When Covid-19 struck the UK there was a level of skepticism surrounding the magnitude of the situation. Typical of popular belief was that this new influenza strain would last a few weeks and the media hype would soon focus on other stories.
The magnitude of this pandemic has altered everything. Since an enforced lockdown in March, most people have seen massive alterations to their lifestyle and how they operate on a daily basis.
Considering the population of the national workforce is desk-based, home based offices have become the new norm and this has thrown up new challenges to the way individuals carry out their professional lives.
Steven Fisackerly, a freelance recruitment consultant based in London provided some key advice for home based work in a professional conference for a jobs market event last month.
Dress to work. The temptation to sit in jogging pants is best resisted since psychological studies suggest that the brain functions better with a slight sense of anxiety. Endorphins connected to anxiety provide stimulant adrenaline which focuses the brain on time pressured tasks.
Consider how wearing those stiff brogues to a reception makes you a little uncomfortable. This is the principle behind professional attire. By maintaining that level of presentation you keep a sense of alert responsiveness to work.
Occupy different spaces
Take advantage of the flexibility of your environment afforded to you by the lockdown. There are huge benefits at not occupying the same space for 8 hours each day. To this end its worth considering using a different room for each separate task in your working day.
Oscillating between hard and soft furnishings will generate a sense of variety to your day which can alleviate boredom and distraction.
Set Lunch break
Having a fixed lunch break fundamentally improves the productivity of an individual since psychologists recognize the importance of behaviorism towards reward culture. Ensuring your lunch time is set on a regular pattern and perhaps scheduling different meals to look forward to will encourage oneself to motivate towards that goal.
Avoid dishes with high levels of carbohydrates as this will expend energy in your digestion.
Reduced social media and net research threads
The very tool mostly used for home office work has within it the seed of destruction to one’s productivity. Reliant on the internet for communications and referencing information, without the watchful oversight of management means one is susceptible to distraction social media messaging and research threads of popular subjects.
Complete a task and reward it with a message to a friend or a YouTube clip.
Afternoon walk/ morning workout
Exercise of any kind can stimulate the body into decisive action including mental capacity for alertness. Organizing a quick morning run or an afternoon walk can offer some air to your thoughts and prevent afternoon stagnation. Again, taking advantage of self-management, having the freedom to take a break needs to be partnered with the responsibility of keeping your own time and schedule.
Dinner with someone either in home or across media platform.
Finally, for self-assurance and connectivity, sharing a meal with someone at the end of the day makes for an excellent way of decompressing your stress and processing the information delivered to you that day. If quarantined alone find a suitable friend to share a meal and a conversation with over social media.