by Dr Tim Sharp (aka Dr Happy)

With all that’s going on in the world at the moment, most notably with #CoronaVirus leading to recommendations to practice #SocialDistancing, as many people as possible are being encouraged to work from home. Clearly not everyone can do this, and obviously many have been doing in for quite some time; but for those who’re relatively new to the concept I thought I’d try to provide some tips to help you find some happiness at work – at home!

So here we go; but just before I list my favourite strategies, remember that every individual and every job and every home is different. So it’s up to you to take from this what you can and make it work for you. Experiment, play around with different ideas, and gradually, over time, discover what works best for you and your circumstances…

  1. make your home working environment as nice as you can! Our surroundings can make a significant difference to our mood and thus, to our performance and efficiency. If possible, set up your “home office” in a separate area of your house so you can keep “work” and “life” at least a bit separate. Then make your work office as comfortable and positive as you can. If you don’t have enough room for a separate working space, then at least try to have your set up somewhere it can be packed away at the end of the day OR somewhere that’s out of the way so that when you “clock off” it won’t interfere too much with your evening activities
  2. stick to or develop a routine that’s similar to what would normally be your working routine. Almost everyone functions better with routine so try to start work when you normally would, take breaks for coffee/tea or lunch when you normally would, and finish up when you typically would head home
  3. stay connected. Use whatever technology or means you can to keep in touch with colleagues and managers. Although we might need to practice social distancing, this doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t maintain our relationships, including our working relationships. In fact, I’d argue this is one of the most important aspects of maintaining happiness and engagement with work when remote. So if your business uses Zoom or Skype or Slack or whatever, take advantage of the wonderful technology most of us have access to and ensure you continue “talking” to team members and managers

That’s pretty much it. Don’t overcomplicate things; but don’t expect everything to work perfectly straight away, either. Especially if you’re new to this. So as already noted, treat it as an experiment, try things out, and you’ll gradually find what works for you.

Good luck and take care. Remember, we’re all in this together : )