Working from Home

Normal life has changed as we know it. Gone are the commutes into work and dealing with traffic jams; replaced with kids, dogs, partners and a lockdown. If you’re not accustomed to working from home this can be a challenge – and even for those of us who’ve worked from home in the past the lockdown presents unique challenges. From anxiety and stress to finding the focus to get work done, the marketing team at Liniar presents ‘how to succeed in working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic’.

Set a schedule

To maintain a good work life balance, you need to set yourself a schedule for working days. Get up as you normally would. Get dressed – this may not seem important but getting dressed will give your mental health a boost and you won’t look feral after a week! Take regular breaks away from the
computer – take your pet for a walk, grab a coffee, get some fresh air, spend some time with your children, get up and stretch.

It’s important to establish boundaries. Whilst some freelancers who are working from home work to their own hours – many people working from home have set working hours. Be ready for your normal start time and finish your day as you normally work. It’s very easy to work long hours when
you’re working from home – leaving you feeling drained and stressed.

Create a workspace

Having a space that is entirely from work can be helpful – but sometimes unpractical. There may not be space within your home to set up a ‘home office’, alternatively set up a ‘workspace’ in a quiet room in your home – preferably one with a lock inside the door. This avoids awkward interruptions during things like video meetings or conference calls.

Communicate

We’re dealing with isolation – but that doesn’t mean we fall out of touch. Communication between teams working from home is essential. Whether you do daily catchup video chats like the marketing team at Liniar or you simply pick up the phone when you’re feeling particularly isolated, it helps with your mental health.

Whilst communication is essential it’s very easy to ‘over communicate’ when you’re working from home. When you’re not accustomed to working from home, you may feel the need to send many emails and make sure you’re been ‘seen’ and proving that you’re working. This isn’t always the case.

Many line managers realise their teams are working hard even when they’re working from home and the additional emails can cause stress on others unnecessarily.

Working from home with children

If you’ve worked from home in the past, typically the house is quiet and you’ve got the ideal environment but with us all isolating because of the coronavirus nothing is ‘normal’.

It’s helpful to establish boundaries. Working from home requires the discipline to sit down and do what we need to do during our working hours. Putting a note on the door to the room you’re working in will help establish these boundaries. A note on the door helps children who can read to realise that you’re working during certain hours, that you’re in a meeting or that you just need some time out to get things done.

We realise that not all work from home teammates have a partner to help keep their children occupied during those working hours – or both parents are trying to work from home. In these times, it’s a good idea to have a schedule set for children and use techniques that allow them to ‘self
soothe’.

Crafts are an excellent way to keep children occupied for extended periods of time and there are tons of lists of them online from making peanut butter bird feeders to building a fort in the front room. It’s very easy to let screen time creep up during isolation periods, but for children’s mental health it’s essential to keep them engaged and away from TVs or game consoles.

Mental health

Working from home wasn’t something that happened over time with plenty of preparation – and with a pandemic forcing us to stay within our four walls for weeks on end it’s understandable for you to feel overwhelmed, anxious and stressed out.

Keep a positive work/life balance

Don’t forget to take breaks and ensure you’re taking at least 30 minutes for lunch, even when you work from home. It’s important to remember that you’re much more productive when you take care of yourself!

Exercise

Getting some form of physical activity is important for mental health. Whether you’re going for a walk in the fresh air or doing PE in front of the TV with your children, exercising releases endorphins naturally boosting your mood.

Talk

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and lonely when you’re isolated and working from home. The stigma around speaking about mental health is long gone and it’s important to speak to one another about how you’re feeling. Whether this is to your co-workers – because they are in the same boat as you or your family members, vocalising what you’re feeling can make you feel infinitely better.

There are a bunch of resources online to help you deal with mental health while you’re working from home and in isolation. Our lives were turned upside down over night – and if you’re not successfully balancing home-schooling, working and self-care it’s important to forgive yourselves.
There is a learning curve to working in our new normal and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.

Hopefully, these tips help make working from home with your partner, pets and children around you more successful. Just remember, we’re all in this together!

For more tips on mental health during coronavirus visit https://mentalhealth-uk.org/help-andinformation/covid-19-and-your-mental-health/.

Get plenty of tips for keeping your children occupied while ensuring screen time remains balanced by visiting https://www.123homeschool4me.com/101-fun-things-to-do-in-covid-19-isolation/.

Find out more about creating a healthy space to be productive at home by visiting https://www.cotswoldco.com/working-from-home/index.html .

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