How to Survive Working from Home During Quarantine

Posted: 2020-04-01

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So, we’re in lock down, quarantine, self-isolation. Whatever you want to call it, there are now many of us working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic and while we can rejoice at not having to hear the office grump moaning about anything and everything, self-isolation will also mean being alone to some. But never fear! Below we have five handy tips to help you survive quarantine, and five definite No’s that you should avoid.

Do: Take Breaks.

Like in a normal office, it’s good to take a break. Regardless of whether it’s to get the post, make a tea or coffee, or get up and stretch your legs, just because you’re sat on the couch or in bed, doesn’t negate getting away from the screen every once in a while.

Don’t: Take ALL the Breaks.

That doesn’t mean you can, you know, NOT work. Breaks are about breaking up your working day into meaningful chunks, it doesn’t mean cramming 3 hours of breaks into an 8 hour day.

Do: Have Some Background Noise.

If you enjoy the hubbub of the office, the silence of an empty house can be quite disconcerting, so why not play some music, or listen to a podcast? This may not work for everyone, as it could be more of a distraction, and there will be some that have to take regular phone calls, so this may not be viable, but for those that require noise of some kind, pick a playlist and hunker down for the day.

Don’t: Give in to distractions.

There’s a difference between listening to music and playing Xbox. You’re meant to be working, not getting to level 55 on Modern Warfare.

Do: Get Fresh Air.

Rejoice! There are no more arguments about the air con. But that’s not to say you should seal yourself away and fester. Covid-19 is not an airborne pathogen so it’s still ok to go outside or at least open a window. So, if you have a garden, spend your lunch break out there, or if you live in an apartment, have a window open and allow fresh air to circulate.

Don’t: Give in to Loneliness.

There’s a reason we’re in lockdown, so while going outside is fine, absolutely stick to the two-metre rule. That means no handshakes, no hugging, no pecking on the cheek, and cover your mouth if you must cough or sneeze.

Do: Keep in Contact With Others.

You’re working from home, not in prison, so try to stay in contact with others. If you’re part of a big office, it might be worth downloading Teams of some other app that allows you to communicate instantly. Society hasn’t crumbled and comms infrastructure isn’t going anywhere, so talk to each other.

Don’t: Go Native. 

Like giving into loneliness, try to remember folk are still out there. If you notice you’re talking to yourself more than others, it’s probably time for you to reach out to people.

Do: Take Full Advantage of Not Having to Dress Smart.

While I’m not suggesting you work in your birthday suit, don’t fret about getting in the three-piece suit just to sit on the couch. This article was written while wearing a hoodie, PJ trousers and fluffy slippers; it was very comfortable and did nothing to hinder my abilities to write it.

Don’t: Be TOO Casual with Your Dress.

Have a modicum of respect. You must leave the house for groceries? Get dressed. Got an important meeting through skype? Make yourself presentable. And if you must be seen in full? Wear trousers. Sat by yourself in PJ’s is fine. Professional interaction, though, needs to remain professional.

Congratulations! You now have a light guide that may help you survive. Good luck to you all and, until this is over, keep calm and carry on.