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Why We’ll Be Working From Home Long After Coronavirus

Why We’ll Be Working From Home Long After Coronavirus

Surveys show that approximately 71% of workers who had never previously worked at home before the pandemic say they now would. Shifts to working from home are likely to remain after coronavirus. Hybrid work will become the new normal, as we split our time between the office and working from home.

But the new normal isn’t temporary. Long after coronavirus, working from home will remain a big part of our lives.   

Why We’ll Be Working From Home Long After Coronavirus

Companies that have invested in their digital workforce during the pandemic will see reverting to the old normal as a step backwards.

The new reality of working from home is one we'd have faced in the next decade or so anyway. The pandemic has simply accelerated the process and the businesses who haven't yet changed their mind around remote work will have to come around to a new way of thinking about and structuring their workforce.

In the immediate future splitting work between office and home will be unavoidable as companies restructure their workplaces for coronavirus. A rota system will be temporarily required as different teams alternate between office and home to adhere to social distancing requirements. 

But beyond that, hybrid work will remain. Twitter has told its employees they can continue to work from home permanently. Other big tech firms like Google and Facebook have said they will operate at around 30% of office capacity, with most workers allowed to work from home through 2020.

Being forced into working from home was an experiment that at the start of the pandemic most of us would probably have been sceptical about. But for those who’ve been able to, it has worked.

Why We’ll Be Working From Home Long After Coronavirus

The office will still be a part of our working lives, we’ll just spend less time physically in it. And it will take work for companies to establish a digital culture that fits the culture in the office, so workers who spend more of their time at home don’t become isolated, and still fit in. The future of work was always heading in this direction. COVID-19 has simply accelerated the process, condensing into four short months what would have taken over a decade. That’s a good thing, and it had forced us to grapple with a challenge we were always going to face as hybrid work becomes the new normal.

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Working from home - Reinvigorate

Working from home - Reinvigorate

The current situation has caused fundamental changes in the ways we work. You’re likely working from home and navigating new terrain in terms of how to get work done, collaborate and perform in the face of plenty of new constraints.

You’re also likely to be exhausted, but you may not understand why. After all, you’re not enduring your commute and you’re “just” sitting at home on video-conference. You have access to snacks from your pantry anytime and you’re not rushing from meeting room to meeting room at your company or driving from customer site to customer site day-after-day. What gives?

It turns out, there’s actual logic behind your exhaustion. Here’s why you’re so drained, and perhaps more importantly, what you can do about it:

This isn’t your choice. One of the fundamental elements of good mental health is autonomy, self-expression and a sense of control. Many of us have been sent home and no longer have the choice to go to the office or work in our usual ways. This lack of choice can be frustrating and even disorienting.

The fix: Find ways to infuse choice into your day. As much as possible, set your meeting times and retain control over how projects roll out. Perhaps you can control the sequence of your tasks or the flow of your day. Even planning breaks can give you a sense of some control over how your time is managed.

Working from home - Reinvigorate

You have to think about things that used to be automatic. Exhaustion can also occur because of points of friction in your day. When you were in the office, you were able to flow from one meeting room to the next and it was easy to scribble thoughts on a white board to keep the discussion moving forward.

The fix: Keep at it. As new ways of working become the typical, and as you learn new technologies, they will become more automatic and your brain will be able to put less effort into them.

You’re distracted. Children and spouses or partners can obviously be distracting, especially if you don’t have a dedicated place to work at home. But in addition, you may be distracted by the laundry you know needs to be done or even by the walk you wish you had time to take.

The fix: Make time for the distractions as part of your day. Plan to spend your lunch hour with your family or by getting a breath of fresh air.

You’re living a more intense life. One of the challenges of video conferencing in particular is its intensity. You’re looking at faces all day without being able to take visual breaks. Your eyes are focused on what is in close proximity, which is physically exhausting, but it can also be socially exhausting.

