Be productive, stay sane and have fun.
1. It’s just like a normal day.
Wake up early like you usually would and get your head into gear. Our bodies are so used to getting up, getting ready and commuting that this can bring back a bit of that normal day routine. Otherwise it’s easy to fall into PJ’s all day and get a bit cabin-fever-y. Not saying you can’t have the odd PJ day! But make sure it’s making you feel good, energised and positive rather than sluggish and down.
As for working from home, know that everyone is in the same boat and appreciates that some have small children and families within their working space. Know that it is absolutely fine, if your child comes in on a Skype call – introduce them, let them say hello to the camera. Include them within your space and know that everyone is understanding.
2. Take those breaks.
Have your coffee breaks, your snack breaks and your hour lunch. Give yourself the odd milestone to help you feel like you’ve got the same office-ish lifestyle. Otherwise it’s easy to fall into that black hole of hours and hours of working and not knowing what time or what day it is. Remember to log out and have your evenings to unwind.
3. Get your butt outside.
This seems like a simple one, but working from home makes it all too easy to become a bit of a gremlin and find that you’re not facing the outdoor world at all. Take a stroll or simply sit in the garden or in a local park. Obviously stay safe and keep a good distance from people but at the same time it’s important to keep your mind healthy by having a bit of a change of scenery. This will also help break up the day a little.
4. Keep negativity at bay.
Being at home means you don’t have the rules you have in the office of not being on your phone too much, so the temptation to be on platforms like social media for hours on end is tempting. But this has been proven to be detrimental to mental health if not used wisely, so log out at certain times of the day and make sure you have breaks from it.
Limit your news also, by all means stay updated but try not to get consumed by it. As almost all news is negative and this can make you feel really down about the situation. If you are going to be online, follow good news sites like the Instagram page: @the_happy_broadcast
5. Active body, active mind.
This is so important, and with working from home this can be a lot harder with concerns over not having the right weights or equipment. But there are great videos online that show you really versatile workouts you can do at home at any fitness level.
As a collective effort you can also organise a company wide active challenge. For example using the app Mapmyrun to create a competition in terms of how many steps people can do in a week, the winner per week could get a little surprise gift in the post from their employer.
As well as staying physically active, keep your mind active too. This is the perfect time to discover your creativity, be it in reading, painting, creating… anything really! You have time to really concentrate on what makes your mind happy.
6. Fill your home with music.
You don’t have the office DJ anymore (we all know the one, who has to battle the masses to get an even mix between Ariana Grande and AC/DC!), but keep listening to music because it’s been proven to keep you feeling involved and less lonely. As an idea you can even create a company shared Spotify account, where someone can create a playlist every few days, made up of submitted songs from each person. Then you can collectively listen to it from home.
It’ll give a mixture of tastes but hey! Will feel like the office! Minus endless 90’s tracks…
7. Interact with other humans.
Be it your family in the house or your partners, if you’re on your own do video calls with friends and collages. Keep as social as you can, for example, have a glass of wine with your girlfriends over facetime on a friday, you’ll be surprised at how normal it feels.
Keep points of contact open as much as possible. For example, create a daily invite for a group video call during lunch, this way you can all have a chat and a giggle like you usually would.
You can even create a remote company wide Quiz for a Friday, sending out Google Sheets so teams can log their answer, and electing a different quiz master week on week.
8. Spread kindness.
This is a strange time to say the least, nothing like this has happened in many of our lifetimes, it can be scary and uneasy. But it can be a time where we all pull together, where we can go out of our way to show our true kindness to each other.
These can be in the little things, by posting a kind letter to your neighbours to let them know that you are there to help if they need you. To send little surprise gifts through online stores to your friends and family to give them a little pick-me-up. To organise virtual pubs, bars, meals out. To watch a film together by using Netflix Party.
Show each other patience, be there when each other is down and make sure we all stay safe.
9. Know it’s not forever.
Lastly, know it’s not going to last forever. It’s a really tough time for us all and it’s wonderful how many companies including our own have pulled together in such an uneasy time. But we will come out of this on the other side. And when that end is in sight you can collectively organise a big party or meal or outing of some kind and celebrate the next chapter.
These ideas can be bubbling away in the background for now and all be put into a ‘Post-pandemic Jar’, when all of this has passed you can pick one out at random to do each month as a team afterwards.
Author: Megan Jones