Top tips for working from home - Dr Malcolm Harvey (Lecturer in Politics & International Relations)

Top tips for working from home - Dr Malcolm Harvey (Lecturer in Politics & International Relations)

By now, some three months into this strange new reality, there isn't much new under the sun. Every day looks the same. Teams meetings fluctuate between a joy and a chore. The home office is also the home gym... and where the washing dries out of shot. Human contact outside your home is still limited. Homeschooling is just as difficult as it was on day one.

I’m supposed to use this space to give some tips about looking after your mental health, but from that opening, you probably wouldn’t guess that.  The truth is, I’m struggling with it as much as everyone else, and despite my past experiences, I’m not sure I’m any better equipped to offer advice.

While you’ve probably heard all the main things before (have a routine, take breaks from the screen, exercise – all of which are really important) perhaps you haven’t heard this: take some time to think how hard this is. 

Recognise that what you’re doing is difficult, challenging – at times, impossible.  Reassess your expectations of what you can achieve.  Set yourself manageable objectives and recognise that you’ve achieved something when you’re finished them.

Because this IS difficult, challenging – and, at times, impossible.  Recognise that.  Some days are easier, and something approaching normal work happens, and some days are harder, and all you can do is send 3 emails.  That’s fine.  This is not normal. 

Whatever you’re doing, you’re doing great.  Remember to tell yourself that.  Often.

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