Coronavirus has plunged the world into a state of uncertainty – and that’s putting it very mildly. One of the most immediate consequences is that millions are now working remotely from home and it’s unclear how long that is likely to last. For the vast majority, it could be their first experience of remote working and it can be unnerving.
Dealing with this level of dislocation and isolation can be challenging. Especially, when it comes on top of an array of very real and understandable health and finance related anxieties.
Responsible employers need to support their newly-remote teams with regular check-ins, updates with the latest advice and open communication channels through online platforms, emails and phone calls.
We can’t claim to have all the answers but as a team we are adept at remote and flexible working around our clients’ needs. These are the City CV team’s top tips:
There are no hard and fast rules
The most important advice is to be kind to yourself; these are tough times. Seek advice but only take on the ideas that work for you, everyone is different – thankfully.
Establish boundaries to stay focused
Establishing a routine can help you to focus. Of course, you can be more flexible at home but whatever time you choose to sign-off, don’t keep working beyond those hours.
Creating a designated work area at home also helps. If a separate office isn’t possible, at least try to find some sort of physical boundary. You need to be able to switch off from work.
Nourish your mental health
The next few months will be challenging but there are some very simple hacks to nourish your mental health:
- Step away from the screen for micro breaks
- Go outside to reset
- Incorporate self-care rituals into your day e.g. mindfulness meditation or breathing exercise – try the headspace app if you’re looking for inspiration.
Scheduling at least one call or meeting each day can stave off feelings of isolation. It doesn’t have to be an official team meeting (although they really do help), just make the effort to catch up with each other. Video calls help you to stay connected, share news and support each other.
Limit your news intake
This is going to be crucial in the months ahead. Of course, we all want to stay informed and we all have loved ones we’re particularly concerned about. But a continuous feed of news about coronavirus can send your worries and negative thoughts spiralling out of control.
We strongly recommend limiting the amount of time you spend reading or watching things which aren’t making you feel better. Perhaps decide on a specific time to check in with the news. Inevitably, there’s also a lot of misinformation out there so stick to trusted sources of information such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and NHS websites. If it helps, mute, unfollow or hide social media posts and feeds you find overwhelming.
Boredom can be stressful too
Most of us are going to be spending more time than usual at home, so it’s worthwhile planning what we can do with that time. Apparently, Shakespeare and Isaac Newton did some of their best work while in quarantine. This ‘pause’ may be the time for some life reassessment, an overview of the bigger picture. Look at where you are in your life and where you’d like to be. Maybe even make a plan.
Finally, as we’re all going to need to deal with this pandemic for weeks and months to come, it’s important to have down time. Mental health experts recommend continuing to get out in nature and sunlight wherever possible, exercising, eating well and staying hydrated. Stay connected with the people you care about and arrange regular digital check-ins with them.
If you’re self-isolating or just working from home for a prolonged period, try to strike a balance between having a routine and making sure each day has some variety. Looking after our mental, as well as physical, health has never been more important.
If you’re experiencing more severe mental health issues, please do reach out and get help. There’s more advice in this BBC article along with links to support helplines run by mental health charities such as AnxietyUK. The weeks and months ahead will be tough, but no-one has to suffer alone.
If we can do anything to help please call us on 020 7100 6656.