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How to Cope When Working From Home

How to Cope When Working From Home main image

By StudentJob

2020 has been the year we all got used to working from home. While this switch to remote working will have been a dream for some people, it can be a nightmare for others.


Anyone who has spent some time this year working from home would recognize that it takes a lot of energy to work remotely. It gets especially difficult to focus and get work done if you study and work in the same space you are living in. There are now distractions everywhere, from the laundry that needs to be done to the dog that needs a walk. Staying on-track in the middle of all this is important but hard to do.

Remember you're not alone


Even if you're living by yourself, it's important to remember you're not actually alone. Use your friends and family as a support network and interact with them regularly. Take time out from work to have a virtual coffee with co-workers or other students and talk about how you're feeling and dealing with working from home.

Establish a routine


We all need a routine, and that doesn't mean daily Netflix marathons and not getting out of your pyjamas the whole week. Set your alarm and get up in the morning at the same time each workday. If you're used to getting up early, try to keep this schedule rather than staying in bed until lunchtime.

Get dressed!

Even though this might seem unnecessary, getting dressed and not staying in your pyjamas will make you stay focused and be more productive.

Take regular breaks

Time management is essential so set a timer for 45 minutes and try to work solidly and consistently for the whole time. Then, when the timer goes you have the reward of a break for 10 minutes. Walk around, stretch a little, get a glass of water or a coffee, eat a snack, open the window to get some fresh air and you should be all set for the next working session. Breaking your day up like this will help with motivation.

Create a separate workspace

Set up a nice working space and keep it as your workspace only. If you start working on the same spot you eat and watch TV, you will soon not be able to differentiate between work hours and personal time. If you don’t have the resources to split your space, stick to working during set hours of the day and mark the 'end' of the work day by leaving that space entirely - even if only for a walk outside.

Write a to-do list

You might find the idea of a to-do list intimidating but try not to think of it as a harsh ultimatum. You could even change the name of it to something you feel comfortable with. Perhaps call it a ‘Things I really feel like doing’ or ‘Things I can’t postpone anymore’ or even ‘What I feel like eating’.

Are you bored?

Never fall into the routine of doing nothing. If you can't focus, talk about it with friends and set up virtual work or study-dates. If you have free time, check remote jobs or volunteer for companies that need help at the moment (get job application tips here).

You could also try and use any spare time to learn a new skill or language, teach yourself how to code or read the book you wanted to read for ages but didn’t have the time for. If that feels like too much work, maybe just call friends you haven’t seen in a long time.

Whatever you do, always remember that you are not alone. Stay safe!

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