The current pandemic has caused a myriad of changes in the way that we perform our work. For some, it may be a temporary change, and for others, it may change the course in which our work will be performed moving forward. One of those changes might be the location where we work. With governments mandating an “essential work-only” lockdown, many companies have asked their employees to exclusively work from the comfort and safety of their homes. With that accommodation comes some challenges that may not have been as prevalent when working at the office or onsite.
I initially found it challenging to draw the boundaries between being “at work” and being “out of the office.” What has helped me is the understanding that my work-life balance is achieved over a longer period of time, rather than on a day-by-day basis. For example, there are some days where I won’t have an email I need to act on after 3:00 pm, and there are times when I need to take a call at 7:30 am or respond to an email at 6:00 pm, and I have accepted that.
I have also found myself to be more productive if I section out the day by taking a 10-minute walk around my neighborhood or making myself a snack. This allows my brain to take a break from the computer screen and allows me to come back to tackle more work a little more refreshed. I implement this tactic If I am facing a problem and find myself stumped. Sometimes that little break is just enough to take on a different perspective and make a breakthrough.
The last tip that I have is to unplug when you are not “at work.” If you remove yourself from the computer screen but continue to ruminate on an upcoming meeting or how you will create a report, then your brain may not feel as refreshed the following day.
This current situation is tough on us all, but be confident that we will all get through this together and things will begin to normalize soon. It is important, however, to accept that some of our roles might have changed on a more permanent basis. It’s important to be willing to adapt.