The fix: Avoid dwelling on yourself. Instead, focus on others, on the work and on the contributions, you’re making to your team. Also ensure you’re looking away frequently enough—and focusing on things in the distance (the view out the window or the artwork on your wall), rather than exclusively on what’s up close.

Working from home - Reinvigorate

Working from home is tough—for many good reasons. But you can stay sane and effective by keeping as much control of your work as possible and maintaining your processes by learning new technologies. Keep perspective and give yourself permission to prioritize information flow.

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 Working from home - Reinvigorate

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7 Tips for Productively Working from Home

7 Tips for Productively Working from Home

With countless people thrust into the world of remote work. And with increased encouragement to maintain social distance, many are forced to work from home. We have compiled 7 Tips for Productively Working from Home and will be sharing them with you over the next few days …

Tip No.1 - Make yourself an office, or at least a work “station” area. This will be the spot that you do your work. If you don’t have a room that you can turn into a home office, you can set up shop at the kitchen table, although this is not ideal. Taking your laptop and plopping down on the couch in front of the television will present many temptations. You’ll want to make sure that your home office has everything that you need, and that may even mean getting an extra phone-line, be it a landline or a Skype account where you can be contacted at. Invest in a good desk, chair, and computer so you’ll be comfortable working, but not so comfortable that you’ll be tempted to slack-off.

7 Tips for Productively Working from Home

Tip No. 2 - Try to set aside long periods of time for work. Working from home can give you much more flexible hours, but if you’re constantly interrupted it’s going to be a lot harder to get things done. Try to make sure you get a few large blocks of time. For example, if you need to get in 8 hours of work, make 3 blocks of 3 hours, 2 hours, and another 3 hours. If you need to run errands or take care of other things, do them outside of the blocks of time during your “breaks.”

Tip No. 3 -Try to leave the house each day. Nothing will drive you crazier faster than being at home 24/7. It’s a great opportunity to go for a walk outside, clear your head, and get your bearings.

7 Tips for Productively Working from Home

Tip No. 4 - Create a to-do list for the tasks you need to accomplish each day. Because it is so easy to get off task while working from home, having a checklist of the things you need to get done will help you visualize your progress.

Tip No. 5 - Minimize distractions and set limits online. If the bulk of your work is done on a computer, you probably know all to well the distractions of the internet. It’s easy to fall into the trap of Facebook or other sites if you keep it open on one of your browser tabs all day. Allow yourself to check in before you start your work and on breaks only. When it’s work time, close any non-work related tabs and websites. If you keep Facebook open, you will undoubtedly keep flipping back to it to see if there’s anything new posted.

7 Tips for Productively Working from Home

Tip No. 6 - Don’t procrastinate. Look at your to-do list and actually do everything on it. Don’t do 90 percent of it and tell yourself that you’ll just make it up and do it tomorrow.

Tip No. 7. Take care of yourself. Make sure you eat a good breakfast so you don’t have to stop working when the hunger pangs kick in, and schedule yourself a reasonable lunch break. Some also find it helpful to dress as if they were going to work. It’s not necessary to put on a suit, but something more than sweatpants and a t shirt might help you feel more on-task.

7 Tips for Productively Working from Home

Working from home takes discipline. If you’re just starting out, it may take you a little time to find your groove, but if you follow the tips above you’ll find it a lot easier. The key is to keep a good work-life balance, establish boundaries, and take care of yourself.

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How to eat healthily while in lock-down

How to eat healthily while in lock-down

What exactly does a healthy diet comprise of? Read on for tips from nutrition experts on how to maintain a healthy diet while in lock-down.

Plan meals in advance

Try planning out a few meals so you know what you need and don’t have to face the ‘what’s for dinner’ dilemma every night.

Planning meals in advance could also ensure you use up all of the ingredients you have before buying more, thus preventing waste.

How to eat healthily while in lock-down

Ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients

Three nutrients that you should definitely include (because they help to support your immune system) are vitamin A (found in sweet potato and spinach), vitamin C (found in berries, tomatoes & peppers) and zinc (found in meat, shellfish, dairy and bread.

