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Managing working from home as we enter the three-tier alert levels

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Back in the spring, which feels like a lifetime ago now, I shared some of our top tips for working from home. I thought it might be a good time to revisit that article and take some time to think about whether your days are as effective, productive, and happy as they could be. Some of us have been working at home for over eight months now, and the lines between home and work might be becoming increasingly blurred – I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to reinstate those lines.

Whatever your circumstances, there is no denying that everyday life today is very different to life this time last year. There has been a shift in the family dynamic for many of us and it is likely you will have been spending either a lot more or a lot less time with your family and loved ones. Both have their challenges and we will all have done what we need to do to adapt to the changes.

I wanted to share with you a few of my thoughts in the hope that they might be useful to others…

The fake commute

There have been lots of articles in the press and on social media about the ‘fake commute’. The idea is to prepare for the day ahead and create a clearer division between your working day and your leisure time. For some it might be a walk (or even a drive) round the block, for others it might just be stepping outside your front door with a cup of coffee, getting some fresh air and coming back inside! Either way, it’s just as important to do it at the end of your working day as it is at the beginning – I’ve tried it (although admittedly not every day!) and I promise it really does help.

Manage your workload

Whilst we are all working remotely, it’s much harder to keep tabs on each other’s workload and capacity, and all too easy to get lost in our own little worlds.  Communication is paramount. It might be the case that you are sitting at home with something weighing on your mind; this could be potentially damaging to your mental wellbeing. Please talk to someone. We are all in the same boat and we can help each other out, even if just by talking it through.

TEAMs

Make a conscious effort to have at least one TEAMs video chat with a colleague every day, camera on! I am a people person – I get so much of my energy from seeing other people and bouncing ideas off them, and I think lots of us are missing that at the moment. It might sound a bit cringy, but it’s amazing how much difference seeing a friendly face can make.

Onwards and upwards for Team Mercer & Hole and our friends of the firm – Christmas is just around the corner!

Sarah Sparshott Senior Tax Manager

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