Covid-19 is currently kicking us all in our collective ass, and things seem to be getting even more serious each day. Most of us (if you’re able to), are now working from home, but switching to remote work comes with a mind shift. To get you there, we’ve put together the essential work-from-home starter pack, so that you don’t go completely crazy.
What to buy when you go shopping
Ideally, you should only be leaving your house when it’s absolutely necessary. For example, if you need to go grocery shopping or to the pharmacy. Since you’ll be mostly housebound, it’s incredibly important that you stock up on everything that you need.
Pantry staples like dried pasta, rice, bread, tinned food, and bottled water (if your tap water isn’t up to scratch, and instant coffee are essential. Although, it’s important that you don’t hoard – remember, while you may be in a position to buy bulk, many aren’t, and when they go shopping the shelves are empty and there’s no food for them to buy.
Certain fresh fruits and vegetables are long lasting, both in the fridge and in your pantry. Apples, oranges, cauliflower (in the fridge), broccoli (fridge), carrots, potatoes, butternut squash, eggplants (in the fridge), cabbage (fridge), onions, and brussel sprouts are all excellent options.
Then we come to dairy. If stored properly, certain cheeses can last at least a month in the fridge. Hard cheeses like parmigiano and pecorino are even better.
Then you’ll want to stock up on some sanitary items – toilet paper (no bulk buying, please god), hand sanitizer, latex gloves, shampoo, soap, and toothpaste are all vital.
Finally, buy some treats – you’re going to be inside for a long time, and now’s not necessarily the time to stick totally to your diet. Keep healthy, but don’t go insane.
Working from home with kids
Working from home when you have kids is an entirely other trip altogether. You may need to homeschool the younger ones in the interim, but you don’t want to make the entire day focused on education.
Plan activities that you’ll do with them after you’ve finished work. Remember, aside from technology, you’re really their only form of entertainment, and a bored child is an unhappy one. Throw it back and do a puzzle, teach them a card game, or get the boardgames out – they’ll be thrilled. Or better yet, take part in the #4KingLegoChallenge.
If you have an important work call, try and plan it for when they’re doing a quiet activity like reading or doing school work. Set boundaries – they should know that your work is also important, and as a parent you have a responsibility to take care of them – work is part of that. If all else fails, set a timer for “quiet time” and make sure that they understand that they need to play silently until the timer goes off.
Don’t be too strict – yes, it’s important to have boundaries, but your kids are as bored and freaked out as you are, maybe even more. It’s likely that you haven’t spent this much time together in a long time, and you can really use this quarantine period as a bonding experience.
Other work-from-home essentials
Finally, in the essential work-from-home starter pack, are miscellaneous essentials.
Working from home requires a level of discipline that’s very different from working in an office.
Firstly, ensure that you’re not working from the bed or couch all day. A good desk is vital for productivity, or even just to save your back.
You’ll need a solid WiFi connection, so make sure your router is up to scratch – don’t take any chances here.
A notebook is honestly such a help at times like these – jot your thoughts down on paper at least once a day, don’t let things get bottled up.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Back to the kids – noise cancelling headphones can be a real help. If your kids are playing loudly, just pop some of these bad boys on and get going.
Plants – you’re not really allowed outside, so get your hands on some plants to keep you feeling more connected with nature.
Remember: you’ll get through this
Things seem dire right now, and they are – but ultimately we will get through this. Hopefully this essential work-from-home starter pack has put your mind at ease a little bit. Remember, at this point in time, productivity isn’t everything. Yes, it’s important to keep on top of things, but also spend time with your loved ones, and acknowledge the immense stress that you’re under.