So this time last week, it was our first "official" day of working at home like everybody else. So of course I work from home, but for the first time in nearly 16 years, I felt on an equal playing field. A lot of staff were being sent to work from home, and this week we're coming into COVID-19 lockdown where we will see nearly everyone working from home, or locked down at home.
"Elevenses with Emma Bunting" is a live broadcast at 11am on Facebook Live. It's a time to drink my tea and have a little chit chat about what's going on and what I might be feeling. It's not always easy working from home, and not every day am I filled with a positive motivational spirit. I need to work at that, but that's OK. I'm not a robot, I'm a human being and that means sometimes I have bad days.
When people ask me how easy is it to work from home, I always say it isn't, it's really hard work. There's an assumption that working from home is like being on holiday, but it couldn't be more different. There are a few key elements to working successfully at home and they really aren't that difficult.
1. DEFINE A WORK SPACE
It is really important to find yourself a really nice place in the house to work. Preferably not in the bedroom or the living room, but you might have to if that is the only option. The last place I would choose though is the bedroom, that's only place I think we all need to keep free from any strife and work, it's a safe place for relaxing - not thinking about work! Decorate it with photos or uplifting things that will inspire you during the day, or get your speakers on to listen to Talk Sport - which is what my husband does.....
2. CREATE HABIT
It is only you that can get yourself up and out of bed and cracking on with work as if you are in the office. Once you're up, breakfasted and done your normal early morning chores, sit down at your work space and write a To Do List. It can take anywhere from 21-66 days to create a new habit, so the sooner you start the easier it will be. Keep the same times every day, so it will feel like you are commuting to work, even though you probably only have to walk down the stairs.
3. STRUCTURE YOUR DAY
Write a clear and achievable To Do list for each day. Make sure you score the tasks on a level of easy to difficult, always do the more difficult one first. Get the worst task done first, then the rest will be easy. It can be distracting if you are based in the kitchen and you see you've got laundry to do, or dishes to wash or food to get out of the freezer for the evening meal, but try as much as possible to do these in your breaks.
4. STAY HEALTHY
Just because you are housebound doesn't mean that you don't have to be healthy. Drink lots of water, eat lots of fresh fruit and veg and most importantly, get outside for some fresh air. Now, I know we are on a lock down, but I'm impressed by my father-in-law who is walking 3000 steps every morning around his garden terrace. OK, it's not terribly exciting, but if you plug in your EarPods and listen to a podcast, it's a great way to exercise!
5. KEEP SOCIALISING
Socialising is so important. Just because you can't actually leave the house doesn't mean you can't actually talk to anyone. They might be work groups or friends groups - whoever is in your group, make sure you book into your diary regular hangouts.
Please join me for Elevenses via Facebook live - it's a way of not feeling all alone....
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