COVID-19: How to Adjust to Working From Home
COVID-19 is an unprecedented pandemic that none of us saw coming. For many of us, we have never seen an event like this before and it can be difficult for us to grasp. Last night the Prime Minister announced that all licensed venues will be closed for up to six months. This is a massive blow to our hospitality industry and has left many Australian’s unemployed. For many of us we are still lucky to have our jobs, but we are now doing it from home. While we seem like the lucky ones here, adjusting to working from home and dealing with self-isolation can be difficult. Here are some tips for making the adjustment a little easier.
Act as if you’re going to work
Routine is very important to many of us. It’s important that during this time, we don’t lose that. Wake up each day and treat it as if you were going to work. Do your workout at home instead of going to the gym, get dressed and start your day like it were any other. Yesterday while I was doing my regular Sunday chores, I wondered if I should still meal prep even though I wasn’t leaving the house. I decided that if I wanted to remain as normal as possible, it was important to keep everything the same. Today I walked downstairs in my uniform and my Dad laughed at me, but it made me feel more ready for the day.
Set up your office space
If it is possible for you, dedicate an area in your house to be your ‘office’. It will be pretty hard to get motivated if you’re on the couch with your laptop and the TV on in the background. Try and create a space that feels as much like your workspace as possible. Take over the dining room table if you have to. Tell your family they aren’t allowed in that area. Do what you can to create a space for yourself. This will also make it easier when you need a break or finish work. Make sure that when you’re finished for the day, you turn off your computer and walk away. Try not to lose your work-life balance because it’s meshing into one.
Utilise video chat
There are so many ways we can stay connected through video nowadays. Utilise services like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to stay connected with your colleagues. Whether you’re getting together for team meetings, or just calling at 2PM for an afternoon chat, don’t be afraid to give someone a call. We spend hours of our day talking to others in the office without even realising it, and suddenly being alone can feel quite deafening.
Take care of your mental health
Isolation can be extremely difficult. Some of us might have others at home during the day but for many of us working from home means working alone. It’s important now more than ever to ensure you’re thinking of your mental health.
- Stay active. Just because the gyms are closed, doesn’t mean you can’t workout. There are plenty of online workout tutorials that you can do in your backyard or even your lounge room. It’s likely that your local gym has created a home workout package during this time as well. Utilise these resources and don’t let yourself fall into a slump.
- Stay connected. While it’s important to practice social distancing, it doesn’t mean you can’t see your friends and family. Make an effort to give at least one person a call every day and have a chat.
- Talk to someone if you need to. This can be a difficult time for many people. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, utilise resources like Headspace or Lifeline. It’s completely normal to feel anxious but it’s important to seek support if you need it. You are not alone.
Adaptability is one of the most important employability skills. Our world is ever changing, and we are constantly being forced to adapt to change. Right now, we are living through something most of us could never have imagined. Adaptability and innovation are paramount right now. Now is the time to be open and creative. Think outside the box and work out how your business can prosper through this. If you have an idea about how your workplace can adapt to this new environment, speak up. Businesses across the country have already shown us that despite their hardship, they have pulled together a strategy to keep fighting another day.
COVID-19 is an unprecedented event. We could have never seen this coming. I know that so many of us are scared right now but we need to keep fighting. We are Australians and that’s what we do. We need to do what we can right now for our friends, our family and our economy. Stay connected, stay strong, be creative, help your neighbours and local businesses and of course, wash your hands.