Social distancing and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic means we’re all experiencing a completely new way of living and working.
To help us maintain our mental wellbeing and stay productive, we’ve put together some top tips for home working, home schooling and relaxing.
At work, you probably have a dedicated workspace. Try to do the same at home. Think about the ergonomics too and make sure you’ve set yourself up so you are comfortable – you don’t want to experience back pain or neck or shoulder troubles because of poor posture.
Staying home means you have free rein over your surroundings. Make your work area as soothing so you can keep your stress level under control. If you enjoy looking outside, set up your desk in front of a window. Or make sure you have a favourite piece of artwork nearby to look at.
We all know how much difference the right lighting makes. A research report from Staples found that 40% of office workers struggle to work in poor lighting every day, which has a negative effect on their productivity and wellbeing. If that sounds like you, try to position your work station so you have plenty of natural light. It will help you feel less cooped up too.
Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel cut off from the rest of your colleagues. Make use of instant messaging and video-conferencing tools so you can stay in touch and feel part of a team.
Sitting down all day is not good for your physical health. Just as in the office, try to take regular breaks away from your screen. Take a walk into your garden at lunchtime if you can – the fresh air will give you a boost of energy and help your productivity.
Just like creating a dedicated space for working from home, it can help to create a dedicated area for school work too. If your children have a comfortable space that is free from unnecessary distractions, it means they have somewhere they can concentrate on learning.
When we go to work or school, our days are very structured. It can be disorienting when this is taken away. Try to create a routine that works for you and your family. It will stop the working day and ‘downtime’ blurring into one. The structure will also reduce stress levels because everyone knows what is expected and by when.
Many schools are providing work for children to do at least some of the time. For the rest, there are lots of resources online. And don’t forget there are lots of things around the home that can be used as learning tools. Simple things like using a tape measure or baking a cake, for example, all teach good skills.
At school children will have time in between lessons to get out and play, so make sure they have regular breaks at home too. You can use technology to help them stay in touch with their friends and be active at the same time. Set challenges such as who can do the most keepie uppies or hula hoops. Then video them to share or challenge them live.
When your work and home are both in the same place, it’s more important than ever to make time to relax. This is especially true when cinemas, gyms and pubs are all closed so you have nowhere to ‘escape’ to.
Many of the activities people usually like doing can be done digitally in some form or another. If you love reading and are missing your local library, try a Kindle or e-reader where you will have access to a huge number of books. If exercise is your thing, you’ll find lots of workouts online. If you’re part of a team, keep in touch by challenging each other with fitness-related goals.
Just because you can’t see each other face to face doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch. Video chat and video conferencing tools mean you can chat just like you normally would. You can even enjoy your favourite tipple and create your own virtual pub!
If you aren’t doing your usual daily commute, you may find you have more time than you usually do. Perhaps you could use this time to take up a new hobby you’ve never had time for – such as learning to knit or how to play chess.
If being practical is more your style, you might like to do the chores you’ve been putting off for too long such as decluttering the loft or tidying the garage.
Some children are connecting with each other by painting colourful rainbows and putting them in their windows. This is a great way of showing solidarity between young people. One Facebook group called Chase the Rainbow suggests spotting the rainbows whilst out on walks.
Our mission here at Epwin Window Systems is to provide window and door systems that make the nation’s buildings more beautiful and more secure. But now isn’t the time to be thinking about us. Stay safe, stay healthy and we will get through this together.