Advice and Wellbeing. Adapting to home life during Covid-19
If you are so committed to your work that you feel like your home is the kitchen, the reception desk, or the restaurant floor, then suddenly finding yourself confined to your real home can be a shock.
The UK is currently in a national lockdown with no clear end in sight. When we eventually return to lower tiers we can still expect severe restrictions for months to come.
Many challenges and difficulties will arise whilst we spend more time than usual at home. But Hospitality Action has some useful information and tips for overcoming difficulties that we may face.
Staying at home.
The latest government advice (Jan 2021) is that we should stay at home.
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare - for those eligible
You can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home. This includes, but is not limited to, people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.
Working From Home.
Whether it’s having children with, you limited space, or a lack of equipment, working from home can be difficult. But there are many small things we can implement to make the transition as painless as possible:
- Follow your usual routine as much as possible.
- Set out a designated work area – no matter how small.
- Remove any distractions where possible.
- Maintain regular hours. Be on time and ensure you finish work at your designated time.
- Take your usual breaks and lunch.
- Make time for some exercise, a 15 minute walk will go a long way.
- Stay connected with your team. Utilise phone calls and video calls to keep a team spirit.
- Understand you may not work at your usual capacity.
- Take advantage of the perks of working from home!
Managing everyone at home.
Other than our children, there may now be partners, adult siblings, roommates and parents at home during this period of time. We may even have people moving back in due to the financial difficulty many are facing or a vulnerable person in their household. How do you manage with having various age groups, various family roles and so forth at home all at once, all the time?
- Have a Discussion. If there are going to be many of your household at home now, sit down and talk about it. Discuss what you all need in terms of space, time and so on. Lay down some rules. Talk to each other and be open about the difficulties you will face during this time but think how you can through this together as a family. Think about the strengths each of you possess and how this may help you through this time. Take it as an opportunity to spend some time together, even if in silence.
- Respect Alone Time. It is as important to make quality time for each other, as it is to have your own space. With everybody being at home, many of us will become overwhelmed by the amount of time spent together in close proximity. Especially those of us who live in smaller living quarters. Be sure to make time for alone time and respect each other’s need for this. Do not take it personal if one of you does not want to interact much for a period to time.
- The Environment. In this time, it is going to be important to ensure everyone has enough space to do what they need to do and feel comfortable. If you have adults working from home and also children learning from home, it is important that each has a space they feel is their own – even in smaller homes, this can be achieved though it is a little more difficult. This can be as simple as one side of the sofa is one person’s work place and the other is someone else’s. It is also important to cooperate on environmental factors such as volumes, lighting, food and so on. Be considerate of those you are now at home with and create an environment that works well for each of you.
- Get Outside. The UK government is still allowing individuals outside for exercise and also for essential trips – such as to a supermarket or pharmacy. Make the most of this time out of the house. If you need to pick up a small amount of groceries, consider walking rather than driving if possible. Be sure to take some exercise outside, this is great not only for our physical health but also our mental health. The time outdoors gives us some alone time, fresh air and a change of scenery. Exercise can take many forms; a walk, a jog, a cycle. Consider following an online workout in a quiet space in a park. If you have a garden or balcony be sure to take advantage or this. If you do not have this, simply opening your window and inhaling some fresh air for a few moments can be greatly beneficial.
NHS on COVID-19: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronaviruscovid-19/
Government advice on staying at home: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing