If you’re working from home as a result of COVID-19, the following tips and strategies can help you to maintain a routine, stay productive and remain connected to your colleagues during this time of change.
Create a daily routine
This might include setting morning tasks, scheduled breaks, and a consistent, end-of-day knock-off time.
The following activities can also be helpful.
- Go for a walk before work and then start your day.
- Put on work clothes - it’s important to get dressed as you would for work.
- Set up a dedicated work space at the start of your work day.
- Write a daily schedule as you would for work usually, but add in breaks, lunch etc.
- Communicate this schedule to your family members/housemates so that they are aware of when you’re taking breaks and when you shouldn’t be disturbed. One way you might do this is to put a copy of your schedule on your door or in the kitchen.
- Have a morning video or phone meeting with your team (around 15 minutes) – this is a good way to check in and will also help you to set up your day.
- Take tea/coffee breaks in the same way that you would at work – choose a cup to be your ‘work cup’ for the day.
- In between meetings, take the opportunity to get up, stretch, and/or do a five - 10 minute mindfulness or breathing exercise.
- Take a lunch break away from your work area, and eat outside if possible. Eating lunch or having a coffee break with your family members/housemates can also help to break up the day.
- Pack up your work space at the end of the day.
- Walk or exercise at the end of the work day.
- Headphones – to block out background noise.
- Notebooks for work – use these depending on tasks and lock away at the end of the day.
- Create an office space if possible – partition off an area, set up a desk, place familiar things around you that help make space feel like an office.
- Have a sign on the door, e.g., Please do not disturb, I’m in a meeting. Open the door between sessions so that your ‘home colleagues’ know when they can consult with you (ask for snacks, where something is, etc.).
- Have a ‘door policy’ for children, partners and other housemates, e.g., when the door is ajar you can come in, and if it’s closed please don’t interrupt me.
- Have a shower at the end of the day.
- Change out of your work clothes when you finish the work day.
- Make time to speak to colleagues during the day, to simulate the sorts of informal catch ups you would usually have in the office environment.
If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed by the current situation and would like some support, our counsellors are here for you.
We’re committed to supporting people throughout the coronavirus situation. We’re continuing to deliver services via telephone, online and video-conferencing appointments, including through our online counselling service.
For more information or to talk to us about how we can support you, contact your nearest centre
To learn about our typing-based online counselling service or to book an appointment, visit