Working from home during the pandemic

by Stuart Lennon

After the “Covid 19” e-mails, the internet has now turned to telling us how to work from home.

I have been lapping these up. (Spice is less impressed.) Even though I’ve been working from home for a couple of years, I wouldn’t pretend that I have it all sorted out. It’s interesting to read about how others manage and whether I might find something that would work for me.

I will admit to having had a good laugh at one or two.

“My partner and I are disciplined about maintaining routine and respecting each other’s space. While I work in the home-office, my partner has setup shop in the summer house, the other side of the swimming pool, next to the tennis court. The nanny is home-schooling the children in the morning, but we both make sure to spend half an hour with the girls in the afternoon.”

(I may be exagerating for effect.) I can’t imagine how such posts and mails go down with readers entering their third week sharing a two-bedroom apartment with their partner, offspring and a puppy.

The need to stay home offers huge challenges to some, while for others, little changes. My tips can be summarised:

“Keep calm, keep kind. This will pass.”

First up, be realistic. There’s a lot of anxiety knocking about. This will affect mood and concentration. If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated space, and the rest of your household is doing just fine without you, great. But the chances are you need to put some time and energy into making sure everyone else is doing OK.

Second. Look at your own mood. If I’m anxious, I want to be busy. I can’t wait to start making big lists and ticking things off to no real purpose. More important is to find a minute to meditate, to assess how I’m feeling. The simple act of saying “I’m anxious. And that’s OK.” makes me feel better, more in control. Look after yourself.

Third. Sleep. Everything is better after a good sleep. Try not to stay up to all hours bingeing on TV. Try to put your screens away an hour or two before bed. If you can only get one routine going, make it this one. Sleep is vital.

Fourth. Body. I have spent the last three weeks eating the wrong stuff. Eating from anxiety. From boredom. As a habit. I’m heavier and feel sluggish. Today that stops. Today, I will do some exercise. Any exercise. The act of typing it out has made me feel better already.

These are extraordinary times. Keep calm, keep kind, and this will pass.

Clare continues to keep the store ticking over. She remains at home mostly, coming in only to despatch your orders. 

We hope to weather the crisis - and if you are able - please consider placing an order.