How to maintain your sanity if you’re working from home
Working from home is a perk of modern-day employment but what happens when you are forced to work at home for a prolonged period? How do you actually get anything done amid the chaos and detritus of everyday home life? Offspring shares some tried and tested tips.
Words Charlotte Newton
In these strange and uncertain times, many parents find themselves working from home. In an effort to help stop the spread of the current outbreak of Coronavirus, some employers have closed offices or set up a roster for employees to work from home whilst others are choosing to self-isolate over health concerns.
It’s tempting to think that this will mean you can chill out in your pyjamas all day because really, what’s the point in getting dressed if no one will see you? However, the novelty is likely to wear off quickly.
Boost your productivity and mental health by following this advice:
Schedule time in your day for work – ideally when the kids are being cared for by someone else, and stick to your schedule.
Dress appropriately for work – you’ll feel more prepared for challenges and it will help you separate work from play.
Set up a work space – maybe a desk in your lounge room, or an office in the garage (or shed!) but make it practical and attractive so you’re happy to be there.
Start early – your morning can set the tone for the day. Getting up an hour early helps you to get ahead and be ready for when the kids get up.
Divide the chores between family members – this will help you to concentrate on work rather than using your time on household chores.
Sort out childcare – sharing childcare with your partner means you can still be there for your children but you can both get work done as well.
Equip yourself – you probably need wireless internet, a laptop and a smartphone to allow you to work flexibly.
Use chat platforms such as Messenger or email rather than phone calls – that way no-one can hear your toddler yelling in the background!
Have a box of toys that’s available only when you’re working – pull it out when you need that extra half an hour. The novelty should keep little hands and minds busy!
And most importantly:
Take time to rest and reset.
If you are spending more time than usual at home, it’s easy to fall into the trap of always being available. It’s not selfish to take time out to recharge – maybe have a bath, curl up on your bed with a book or watch rubbish on TV. The housework can just wait.
Charlotte is a keen professional writing and publishing student. Despite a lifelong love of learning, Charlotte has found her three children to be her greatest teachers in life.