I was sent home from the office and asked to begin ‘working from home’ (WFH) on 18th March 2020 after COVID-19 broke out into the UK.
The transition to working from home wasn’t that tricky for me, I’m part of the tech-generation - I adapted quickly to digitising meetings and workloads. However, I had lost my daily routine in both my weekdays and weekends and the things I normally enjoyed in my down-time were impossible due to lockdown: eating out, socialising, visiting new places.
My pre-COVID working day (inc. commute) ranged from 7am-6pm. Now, it ranges from 8:30/9am-4:30/5pm. WFH has given me extra free hours in the day, yet it’s also caused more hours of screen-time due to the removal of face-to-face meetings, and an increased time on my phone, desperate to connect with others. I quickly recognised that this was having an adverse effect on my productivity and mental wellbeing and so, decided to try to minimise time on digital devices – made extra difficult by the alternative activities I normally did now carrying the risk of becoming ill.
Much of this time was spent gazing out of the window, wondering what else I could do. Then, my ‘Found’ of the pandemic hopped into my eyeline. A squirrel! Since, I’ve been giving myself a cuppa’s worth of designated window-gazing time per day to do some nature-watching (at least 20 mins). I’ve even invested in the RSPB’s Pocket-Guide to British Birds and some binoculars. At 23, bird-watching had never been something I had taken part in. However, it gives me some much-needed time away from the screen and with myself, and is something I will definitely try to make time for moving forward, both with our initial steps out of Coronavirus and in the future.