With thanks to the many great suggestions from seasoned RX Global and RELX homeworkers!
1. Get dressed!
Whilst it’s tempting to slouch around in your nightwear, putting on something work appropriate will get you into a more productive mind set. Also, you never know when someone might want to video chat you.
2. Get your blood moving
Commuting to work can be a pain, but it does help to get the blood circulating and oxygen flowing. If you can, start the day with a walk around the block to your temporary new ‘office’, a few miles on your exercise bike, or a home video workout. It will help you set to work with a clearer, more focused mind.
3. Create a dedicated workspace
Find a quiet space, preferably somewhere you can shut the door and zone out. Avoid the kitchen table – it’s too near the fridge! Missing your office chair? Why not see if you can borrow it for the duration.
4. Establish a regular routine
Create a routine that works for you and try to be consistent. Structure your day like normal if you can. If you have kids, start early and work late, or split the day with your partner and adjust your work calendar accordingly. If emails are a distraction, save them for the afternoon. Prepare a to-do list to meet your daily work goals. Set up reminders to stretch, drink water etc. Block off time for exercise. And don’t forget to break for lunch.
5. Stay connected
Working from home can be isolating. Set up regular 15-30 minute virtual coffee catch ups with your colleagues. It not only allows you to feel more connected but also helps you stay aware of how everyone is dealing with the situation.
6. Take time out, outdoors
Take regular screen breaks. Stand up, stretch, and move around. If you are not self-isolating, make sure you get outdoors every day, be it to exercise, walk the dog or just clear your mind. It will give you a fresh perspective on any tasks you are struggling with.
7. Get the children on board
Working from home with kids under lockdown creates particular stresses. Establish clear schedules and boundaries for them too. To encourage their co-operation, one creative RELX employee is rewarding his young children with ‘Corona Diplomas’ when they follow the new house ‘rules’ – presumably with the promise of a handsome reward when normality resumes!
8. Know when to stop
You are more likely to overwork than underwork from home. When you stop work, turn off notifications on your phone and computer. If you don’t have a dedicated space, put your laptop out of sight at the end of your working day. Or, if you have kids, go out the front door and then come back in shouting ‘I’m home!’ to help them, and you, create a mental divide between work time and family time.
9. Learn something new
Some people are amazed to find out how productive they are when working from home. If you are one of them, use your extra time and energy to learn something new and build on the positive aspects of lockdown.
10. Use the support that is available
This is a challenging time for all of us. If you need help from your manager don’t be afraid to ask for it. Many companies offer excellent support resources, from employee assistance and wellness sessions to learning resources and technical support. Use them. And be sure to talk to your family and friends about your concerns.