Set up your home ‘office’
Take an hour or so to work out where you will be able to sit and work most comfortably. Is there a desk or table you can work from, or do you need to set up the ironing board with a lower chair? Working from home can impact your posture and could put a real strain on your back if you don’t support it properly. If you’re working from a laptop, consider investing in a separate keyboard & mouse so that you can rest your laptop on a stack of books, keeping the screen at eye-level and reducing the strain on your neck.
If you have to work from your bedroom or living room, consider what you’ll do at the end of the working day to make that room feel like a space to relax in. For example, can you keep all of your work materials in a cupboard, or light a candle when the day is over? It’s difficult to sleep at night in a bed that you’ve sat in for 8 hours working, for example.
Establish (& enforce) your boundaries
As well as the physical boundaries around the spaces you use to work, relax and sleep, it’s important to set boundaries around the hours and times you’ll work. Where possible, establish a routine and let your co-workers know about it. Even if that means being available for 2-hour chunks throughout the day or into the early morning/late evening, ringfencing this time will help you to stick to your allotted hours and will discourage colleagues from demanding work from you when you’re not at your desk. Fight the temptation to ‘be available’ at all times – you won’t be very productive, and it will impact your much-needed downtime.
Keep moving, and go outside
Build into your routine time to get up and stretch, move around or leave the house for exercise. When you’re busy teaching and caring for children, managing a team that is all remote, or working harder to accommodate missing furloughed colleagues, time flies by. Plan short breaks where you can exercise or leave the house to get fresh air, and a sense of perspective.
Change your approach to calls & communication
In an effort to maintain normality, it’s tempting to shift all your meetings online. Calls with video on are a great way to maintain the feeling of proximity but there can be too much of a good thing: video calls are more tiring than straightforward phone calls. Take the opportunity to clear your calendar: cancel meetings that could have been emailed and take unnecessary team members out of the invitation. Write clearer emails: give comprehensive briefs and clear deadlines, a lot can get lost without the nuance of face-to-face conversation.