Has your home become your office during the coronavirus crisis? If the answer is yes then you and other carers are far from alone.
A global army of homeworkers has been raised by lockdown measures. And with social distancing measures likely to be in place for many more months, homeworking – either in whole or part – is here to stay.
There are obvious benefits – the daily commute from bed to desk is shorter and cheaper, and technology such as video conferencing is also saving people time and money. Working carers are potentially also better able than normal to keep an eye on the person they care for.
But there are huge challenges. Is anyone else worried about having to return to a cramped office when there’s someone vulnerable to look after at home? Oh, and there’s that little issue of social isolation.
So, with that in mind, it’s crucial anyone working at home sets themselves some simple rules to achieve a healthy (and sane) balance between work and home life.
Carers’ Resource chief executive Chris Whiley has shared these tips with staff here at the charity:
- Draw a line between work and home. Make sure you have a dedicated area where you do work and nothing else. Treat this as your office for now, and take regular breaks.
- Ensure the workplace you have set up doesn’t create problems caused by poor posture. Carers’ Resource has a homeworking policy to address this, as will many companies, but if yours doesn’t then make your manager aware so a solution can be found.
- Stick to your hours if possible. It can be tempting to start work a little later or to keep burning through your tasks throughout the evening. This is counterproductive. Best practice dictates that you ought to keep to your regular hours.
- Try not to multitask, as it’s distracting and makes you less productive. If you have now choice but to have an eye on the person you care for, or children, and work then try to plan some activities to keep them busy. We have collated a list of ideas and printables to help.
- Keep yourself positive. Take advantage of some of the perks of being at home. Make that nice coffee you keep as a treat, and listen to the music no one else in the office likes. For more ideas about self-care, Blurt Foundation has some great coronavirus resources.
- Eat, exercise, sleep. Physical health is intertwined with mental health, so make sure you’re getting good rest and eating well, and find exercises you can do from home. There are loads of free workouts on YouTube and other social media channels. Check out our ideas on this Facebook post.
- Schedule in socials. Put some time in the day where you’re catching up with others about non-work topics, just as you would as work. If you don’t feel like a chat, maybe try something creative.
And, finally, mute yourself on conference calls when you’re not speaking!