Working from Home or Living at Work?

WFH- the newest trending acronym for 2020. With COVID-19 changing so many dynamics of our lives, from socialising, exercising, dining out and most importantly, working. Many office and corporate workers making the shift from office desk to dining room table and from suit and tie to dressing gown and slippers (unless you have a zoom meeting…), it’s pretty obvious to say that our working lives have had a dramatic shift this year. 

With the boundary line between work and home becoming a bit more blurred as we move through this year, we need to ensure that we are working from home and not living at work. 

The team at Steps 2 Success has compiled our top 10 tips on how to separate your home and work life!

  1. Routine is Key

Even though our lives have changed this year, it doesn’t mean we need to completely lose our routines. It’s the small and simple things that will keep you sane.

Set your alarms, get out of bed, have a shower and eat breakfast! If you’re someone who normally had to travel for work, turn that travel time into a walk around the block so you physically leave your home, then come back in to start your workday.

  1. Set up a separate space for work

If you are able to create a separate space or desk that is purely for your work life, we highly encourage it! This can help you separate your two worlds visually and mentally.

If you do not have the space to do this, that’s okay too! Just make sure that you give yourself designated times to be at your work desk and in “work mode”.

  1. Establish Boundaries

Like most households, you aren’t the only one who is now home a lot more. From home schooling your kids or teens, or having other working professionals at home, you’ll be sharing your space at some stage.

It is super important that you all sit down together and establish some boundaries BEFORE they get crossed. That you don’t have to have this conversation later down the track after someone’s feelings have been hurt.

  1. Schedule Breaks

The same way you would get up from your desk to speak to a co-worker, get a coffee or just to stretch your legs, it is vital that you do the same now. Whether it’s five minutes every hour or 10-15minutes every two hours, it is important that you schedule in that time and set reminders to make sure you take time to refocus and re-group. 

  1. Take breaks away from your desk

Great, you’ve scheduled your breaks. Now, make sure you take them away from your desk. Go into a different room or get some fresh air if the weather is nice! 10 minutes outside will help clear your mind and reenergise you for your next task in the firing line.

  1. Check in with co-workers (Create a safe space to speak open and honestly).

Co-workers can be an extension to your family at times. Pre Covid days, these were the people you would see more than your friends and even family members sometimes.  Make sure you check in with each other, ask how they’re doing and create a safe space to be open and honest with each other. We’re all going through difficult and tough times right now, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and you have support around you.

  1. Ask for help or for resources if needed

Your employer understands that this is an unpredictable and difficult time right now. Whether it’s an extra monitor, a new USB or advice on how to tackle your workload, never be afraid to ask. Communication is key and no one is a mind reader.   

  1. Work out when you’re most productive

If you have been given some flexibility around your work life and hours, then work out when you’re most productive. If you’re an AM or PM person, if you like to start your day with a walk, HIIT session from home or to slowly sip your coffee whilst you watch the morning news, do what works best for you.

  1. Take advantage of the small perks

Although working from home has disrupted most of our lives, it doesn’t have to be completely negative. There are always some small perks we can find. Working from home allows us to get that extra load of washing done during the working week to help free up our weekends, less travel time may mean a longer sleep in, and there’s no such thing as forgetting your lunch at home anymore!

  1. Stay positive

Mindset is everything! Remember, if you are working from home, you are WORKING. There’s a lot of Australians out there who cannot say the same right now. If you are a part of a business who has been allowed to stay open during these lock downs, or if you are on JobKeeper, remember that you are lucky and that many people are striving to be in the position you’re in.

It’s clear to say that 2020 was not the year that any of us expected to have when we were chanting “HAPPY NEW YEAR” just over seven months ago, but it is a journey none the less. 2020 is the year that made everyone around the world change, adapt and revise their plans, and we will all be stronger and more resilient for it.

The most important thing to remember is that we are all in this together and we will go back to a “new normal” one day. Check on your friends and family (virtually if needed), and know that is it okay to feel uneasy during this period.

Stay safe, stay positive, stay together.

This will make for a great story for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.