Working from Home during the Lockdown
With South Africans in lockdown as from tomorrow, many people are going to be working from home, which will be something new for more than a few people out there!
As someone who has been working from home for the past 10 years, I've managed to work out a schedule that pleases my family and also still manage to get all my work done on time. The trick to working from home is to define a workspace, set yourself up, but not cut yourself off completely - you still want to retain your sanity.
In light of the lockdown, those new to working from home might find it a bit difficult to get into a routine. After all, it's not every day you get to roll out of bed and into your office! But a change in your normal daily schedule is not always an easy transition, so you need to set down some ground rules - for yourself and your family.
Business as usual
You might be working from home, but your employer still requires that you continue to work as you would in the office. That's going to require some self-discipline when the kids are running around, hubby is asking what's for lunch and the dog keeps bringing you his ball to play. That's not going to work if you need to put in a full 6 to 8 hours of work unless you plan to work through the night.
Make sure that everyone knows in advance that you are not going to be available and that the space around the dining table or your home office workspace is off-limits. You can't be expected to put together a financial report or set out next month's sales schedule when the kids are screaming and dogs are barking. QUIET PLEASE!
For the sake of your sanity, set up a play space outdoors for the kids, or give them a room where they can play, read or watch TV. Tell hubby to grab his tool belt and fix something around the house. And kick the dogs out the door.
Don't be distracted by pets who want your attention - be strong!
Take a break
The labour law requires that everyone takes a break during the day, whether it's a tea/coffee break or a break for lunch. The same rule applies to you when you work from home. Even if you are finding it difficult to do all that you need to do, don't skimp on a time out. Your mind and body still need a breather now and again, and your boss must understand how difficult it was to work from home. Don't let your health suffer just because you're in lockdown. Promise to take regular breaks, take deep breaths and clear your mind for a few minutes before you dive back in.
Step away from your desk or out of your office to take a regular coffee or tea break!
If you have managed to get in a full day's work and keep your sanity. Think to yourself how many hours you saved yourself by not have to drive to work, or how you didn't have to scream at taxis butting in front of you or driving you off the road. Surely the noise from the kids and your pets is far more pleasing than what you normally have to put up with to get to work and home every day.
Sit back and relax for a few minutes, have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine before you have to get stuck in with making supper for the family. After all, it's not like you can order take-aways! And whilst on the subject of supper for the family, keep it simple sister... cook easy nutritious meals that won't require you to spend hours in the kitchen.
You're not the only one suffering due to the lockdown, but keeping a clear mind and setting up a place to work in peace will ensure you don't go out of your mind over the next three weeks. Stay safe - stay calm.