Social Distancing and Working from Home | The Design Blah Blah

Working from home

With the current news over 80 confirmed (and 14 recovered. Important to state those too) cases in the country and the news that the prime minister’s office has closed schools and sporting events as well as other mass gatherings.

In this new reality, working from home is one of the ways to support social distancing (staying away from large groups and avoiding the spread of the virus). So what’s this new reality like? How should you prepare? And what can you do to continue being active without the daily reminders that you are at work? (A boss screaming at you isn’t effective on Zoom)

Sleep-eat-laze-around-space and Not-sleep-eat-laze-around-space

It is important to convince yourself that you’ve left the home environment. This might mean taking a short walk around the neighbourhood for 5 minutes or simply going out of your bedroom and doing a few minutes of exercise. When you do this, you’re creating a sense of discipline. That you’ve woken up, you’ve had your breakfast and that you are ready to work. It’s important to simulate that work/home separation because it helps you get in work-mode. It’s real easy to slip in to your comfort zone and never really get anything done.  The same apply for wardrobe. You might not need to wear a suit (unless you are comfortable in suits? Hey, there are many types of creatives… we don’t judge) but do find an appropriate wear.  This also includes, telling your kids (let us know how you’re surviving?) and other family members staying with you to stay out of your workspace when it’s work time. Establish some clear boundaries to let everyone in the house know that you are now at work and won’t be available during your work hours.

It is also important to note that working in your bed might seem like a good idea at first… however, let us ask you one simple question. Would you hold a staff meeting in bed? Or would you want HR in bed with you? Same. Even if you’re a freelancer. Bed is for bedtime. Please do let us know what else you use your bed for.

The Routine

Just like at work, but even more so at home.  Every activity needs to be planned and ready. This means that you will have to communicate frequently with your colleagues, set out a plan of action and report on progress each day. This would let everyone know you’re active and help them stay active and help you stay accountable. In the long run however, it is best that you’re accountable to yourself.

Other than that people come up with a good schedule. This generally means 2 hours of work in the morning followed by a 15 minute break, followed by 2 hours of work again and then one hour lunch followed by 2 hours of work, 15 minutes break, then followed by 2 hours of work. This is a schedule that is very similar from most office employees. Give or take a few hours.

This is will slowly ease you into a state of routine, which is a good thing, given the current levels of stress.

And if you are creative that’s going like, “hey I didn’t give up a 9-5 job for another one….” We have resources for you.

Check in with Colleagues, Friends, Buddies, Girlfriend1, Girlfriend2 (flip the genders as you see fit… or Hollywood will do  it for you… you know for a “fresh take” on things )

It is very important that you keep talking to your colleagues. This is because working from home can be isolating.  Especially in the current circumstances. Even if you don’t have direct business with them. Say hello. Ask if they are well.  If they have eaten, gone to the bathroom, how they are coping with the Netflix Vs Work challenge?

This not only gives you social contact (slightly overrated if you ask me) but also eases some levels of potential stress from colleagues. It goes without saying, if you are feeling stressed isolated and unproductive. Talk to colleagues and trusted people. It helps to have an ear that listens every now and then.  

There are more challenges associated with working from home. However, the biggest one (especially for people newly adjusting to the lifestyle) it is the isolation and staying productive.


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