In the midst of “Lockdown 2.0”, we have had the opportunity to reflect on some of the lessons we have learnt over the first (and second) lockdown.
The lockdown forced many businesses (like us) to work from home, having an impact on employees' mental health, productivity and communication with others. During this time, we have all learnt something different about ourselves and how we work best. Here, we share our thoughts, reflections and tips for surviving lockdown, as well as some of the highlights!
- Take a quick break away from the computer every hour or so throughout the day to help clear the mind.
- Take the time to learn something new each day; this keeps the brain active and healthy.
- Going for a run before or after work keeps you physically and mentally healthy.
- Keep the workspace clean and clutter-free – nothing damages creativity and motivation more than a messy office.
Lockdown Highlight: Getting the keys to my new house.
- Listening to a good playlist or podcast can really help to keep up your motivation and concentration.
- Taking a break from technology after work helps to clear your head – don’t be tempted to grab your phone straight away!
- Getting some fresh air or doing some exercise every day is really helpful to preventing cabin fever!
- Keeping up communication with your friends or work colleagues is so important and helps to make sure you are talking to different people outside of your household! Whether that’s via WhatsApp, Zoom or a phone call, chatting with a familiar face helps to bring some normality to each day.
Lockdown Highlight: Taking up skipping and spending more time with my family and pet rabbit!
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to co-workers if you are feeling isolated or struggling with something when working from home. Whether your issue is work-related or personal, I'm sure they will be willing to offer their support.
- Writing a list of key tasks to be done each day and prioritising them can help you stay focused and productive, but don't worry if you're not able to get it all done. Anything that isn't finished one day can be passed on to the next.
- Keep your workspace separate to your relaxation space, so that you can close the door on work at the end of the day. It's easier to do the things you enjoy when you are not thinking about work.
- Taking breaks throughout the day where you socialise with others in your household or get some fresh air can help to reduce stress.
Lockdown Highlight: Getting married and moving into a new house!
- Making sure you set aside some time every day to do something you enjoy can help you to unwind and keep you in a positive mood.
- Keeping active, whether it is a walk or a quick workout, can help you stay motivated and gives you goals to aim towards.
- Talking on a regular basis with friends and family is a nice way to make plans for next time you are able to see one another, giving you something to look forward to.
- Using your spare time to learn something new can make you feel more motivated and encourage you to be more productive.
Lockdown Highlight: Being able to spend time with my family and enjoy doing things together like cooking and going for long walks.
- Greenify your workspace. I have found adding plants to my workspace has been a great way to bring some living elements into my indoor space, re-energising my environment and improving my overall mood.
- Struggling to remain as focused as you are normally are in the office? I would recommend swapping your comfortable slippers or socks for your work shoes. Yes, it sounds strange, but this has really helped me to separate my normal working day from my own personal time in the evening and therefore has helped me remain more productive over the long term.
- It can be tricky in the winter months, but try getting outside every day even for just 5 minutes. I have found doing a quick evening dog walk in the fresh air is a great way to unwind from the day and boost my energy levels.
- Check in on your friends, family & colleagues. This can be a difficult time for some people and I would suggest dropping a simple message to those around you to check how they are coping in the current situation. I am sure your effort won’t go unnoticed.
Lockdown Highlight: Spending the first couple of weeks of this lockdown having a massive clear-out & painting my room.
- Exercise. When working from home it’s important to keep active to help give your mind a rest and your body a work-out in order to alleviate stress and anxiety.
- Be adaptable. Look at how the services you provide can be adapted, improved and changed to best suit the needs of clients in uncertain times.
- Socialise. With more people online than ever, it’s important to connect with people on social media not just to seek new business, but to learn what others are doing.
- Keep calm. Try and focus on your immediate surroundings and don’t get too distracted with all the ‘noise’ in the news.
- Be positive. As routines and daily life changes, think about the positive things you’ve done/experienced that you may not have done otherwise.
Lockdown Highlight: Being able to spend so much time outside and in the garden. I enjoyed growing fruit and vegetables with my daughters and also really appreciated the extra time that I was able to spend outdoors, including walking, cycling and running; notably running my first half-marathon during lockdown 1 in the Spring.
Overall, as a team, we have learnt how to stay productive, motivated and mentally healthy whilst working from home. Although the lockdown has forced us to be physically apart, we have been able to stay connected through Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp and other great tools & technology.
There is no denying that it has been a tough year, but it's all too easy to focus on the negatives. As you can see from our 'lockdown highlights', we have experienced some great things this year! What has been the highlight of your lockdown experience?