Keep healthy snacks around

Keeping healthy and nutritious snacks nearby will ensure you don’t head straight to the biscuit tin at the slightest hunger pang. Think cheese and apple, yogurt and berries, nuts and dried fruit or even hummus and carrots.

Take advantage of your freezer

Big one-pot dishes such as chili, curries and stews will freeze particularly well and they are a quick and easy way to consume plenty of vegetables in one sitting. Fruits such as berries and bananas can also be easily frozen and used in smoothies for the mornings.

How to eat healthily while in lock-down

Consume oily fish

Canned oily fish in particular is a really handy item to have in your cupboard while on lock-down. Not only is it cheap and has a long shelf life, but it is rich in omega-3, which studies say can improve mental well being. We all need to consider if we’re staying at home and may not be getting much sun exposure, which is our main source of vitamin D.

Make the most of nut butters

Another cupboard essential that will stand the test of time, nut butters are a useful item to have around because they are full of good fats and nutrients. Obviously a no-go if you have allergies to these sorts of products.  Almond butters, peanut butters and others can provide nutrients like magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamin E and B vitamin.

Be sure to hydrate

Drinking an adequate amount of fluid is essential in order for you to feel and function at your best. It doesn’t have to be just water, you can get your hydration via squash, tea, coffee and milk. It all counts towards the 8 glasses of fluid that we need, though you may need more if it’s hot or you have just exercised. Keep any caffeinated drinks to a minimum and try not to drink them from mid-afternoon so they don’t affect your sleep.

How to eat healthily while in lock-down

Make set meal times – and stick to them

When we’re spending our days lolling about it home, it can be easy to let structures and schedules fall by the wayside however, this can be crucial to maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding unnecessary snacking in between meals.

Allow yourself to indulge every so often

Remember to indulge every now and then, not only will this boost your mood and keep your spirits high, but it will prevent you from bringing on sweet treats you might’ve forbidden yourself from eating.

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Social Distancing activities that are actually fun

Social Distancing activities that are actually fun

Check these ways to survive social distancing with your sanity and a better relationship with your friends

Video chat with friends

Check out Zoom and Google Hangouts Meet etc to speak with friends, simply seeing your friends, their facial expressions and having a meal together over video chat really changes what social distancing alone feels like. Even though you can’t physically hang out, it comes very close.

Social Distancing activities that are actually fun

Start a virtual book club

The idea of a book club might sound a little bit “boring” for those who do not appreciate the wonder that is reading, but knowing that you and all your friends are reading the same book together is fun. Then discussing it together gives you something else to talk about rather than the usual “I’m so bored,” talks.

Do a virtual sweat session

Working out with friends on line actually increases your motivation to stick to the workouts and not to slack off when you start to feel tired with an exercise. Choose workouts together with your friends and start your morning off with a sweat session, or end the day with one. When more people join, you will feel more accountable.

Take a free online class together

Many companies offer free online classes, starting these vai a group video is far more stimulating and productive.

Tackle a new recipe of the day

Together with your friends or your family at home, learn how to make some interesting recipes together. Start off with the basics, like how to make a simple poached egg, then start to tackle the more complex stuff like an Eggplant Milanese or a killer chicken curry. Share your masterpiece with your friends on the group chat and everyone can vote on whose looks the best.

YouTube tutorials

Learn how to play piano, do you own make up, cook a perfect steak or even a choreographed dance. This is your time to absorb new information and practice over and over again. You’ve got nothing but time anyways.

Do a group crossword puzzle

If you get the same newspaper delivered to your house as your friend or you all decide to order crosswords at home, then tackle them together every morning. Whether it’s over the phone or sharing your results once you are done.

Social Distancing activities that are actually fun

Throw a Netflix Party

The app recently introduced a special feature called Netflix Party. It’s a Google Chrome extension that you need to download that will give you a new way to watch Netflix with your friends online. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows. So, if someone needs to use the bathroom, the video pauses for everyone, so you can stay in sync and have a movie night together without actually being together.

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