March 26 2020
Top tips for Working from Home 'Newbies'
Legal Career Tips
Working from home is an important part of flexible working. Although it’s standard practice for some of us already, many of us have had the concept of working from home unexpectedly thrust upon us by Coronavirus, with little time to adapt. Here are some top tips we’d recommend for making working from home a healthy and productive experience in these unprecedented circumstances:
Striking the right balance between life and work
How can you give your home the dual-function of operating as a positive working environment and your relaxing, comforting space?
Where possible try and set up a positive workspace. The circumstances created by Covid-19 are exceptional and it is important to note that not all of us have the luxury of a desk or a private space away from children, other family members and housemates - but this doesn’t mean you can’t still be productive.
If you can, ensure that your co-habitors know that when the door is shut you don’t want to be disturbed, and if your housemate walks in and starts doing a home-workout whilst you are on an important call - don’t worry, your colleagues will understand!
If you have to work from your bed or even in your bedroom make sure that you are able to separate work from sleep and relaxation once the working day is over - turn off your laptop and work phone and lock them away in a cupboard if you have to!
F-LEX top tip: Don’t underestimate the value of a good routine. Getting showered and dressed for the day before you start work will help to start your day off right and so will unwinding by doing things that you enjoy in the evenings.
Looking after your physical and mental health
Taking care of the body and mind is important, especially with the disruption to daily life that Coronavirus and ‘lockdown’ are likely to have. We think that using this time to really fine-tune the art of self-care by looking after your physical and mental welfare is important.
Take breaks! Ensuring that you have a five minute break every hour will give you a chance to reflect and increase productivity: talk to your family, play with your dogs, walk around your house or go outside if you can. For me, setting an hourly reminder on my phone encourages me to move and helps ensure that I’m not sitting at my laptop for six hours straight.
F-LEX top tip: Using an ironing board as a standing desk to enable agile working and help with posture has worked well for some of us F-LEX employees, it’s even adjustable too!
Staying active is also a great way to keep yourself in check during these difficult times. Whether it’s going for a walk or doing a home work-out, getting active will reap significant benefits for your physical and mental health.
F-LEX top tip: Headspace (https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app) is something that many of us F-LEX Associates have also found really useful. Meditation is a fantastic way to de-stress, regain focus and even sleep better. When work-life and home-life become intertwined, it can sometimes take a little while to unwind once work ends. You no longer have a commute home from the office to break your day into two distinct parts. We find Headspace to be particularly useful at this time of day, when work ends and your leisure time starts. You can finish work, take ten minutes to relax and then enjoy your evening without carrying your day’s stresses.
Think of Coronavirus as a good way to bond. It’s weird, most of us have never been in a situation like this before but importantly we are all in this together. Thinking of the virus as a positive way to strengthen communication with both loved ones and colleagues is a great way to forge even stronger relationships.
Having never worked from home before, outside of a collaborative office environment it is easy to feel isolated and lonely.
F-LEX top tip: I have found that sitting at the kitchen table with my flatmates has kept my morale up and increased my productivity. Even though we work in completely different industries, having company has boosted my motivation and made working from home feel much less lonely.
If you are self-isolating, social-distancing or you live alone make sure you are staying in touch with family members and, of course, colleagues. Technology is a great way to stay connected.
F-LEX top tip: Here at F-LEX we have been using Zoom and Slack to video call one another - we’ve even been doing video chat desk exercises to make sure we aren’t suffering from ‘tech-neck’! Face-to-face interaction is a great way to lift your spirits - I’ve also been face-timing friends and family regularly which has been a great source of comfort.
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