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The new normal

In recent years, the line between one’s work and personal life has become increasingly blurred. With smartphones glued to our palms and laptops tucked under our arms, many of us already found it difficult to switch off our ‘work brain’ outside the hours of 9-5 and be fully present during life’s other important moments. This rapidly increasing phenomenon has reached a whole new level as we all do our best to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gone (for now) are the days when our work and personal lives were split into separate physical spaces, facilitating an easier, albeit still challenging, transition between work and play. Prior to the past few months, before the majority of us were working from home, we may have given in to the urge to glance at our emails a few times over the course of the evening or cast our eyes over a report as we sat in front of the TV, but for the most part, when we were home, it was our time to relax and unwind.

Relaxing and unwinding, we’ve quickly discovered, are two things that are not that easy to do when your lounge room becomes your office and your lunch breaks take place in your bedroom.

So, with no certainty as to how long the current situation will go on for, we’ve compiled some tips we’ve found useful to help you master the art of working from home.

1. Get up, get showered and get dressed
Even if you’re just changing into a fresh pair of trackies and a loose-fitting t-shirt, it’s important that you don’t just roll out of bed at 8:59 and stay in your PJs all day. Getting ready in the mornings will create a concrete start to your workday and will help you get into the work zone.

2. Set up a designated workspace
As appealing as it may seem to work from the lounge with the TV on in the background, this doesn’t make for a comfortable or productive workday. Set up a workstation at your desk or dining table and treat it like your normal office space. Even wave at pretend Gary from Finance as you settle in for work each day, if it does the trick.

3. Stick to your normal routine
This means beginning work at your usual start time, shutting down your laptop at your usual finishing time, taking that coffee break and moving away from your desk at lunchtime. The structure will assist with your productivity and sticking to your normal work hours is an essential part of maintaining that all important work/life balance. And yes, it is Karen’s birthday this Friday, so you’ll need to bake those mini-muffins for ‘everyone to enjoy in the tearoom’.

Above all, while navigating the trials and tribulations of working from home, remember not to be too hard on yourself. We are, after all, in the midst of a pandemic and we’re all doing the very best we can – so between bossing your new work from home zone, feel free to treat yourself with the occasional YouTube cat video binge and attempt to master some TikTok Carole Baskin dance moves that no one ever asked to see progress updates of.


Posted April 15, 2020


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