Solar panel fire season is all year round and it’s getting more intense in Australia

Timothy O'Leary, University of Melbourne and David Michael Whaley, University of South Australia 2020 was...

Want to exercise more? Try setting an open goal for your New Year’s resolution

By Christian Swann, Southern Cross University It’s that time of year when many of us are setting goals for...

9 tips to give yourself the best shot at sticking to new year’s resolutions

By Joanne Dickson, Edith Cowan University For many cultures, the dawn of the new year is marked not only...

Three ways to achieve your New Year’s resolutions by building ‘goal infrastructure’

By Peter A. Heslin, UNSW This article was first published in The Conversation on...

Symbolic gestures, magical thinking: New Year’s resolutions

By Jayashri Kulkarni, Monash University This article was first published in The Conversation in...

Some routines not to break if coronavirus means working from home

The Conversation logo

By Paula Brough, Griffith University

The precautions taken by some employers over the coronavirus mean you may find yourself working from home, some for the first time.

For example, Telstra says it wants any Australian-based office staff who can work from home to do so until the end of the month “at a minimum”. Many other employers are encouraging their staff to do the same.

You might feel this is a chance to stay in pyjamas all day, graze your way through the kitchen cupboards, and balance work tasks with online shopping and social media entries.


Read more: Social distancing can make you lonely. Here’s how to stay connected when you’re in lockdown


But that won’t help the work get done, and it won’t do much for your sense of well-being. So here are some useful strategies to help if you want to be productive and still feel connected to your workplace over what might be a long working-from-home period.

Advertisement

Work as normal

First prepare yourself for a normal working day. Get up as normal, shower, dress for a casual work day, brush your hair, look as normally presentable as you usually do.

This will put you in your normal work mindset. It will also help if you’re suddenly included in a work meeting via Skype, Zoom, Facetime or Google Hangouts.

Next the physical environment. If you can, have a dedicated work space in a quiet room. It’s really preferable not to work in bed or in your bedroom.

Try to set a desk at home as you would at work. Flickr/Nenad Stojkovic, CC BY

Set up some desk space similar to your office space at work, aiming to replicate your real work space will also help you achieve that work mindset. Plus you want a neutral background behind you for that work video call.

Use software and apps to help you stay connected, such as Slack, Jabber or other similar tools.

Your household data usage will likely increase as you become home-bound. Boost your Wi-fi facilities if you need to – refer to the support offered by your telecom company or internet provider. Some are already offering free upgrades to customers.

Have a plan

Book in daily work meetings via video hook-ups to stay connected and plan work tasks (now you’ll be glad you got out of your PJs!).

You’ll likely still have as much work to do, so plan for a full work day and prioritise your tasks as usual. Make sure you know what is expected of you. Discuss your work tasks with your supervisor as you normally would, it’s important both you and they are clear about your daily work tasks and due dates.

If part of a team, then make sure you know what each member is working on and when their work is due, and follow this up by calls and emails. As always, tell your supervisor of any problems you experience with completing your work.

And remember it’s preferable to discuss any problems via a phone or video call, rather than multiple emails, to better clarify the issues involved.


Read more: It’s not just the isolation. Working from home has surprising downsides


It’s also important to look after your psychological health, during what could become long periods of isolation. Your may feel a bit overwhelmed by the directive to work from home, and also anxious about the broader coronavirus situation.

Social contact is very important. If you’re used to having lunch or coffee with colleagues, plan a quick social phone or video call to each other at lunchtime or after you have finished a few hours of work. It’s really important to stay connected with your colleagues as usual and to make sure all feel supported.

Get some fresh air. If you can, have a daily walk to your local shop, or at least get outside in your garden or balcony. Hang out some washing, walk the dog, water a plant, pick some fresh veggies, just take a break from your desk and move around.

Advertisement

Call family, friends and colleagues to see how they’re doing. Stay socially connected.

Use video technology to stay socially connected with your work colleagues. Shutterstock/RossHelen

That work/life balance

It’s also important to think through your work-home boundaries. We’ve become used to blurring these boundaries a little, which is often beneficial, helping us to manage our multiple demands.

But when your home and work are located in the same place, the boundary setting needs some consideration.


Read more: Can I take the dog for a walk? Can I put the kids to bed? What you should and shouldn’t do if you’re in coronavirus self-isolation


Be aware of home demands interfering with your work. Don’t procrastinate work tasks by first doing some housework. Set yourself a target to complete a work task and when you’ve finished it then spend ten minutes doing the tidying.

Equally, don’t let work take over your home life – just because work is always there doesn’t mean you have to be. Finish about the time you normally would.

Walk away from your desk. Engage with your family and friends. A period of psychological recovery from work is vital to make sure you feel rested and productive for working from home tomorrow.

Paula Brough, Professor and Director, Social & Organisational Psychology Research Unit, Griffith University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Must Read

Solar panel fire season is all year round and it’s getting more intense in Australia

Timothy O'Leary, University of Melbourne and David Michael Whaley, University of South Australia 2020 was...

Want to exercise more? Try setting an open goal for your New Year’s resolution

By Christian Swann, Southern Cross University It’s that time of year when many of us are setting goals for...

9 tips to give yourself the best shot at sticking to new year’s resolutions

By Joanne Dickson, Edith Cowan University For many cultures, the dawn of the new year is marked not only...

Three ways to achieve your New Year’s resolutions by building ‘goal infrastructure’

By Peter A. Heslin, UNSW This article was first published in The Conversation on...

Symbolic gestures, magical thinking: New Year’s resolutions

By Jayashri Kulkarni, Monash University This article was first published in The Conversation in...

Related Articles

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here