The current Covid-19 epidemic is frightening, unnerving and dangerous and the guidelines set in place by the government must be adhered to. If you are unsure as to what they are, you can view them here - Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do. At Christian Jobs, we believe the best response to the current situation is to pray and you can send prayer requests to us by emailing email@example.com.
As part of the guidelines set out, the government recommends that all employees who can work from home, rather than going into the office, should do so. Therefore, this week has been the first week in my life where I have been working from home.
Days 1+2 - The Novelty
The moment my wife, who works for the NHS, woke up showing very mild symptoms of Covid-19 I knew that I would be working from home for the foreseeable future (this was before the government’s advice for all employees to work from home). Not only that, but I would also be self-isolating; not leaving the house. I thought it was simple; I’d just work as if I was in the office, but at home. In fact, I’d probably be more productive without the distraction of other people in the office.
However, I realised in the first couple of days that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
By the end of the 24 hours in isolation, I had read every news story on the BBC and Sky News homepages, eaten 5 packs of Chilli Heatwave Doritos, spoken with 3 separate neighbours that I previously never knew that I had and learnt the opening bars of Smoke on the Water on both guitar and ukulele.
In addition to this, my wife was at home not working, so T.V shows ‘Love is Blind’ and ‘Friends’ had also both featured heavily during my first day of isolation.
My lines between work-time and home-time were blurred to say the least. By half past 5, I felt I hadn’t done as much work as I usually do so guiltily worked later into the evening.
Days 3+4 - The Grapple
After a couple of days there was a slight improvement but I knew that I needed to do more and put stringent rules in place so that I wouldn’t find myself being distracted by anything and everything.
By this point, all my colleagues were working from home, so we scheduled twice daily meetings via webcam in which we’d briefly detail our plans for that day and pray about the tasks ahead.
I noticed a clear improvement in my focus and was able to get through the days without picking up a ukulele or a guitar.
I would still take 5 minute breaks that would turn into 10 minute breaks without me realising and, given that I was self-isolating I was really struggling with separating work-time and home-time as I was in the house for 24 hours a day.
Day 5 Onwards - The Rewards
I realised I was someone who needed much more rigid regulations in place to ensure that I worked to the best of my ability so I started being more regimented with my time. These are the processes that I try to stick to:
I wake up 90 minutes before work starts, ensure I’m ready for work 60 minutes before my start time
I then go for a walk for 30-45 minutes on my own, adhering to the government’s advice on Social Distancing. This replaces the time that I would usually be travelling to work.
I then start work and allow myself 5 minute breaks whenever I need them but I ensure they only last 5 minutes.
At lunchtimes, I have started going for 30 minute runs, again adhering to the government’s advice on Social Distancing. This clears the mind and, with the recent improvement in the weather, has been quite pleasant.
At the end of the day, I either go for a walk or sit in the garden. I find it helps to get out of the house if possible at the end of the day so that the day doesn’t roll into the evening.
These tips won’t work for everyone and the temptation for some people will still be there to watch Love is Blind, play Football Manager and eat Doritos but I am starting to be as productive in my dining room on my camping chair as I would be in the office; if not even more so.
Obviously, we hope that we don’t have to work from home for a long period of time, but, in order to slow the spread of the virus it is currently necessary.
Let us know how you’re getting on working from home.
We continue to hold prayer meetings each morning so, if you have anything particular you would like us to lift up in prayer, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
First picture provided by Joe Santry
Second and third picture found on Unsplash.com