I bet you’re finding the world to be a rather surreal place at the moment. While it feels like we could be living in a big budget US blockbuster, our ‘new world’ has seen us having to immediately break many of the habits that have provided us with a sense of certainty and stability for many years.
Even as recently as four weeks ago, I was asking clients about their ability to have work being produced offsite for them and was told, ‘we just can’t do that’. If there is one thing that COVID-19 has done to business, it has forced it to think innovatively about how they do it and the service they offer in order to survive. A blinkered mindset of ‘we just can’t do that’ will see a business close down if they can’t think innovatively and find a way.
For many people though, working from home has become the ‘new norm’ and, with that, we are feeling the initial pains associated with creating new habits and behaviours.
Here are a few pointers that might help to at least ease that discomfort a little further for you.
Keep a morning routine
If there is one time of the day where it is important to maintain a routine, it is absolutely the morning.
With that, the best thing to do is to keep your existing morning routine regardless of the fact that you don’t have to incorporate travel to get to your office.
Keep getting up at the same time and doing the things that you would do before ‘logging in’. You may even benefit from ensuring that you continue to dress in the same way you would for the office, and certainly make sure that you work the same hours that you would during your typical work day.
Take regular breaks
It might feel counter-productive however there is plenty of research to show that a regular short break helps you to be even more productive.
Incorporate it with something beneficial and it is even better. In my case, I do love a hot drink or two during the day. In order to help keep up my daily amount of steps, I will often go upstairs to my kettle, refill it, and then from the moment that I turn it on to the moment that it automatically stops, I’ll run on the spot. It might sound crazy and a bit silly, and admittedly I did feel that when I first started doing it, however you’ll generally get around 500 steps in before the kettle goes off. Four hot drinks over the day and that’s 2000 steps just there in the space of a few minutes. Not bad, yes?
Create a designated work area
Make sure that you have a space that is set up just for work. As tempting as it might be to do all your work from your bed, you’re asking for bad behaviours to creep in let alone the fact that it isn’t very professional. Habitual behaviour is often linked to your environment and so having a space that is set up specifically for work will allow you to tap into that mindset when you’re there, and then be able to leave it there when you’ve finished for the day.
Talk to your colleagues throughout the day
You might be used to sending emails or messages when you’re working onsite together, but when you’re in isolation and you’re feeling disconnected from the world, it becomes even more important to ensure that you connect with your colleagues throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be long; literally a couple of minutes however that moment of genuine connection is going to help refresh your state and to ensure that you’re both on the same page.
Our MD Vicki-Anne has recent written an excellent white paper on the creative industry that feels more relevant than ever given the current challenges we're all facing. If you're keen to read this white paper, you can download it here.