I think we can all agree that 2020 has been the most bizarre and challenging year yet for pretty much everyone on the planet. One of the major changes in everyone's life is being constantly in our homes; working, taking care of kids, socialising, and everything in between. When quarantine first started happening, there was a sense of comradarie, a need to buckle down and get it done. As the situation goes on and on, with no clear or defined end in sight, fatigue is starting to set in. The change in seasons is presenting new challenges to our work life and more importantly, our mental health.
With all this in mind, what can we do to to keep up the motivation to work from home over the coming months?
Replace the commute
Although arguably one of the best things about working from home is forgoing the commute, there were actually some advantages to travelling to work. It gives the mental and physical distance between waking up in the morning and starting your day at work. It is all too easy when working from home to roll out of bed and get straight to our desks in the morning. This makes it feel like we are always 'on', always working. Beat that feeling by replacing your morning commute with something more pleasurable. You would have taken that time anyway so why not take a walk, meditate or do some light exercise. We all know how important it is to get some time outside, so do that right at the start of your day, before you sit down for a full day of work. Schedule it in and make it a non negotiable.
Watching Netflix in the middle of the day? Working on a report at midnight? Just because we can now do our work whenever suits us, doesn't mean we should. The distinction between our work life and our home life has become so blurred that it's difficult to distinguish one from the other. Set yourself clear boundaries for during the day. Have a list of things you definitely won't do during your work day, whether that's watching tv, playing with your dog or giving those plant babies some love. And on that note, set yourself a proper work day, however long that might be. You need a set time at which you are going to log off and call it a day. No more checking emails through dinner!
Meet actual people
We never thought we would miss that daily chat with George from the post room, but turns out we do. We are social animals and we need daily interactions with real life people. Zoom just doesn't cut it. Go to your local coffee shop, chat to your barista. Schedule a socially distanced walk with a local friend. Make sure you have regular contact with people and not just through a screen.
Have a dedicated work space
This is so important. If we don't take a small section of our house and dedicate it to work, we end up doing both parts of our life badly. Work from bed? You'll be less productive at work and your sleep will be affected. Take the time to create a space for yourself and it will pay dividends. This work from home situation isn't going anywhere anytime soon so it's important to make sure you have a space that is just for you.
We hope you find these tips helpful, we have a long road ahead and it's important to make sure we are mentally prepared and making sure we take physical and mental time for ourselves is key.