no longer have to contend with. It amounts to an absence. A loss.
If you’re still grappling with working from home and you haven’t read the reams and reams of hacks and advice available, we’re sharing our top tips with you in a final bid to make working from home more bearable (if you’re one of those who actively dislike it):
· Stick to a routine. Get up at the same time every day and stick to mealtimes. Even if you’re not working, it’s important to create a sense of structure to differentiate between different times of the day (this is really important if you live alone, trust us). In a time of national crisis you need to safeguard your mental and physical health
· Exercise is key. Even if it’s hoovering or cleaning the bathroom, attending an online yoga class, schedule at least 30 minutes of exercise every day
· Set yourself a goal. Maybe it’s spring cleaning the mass of stuff under your bed; re-ordering the kitchen cupboards or reading a book you borrowed from the library. Whatever it is, now’s your chance
· Have a Plan B. However much of an optimist you are and however resilient, there will be times when you feel fed up, so plan ahead. What’s your coping mechanism for the down times? Writing a diary; listening to a podcast; sitting on your balcony; zooming a friend? Remember, we’re all in this together and hopefully we’ll come out of the lockdown even stronger and healthier than ever
Futon Company says: Our key coping mechanism for working from home is to create an emotional comfort blanket inside our space. What we mean by this is re-ordering our space to surround ourselves with familiar and comforting cues that will help and support us through the crisis. Think tactile textiles to cover our knees when we sit outside at night; a padded cushion to protect our backs while we’re working from home; a coffee mug for break times and a comfy chair. Whether your space is small or spacious it’s these emotional cues that will see us through…