COVID-19: Strategies to manage working from home

Well we’ve certainly found ourselves in an intense, strange and constantly changing time with the coronavirus pandemic and resulting restrictions!

This has affected people financially, socially, and personally so understandably many people are feeling stressed, upset, isolated and overwhelmed.

Given many people are working from home, here are some strategies to help manage this:

Set your work hours and breaks, and stick to your schedule

  • Choose your start and finish times.
  • Choose your break times.
  • Don’t turn on your computer, check emails/work phone etc outside of your chosen work hours.
  • Allocate a work space in your home if you can, otherwise keep your computer and other work things in a bag away from your living areas while you’re having ‘personal time’ and get them out while you’re having ‘work time’.


Use a task management system

  • It’s always important to have a good task management system, but especially when you’re working from home.
  • If you don’t already have one, use a simple system and stick to it, keeping tasks small so you are frequently ticking them off (I like Microsoft ‘to do’ which links in with Outlook task list).


Increase your self-care routine

  • Now is a great time to focus on your diet, exercise, mindfulness and relaxation.
  • There is so much available on YouTube and Instagram, e.g home workouts and Yoga classes, as well as supporting your gym or personal trainer via online options.
  • There’s also an enormous variety of mindfulness and relaxation exercises on YouTube – searching Mindfulness of Breath, Mindfulness of Body, or Progressive Muscle Relaxation will give you lots to get started with. Aim to do mindfulness or relaxation as you change from personal to work time, or work to personal time (e.g. do a ten minute mindfulness at 8.45am before your 9am work start time).
  • Watch out for temptations to increase unhealthy coping strategies, such as alcohol intake, smoking, and treat food. 


Ensure continued social connections

  • Despite our social distancing restrictions, we can still stay connected to work colleagues, family and friends.
  • Keep in touch using the phone, video conferencing and Facetime/Skype. Of course it’s not exactly the same as having lunch together, but it’s still fun to catch up with someone or a group via video. We’re hearing lots of lovely stories about different apps and online platforms being used to help with this (e.g. Microsoft Teams, House Party app).


Access counselling 

  • This is a time when our sensitivities tend to come up (even if not directly or indirectly to COVID-19), so if you are feeling depressed, anxious, stressed or having trouble coping with corona virus related issues or other matters, please access counselling.
  • Here at New Pathways we’ve definitely had a spike in people accessing our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Medicare and private counselling services and we’ve able to continue providing counselling via video and phone, in addition to some face to face sessions, so please contact us if you have any questions or require any individual support.


Thinking of you all, and hoping things settle for everyone soon.


Tess Andrews 

Principal Psychologist

BASc(Psych), GradDipSc(Psych), MAPS

New Pathways Psychological Services

Port Melbourne and Melbourne CBD

P: 03 9943 4998  


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