Working From Home Survival Guide

Prior to the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic, there were approximately 250,000 remotely based workers in Ireland, since March 2020 that number has increased significantly. As lockdown fatigue sets, working from home five days a week remains a challenge for many people. We have some suggestions on how to make it easier.

Establishing boundaries and parameters around your working day can help ensure that personal time and work time do not bleed into each other. A survey published by in April 2020 found that 44 per cent of people currently working from home find they are working longer hours than they used to in a normal working day. When working in the office, the commute to and from work bookends the day and signals the start and end of the working period. Creating a new and effective ritual to mark the start and end of the day when working from home is just as important. Maintaining as much of your old routine as possible can be helpful - get up, wash, put on some proper clothes. You could use the space vacated by your commute time to establish new rituals such as more family time, or exercise.

Establishing the physical boundaries of your working environment is just as important as setting the temporal boundaries. Create a dedicated functional workspace that you can either close a door on, or tidy away at the end of every day. Your goal in creating your work zone is to prevent your workspace spilling into your home space, and vice versa. Part of establishing a new routine is being disciplined around stepping away from the computer. Sitting glued to the laptop for hours on end is not a recipe for success. It is important to take regular breaks and to stay hydrated.

Maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle is more important now than ever. This means eating well, getting fresh air and exercise, and getting enough sleep. If the home gym is not your thing and you don’t have a bike, walking and running are both great outdoor exercises which require minimal equipment, relieve stress, and release endorphins. You could use some of that saved commuting time to experiment with home cooking or some exercise. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle also means taking care of your mental health and taking time out from the news cycle.

We miss the social aspect of working in the office. In the April 2020 survey, 79% of employees surveyed stated that they missed their usual working environment. Socialising with work colleagues (89%) ranked as the main reason for this. Plan to keep in touch with your colleagues every day, several times a day by phone and video call. Use the technology tools available to stay connected.