Here at the CRG we are taking as many precautions as we can to make sure everyone stays safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have taken official government advice on board and have encouraged all group members to work from home during these difficult times. We have taken extra measures to ensure any of our group members who are themselves or have family members in the at risk category can work from home until it is deemed safe for them to return to work.
If you are looking for some helpful tips for working at home, we’ve got you covered with some of the tips we are using:
1. Structure your day: It's easy to get bogged down and distracted without any form of structure. We suggest you plan out each day so you know what you want to accomplish and how you are going to
do so. Also set yourself working hours. No one can work 24/7 and it’s important that you don't over work yourself.
2. Make sure to take breaks: Taking breaks is good for helping to maintain concentration and your mental health. If you are feeling tired or feeling a lapse in your concentration take a small 15minute coffee break to recharge your batteries. Also make sure you take some time out for lunch. And by lunch we don't just mean time to eat, take 30-60 minutes to enjoy yourself, maybe watch an episode of your favourite TV show or spend some time on one of your hobbies to help you relax before getting back to work. This will really help to boost your productivity!
3. Don't stay in bed all day: We know that if you are working from your laptop, it might seem appealing to lay in your bed, DON’T!! This will make your bedroom feel like an office and it will end up feeling like you're constantly at work, even when you try to relax. If you have a home office great, if not consider working at the kitchen table or somewhere that you don't use as a relaxation space.
3b. Also make sure to change out of your jammies to help shift your mindset.
4. Keep in regular contact with your colleagues: This is a good way to help maintain extra social contact which is very important, and allows everyone to continue helping each other (which is especially important during difficult times)
5. Get some fresh air: This will really help keep your focus up. While it is recommended that you avoid anywhere that is busy, all you need to do is pop out to the garden or open your windows in the house/flat to make sure you get plenty of fresh air.
6. Get some exercise: This could be done before you start your work day, during your lunch break or once you have finished for the day, but exercise is linked to improved mental health and productivity. You could try some early morning yoga or follow an exercise video on youtube to help you keep fit and help to keep your mood positive which will be beneficial for effective working.
If you are a research scientist, we realise you might also be wondering how to effectively work when you don't have access to your lab equipment. Fear not, for we also have some suggestions for you as well. You could start working on that paper or review you keep putting off, you could make sure your lab journal and your data analysis is all up to date, and you could offer to help with any teaching activities as most universities are now under a lot of stress to get online teaching to the highest standard possible.
We hope some of these tips here are useful for you and help you to keep focussed at home, and if you have any tips that work for you let us know. Finally, we hope you are all taking the government advice seriously and helping to keep the most vulnerable in society safe. Make sure you cough or sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands regularly. Remember you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and to make sure they are super clean, we suggest you recite all the CCL chemokines (including the CCL every time, not just the number) while you wash.
P.S. I hope you enjoy my makeshift Lego filled desk at the dining table. More Lego based photography is available on request