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Staying sane when working from home


Even then, you might need to set some house rules about avoiding Netflix and other bandwidth-intensive activities when others are trying to work.

Working and studying from home isn’t just about tech, it’s also about staying safe and sane. Everyone needs an ergonomically sound workspace with a decent chair, plus you need to take a break every day and go for a brisk walk outside – it’s good for the body and mind.

Until you work from home, you don’t appreciate the psychological role your daily commute plays in shifting into work mode, then switching off at the end of the day. You need to get into a household routine and create your own rituals, such as declaring your morning coffee the start of your work day and then putting your computer away out of sight when it’s time to clock off.

Music is a great way to regulate your mood without relying too heavily on caffeine and alcohol. It’s also a great way to block out the world when you’re in a crowded space, so it’s worth investing in a few pairs of headphones and upgrading to a streaming music family account.

Skype, or other video calling software, can help you stay connected with family members wherever they are.

Skype, or other video calling software, can help you stay connected with family members wherever they are.Credit:Simon Schluter

In the months ahead, we’re also going to rely more heavily on technology to stay in contact with family and friends – especially those who are particularly at risk.

My parents are in their 70s, as is my mother-in-law, and we visit them after school once a week. Unfortunately, they each have their fair share of health problems and we need to keep our distance for a while to help keep them safe.

These days my family sits down in the dining room and sets up a computer running Skype at the end of the table. The grandparents do the same, so we can sit around the virtual table and chat for an hour while we eat our afternoon tea. The next step is to figure out how they can continue to play Rummy and Uno with the kids across the web.

It’s surprising how quickly you forget about the technology once you start talking, although it’s nothing new for my family. We regularly do the same to chat with my sister’s family, who live on the other side of town, as well as my brother and his wife who live in Hong Kong. They’re also spending a lot of time at home these days.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if we’re on the other side of the world or the other side of town, video calls make it easy for us to all stay in touch until we can be together again.

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