With much of the world confined to their homes during an enforced period of lockdown in a bid to control the spread of Coronavirus, a lot of us are now getting used to working from home for the first time.
Given the growing percentage of traders who are used to analysing the markets from the comfort of their home office, for many this won't be anything new. However for those who work in office-based companies, this may come as a shock to the system. And new restrictions on when we can leave the house will affect us all. Here's a few tips on how to get through this strange and unsettling time...
1. Keep to a routine
If your usual day used to consist of getting to the office to start work at 9am, then get up and sit down to work at 9am. With your office now being a matter of steps away instead of a long commute, people tend to start working as soon as they wake up and can get sucked into working much longer hours. Alternatively, people may choose to stay in bed and sleep the work day away, most likely resulting in a very unhappy boss. A routine will help give you structure in these confusing times.
2. Take regular breaks
As you’re in your own home it may feel a little strange to take a “lunch break” but its probably even more important for those who work from home so you can make the distinction from where the work begins and where it ends. Every couple hours try to take a walk outside and get some fresh air (if your government allows), or alternatively walk around your home. Better yet - do a home work out, we've already made some up for you here.
3. Get dressed
Don’t work in your pyjamas just because you can. Get up, have a shower and get dressed, so you’re really in the mindset to have an effective day at work.
4. Get some background noise
Working from home can get pretty lonely and the silence can be distracting for some. Perhaps go onto Spotify or YouTube and choose a playlist that you wouldn’t usually listen to - that way you won't get distracted by the music or having to change the song each time.
5. Keep in contact
Working from home can be hard if you feel isolated and alone, so talk to your colleagues and tell them what you're doing so you can keep yourself and them focused on the task. The same goes for talking to friends, give them a call and tell them about what you’re doing. Also reach out if you’re struggling - there are plenty of platforms and groups coming together for these exact circumstances.
6. Take on expert advice
Social media can be a toxic minefield at times, so stick to trusted sources and every now and then you'll find a gem. Such as this excellent thread from a former submariner, explaining the routines that got him through long stretches in a confined space...
During my time in the Submarine Service, I - along with many others - endured many weeks and months cooped up in a steel tube under the waves. I just thought I’d share a few coping strategies for many of you now facing a Covid-19 “patrol”. pic.twitter.com/m9ObHd6FU9
— Jon Bailey (@SloopJontyB) March 20, 2020
7. Remain positive
Probably the most important is to remember that this isn’t going to last forever, so remain positive, focus on the work you have to do and follow the government’s guidance. The sooner we start this, the sooner it’ll be over.