Blurred Boundaries: Working Remotely During a Pandemic

Blurred Boundaries: Working Remotely During a Pandemic
April 20, 2020 Toyin Akindele

With the lockdown extended many of us are faced with the reality that remote working is not going away anytime soon. Here are ten tips to help you manage and protect your time and energy during the lockdown.



  1. Protect Your Headspace:Now more than ever, it is vital we protect our mental health. Working outside of our normal office environment without the structure we are accustomed to is no small feat. Express your concerns to your support system and take time to maintain your balance throughout the day. Here’s an easy breathing exercise you can do to decompress.


  1. Carve a Workspace:Creating a space, no matter how small, outside of your bedroom will create a sense of balance so you don’t feel like you’re rolling into work straight out of bed. If this isn’t possible, just be sure not to work from your bed. This allows for a mental separation of work and your “personal space.”


  1. Stay Active: Commit to doing some sort of physical activity within the first 5 hours of your day. If you don’t exercise in the morning, be sure to catch up with some sort of activity before your day goes into overdrive. Walk, plank, dance or do jumping jacks to elevate your heart rate and relieve stress. Our gyms may be closed, but there are tons of free livestreams available throughout the day for you to choose from.


  1. Sunlight and Fresh Air: As simple as it sounds, these two elements will help you feel more grounded. A few minutes in the sun can give us all the vitamin D we need for the day to keep our immune systems healthy. Discover what parts of your home get the best sunlight and utilize those spaces throughout the day. Great lighting isn’t just for photos.


  1. Set Boundaries and Reminders: When working from home, be sure that you are working reasonable hours and make those boundaries clear. You don’t have to respond to emails 24/7 irrespective of the time they are sent. Also try not to eat your main meals while you work. It’s easy to get carried away, so create reminders on your phone for lunch, walks etc.


  1. Hold on to your Joy:Do the things that make you feel good and take you away from the stress of it all. Take a few moments to read a few pages of your favourite book, catch up with friends or listen to music through your workday.


  1. Get creative to stay connected: Take TGIF online! With Zoom, Google Hangout, Netflix Party and other community-based apps we can still maintain connectionsthat matter.


  1. Fragmented Time: These little pockets of time during the day, 15-30 minutes between meetings and tasks are critical in regaining your mental balance as you work through your targets. Use this time to catch up with family, friends, stretch or just breathe.


  1. Energy Management. When are you most productive? Work your schedule to best align with those times of day when your mental and physical energy is at its peak. If possible, coordinate these times with your team members to maximise productivity.


  1. Empathy:Given the financial, emotional and physical toll of the Covid-19 crisis, everyone will be pushed to their limits in some capacity so take the lead and show compassion irrespective of your role. Avoid sending emails and making work phone calls at odd hours and encourage others to do the same. Trust your team to deliver and don’t obsess on if people are working. Remember, we are working from home during a crisis, not just working from home.


Find these tips useful? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below and tell us how you are balancing life and work through this pandemic.


#StaySafe #StayHealthy #ProtectYourMentalHealth


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