Working from home, or “WFH” to use its well-known name, was a great option before Corona. It helps increase motivation by balancing out the work-life predicament. When it is forced upon you however, as it has been with Corona, it can be a stressful time for employees and business managers alike.
How do you manage a remote team if you have never done so before? It’s very different. What technology is there to help you and your team? A minefield if you’ve never used it before.Where will I work in my house? “In the office all of this is provided for me…”
So here are our top 6 tips to help you WFH in the current climate, along with some extra practices to help manage your stress levels when confined to your house…
Try to dedicate some space to your home working, even if it is a place at the kitchen table. Ideally you want to have an area that is for and related only to working. This will help you focus on the tasks at hand and not get drawn into other things during your working day. Also by having a designated area, you can “leave” work when you finish, and not let it follow you into your downtime.
Set yourself a plan for your day. Giving yourself some structure to work with will help you to understand what tasks are achievable in the time you have. It will also help you to have a clear “start” to your day and importantly a “finish” to your day. Don’t forget your “to-do” and priority list, as you normally would – this will help you fit tasks into your new timetable.
Just like you would when working in the office, give yourself regular breaks. It might not seem like much, but making a cuppa or having a stroll in the fresh air will help you to maintain your focus when you are in front of your computer or checking through documents. Try a break mid-morning, take an hour for lunch, and a further break for 15 minutes or so in the afternoon – with your daily walk built-in.
Self isolation doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Your colleagues will be going through the same experiences and feelings as you, so talk to them about it. Make sure you have contact with colleagues as well as customers (job dependent of course). But WFH is no different to being in the office and having a chat with your colleague who usually sits next to you will be a much-needed break, in exactly the same way it is in the office.
It can be difficult to work in complete silence. So you might have the music or the radio playing quietly to provide life and atmosphere, and the right music can help you think properly and concentrate. Having some noise does help you feel less like you are on your own and a positive atmosphere is conducive to better work. Just be careful how much news you are consuming and when.
Conversely, if you are surrounded by boisterous kids, some periods of silence might be just want you need. Listen to that and make sure you get it.
We all know or have heard the phrase “healthy body, healthy mind”, and nutrition is so key, not only to our physical health but also our mental health. When working from home it’s no different – you need to make sure that you are eating the right foods to both keep your mind stimulated and to reduce fatigue. It’s easy to eat and eat, but sometimes that’s boredom. Make sure you drink lots of water (if nothing else it’s good for your skin!), and a breakfast that sees you through until your scheduled breaks.
This doesn’t mean that a treat to celebrate a success, break up the day, or when you finish a big task can’t be had…
Now, you’re based at home, you have your space and you are ready to go, but you are still feeling the stress, Nicci Wright is here to give you some stress busting advice to help you mentally prepare for the new working environment you have ahead of you.
Stress and work-related stress is all too common, with the majority of us in the UK experiencing stress at some point in our lives. We are all so used to stress that many people are unaware that they are continuously operating at that frequency until things get a bit too much…
We get to a crisis point, our physical health is impacted, or some other life issue means that we need to stop, slow down, and start looking at better ways to look after ourselves. Thankfully more companies are now aware of this and are putting provisions in place, and it’s one of the reasons we do the work we do, and I thought I would share with you a few of the methods that I have used to help me. Maybe they can help you too?
Meditation has long been referred to as a great way to combat stress and has made its way into the mainstream with many business leaders now promoting its benefits including Steve Jobs, who said this about the experience:
“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things–that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before.”
With all of this time at home, it could be a great opportunity to implement a morning meditation routine and start realising the benefits and reducing anxiety.
Yoga is another useful practice for those looking to combat stress, a key principle is that the body and mind are connected and stress in one area will impact the other. Many of us live mostly in our mind or our body which creates imbalance.
There are lots of great yoga options online. Yoga with Adrienne is very popular and suits different levels and needs. Here is one specific to anxiety and stress. The Evening Standard posted an article recently of many London based studios who are now doing classes online. There may also be more local or familiar studios near you, that you could support through this period!
The final recommendation from us in supporting your mental wellbeing is therapy. Therapy can help you both deal with and get to the root of your worries and concerns, help you identify when you are becoming stressed, and provide coping methods in such situations.
Finding a therapist who you can foster a good, trusted and safe relationship with is an important part of having therapy. In times such as these when you are looking for immediate help and are restricted by travel, simply Googling ‘therapist near me’, isn’t going to be effective.
At The Circle Line we’ve tried to make the process much simpler. We’ve created a matching tool helping you find someone that works best for you as an individual – and if you’re not happy with your first session, you can continue to try out therapists at the reduced rate of £25 until you are happy with who best to work with for your needs and circumstances.
Why not give it a go. Getting the most out of life, whatever that might look like right now, is something available and possible for us all.
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