Lockdown has been in place for around 5 weeks now and in our own way we’re trying to cope and work from home. How are you doing? Remember, don’t be too hard on yourself, you’re doing the best you can in unusual circumstances.
Right at the beginning of the pandemic the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team put together some tips on working from home. Marie’s blog post ‘Are you ready to work from home? – Tips from TEL’ was published on the 23rd March. If you haven’t read it yet, grab a drink and have a read -there could be some advice here which might just help you! Also in this blog are the links to the eLearning Tools Site which features useful resources and information on working from home, particularly teaching remotely for staff at the University of Portsmouth.
Whether you’re a student or a member of staff, staying inside and staying healthy is everyones’ main priority at the moment. Many students are probably used to shutting themselves off for hours while they work on their latest assignment or revise for an exam. However, for a lot of people this is the first time they’ve had to work from home, life as they know it has certainly changed. Being able to log onto a device and access work or study materials is only one part of remote working. Having a routine, some physical activity and making sure you take regular screen breaks are just as important for your wellbeing.
How many of you thought it’d be great just to lay around all day chilling out in your pjs and laying on the settee, whilst working on your laptop? By keeping to your normal morning routine of getting dressed, making breakfast etc, these activities all help your mind to adjust from sleep-mode to work-mode. I’ll be honest I’m not wearing the same clothes I’d wear for work, but what I am wearing are the clothes I exercise in. This is so that when I have a break, I can jump on my exercise bike, no excuses.
For those of you with a smartwatch you’ll be familiar with a buzz on your wrist 10 minutes before the hour if you haven’t got around to walking 250 steps. Don’t ignore the buzz, it serves two purposes. The first, is you need a screen break, but don’t go from your screen to another kind of screen, like your mobile. The second reason is for some activity: get up and move around, pop along to the kitchen and grab yourself a drink (water is good to keep you hydrated) or check on the rest of your family. If you don’t have a smartwatch, set the alarm on your mobile.
Whilst working at home it’s easy to forget about your lunch break, don’t!! More than anything it’s especially important at the moment, it’s time for you to step away from the computer/laptop. Now’s the opportunity to take a walk around the block, get some fresh air or log onto Facebook and follow one of the UoP Sports live sessions. Try to do some kind of activity. Maybe spend time with your family or if you have a garden and it’s dry, take your lunch outside and have a picnic!
It’s important to maintain a good work-life balance, so after working on and off for eight hours (remember to take short breaks often, and long breaks, less often) or so, log off. When working from home it’s easy to ignore the separation between professional and personal time, don’t! If you’re lucky and you have a separate room as an office, log off and close the door behind you. If, like me you’re sitting at your dining room table, log off and put your laptop away. Remember, your home “office” is also your personal space, a place for relaxing and recharging your batteries.
21 Day Self-Care Challenge
The challenge may have started already, but you can start your 21 days at any time.The aim is to help to increase our own self-care with simple tools, strategies and personal challenges to get us through this difficult time. Small changes can have such a huge impact, to your wellbeing. Read more about the challenge in the Isolation Motivation – are you up for the challenge? blog post. Then let us know in the comments box which two things you’re going to drop and the two you’re going to take up.
Positive Pictures from TEL
If you have a minute or two go to our Instagram account #telportsmouth and here you’ll find that we’ve been sharing with our audience some great positive photos taken by members of the TEL Team whilst they’ve been out and about on their daily exercise. Enjoy!
For a more concise interpretation of working from home please refer to Marie Kendall-Waters blog post: Are you ready to work from home? Tips from TEL.
Areas covered in the blog post are:
- Create a dedicated work space
- Use to-do lists
- Learn to deal with distractions
- Take regular breaks
- Don’t lose touch with your colleagues
- Make sure to drink and eat
- Make working comfortable
- Deal with being disconnected
- Don’t be hard on yourself