WSAA's Manager, Engagement and Innovation Culture Jaimie Hicks and our Young Utility Leaders give their top tips on working from home during the COVID-19 crisis.

Create some rituals and routine
When working from home, do the things you'd normally do to prepare for the office: Set your alarm, make (or go get) coffee and change out of those PJs.

‘Find happiness in little rituals – I am loving twice a day picking a random tea from my collection and taking the time to brew a fresh cup. I walk out to the veggie garden and check its progress. It gets me up, into the sunshine and fresh air. It reminds me to take a breath and appreciate the simple and little things’ Anna Reeves.

Set clear boundaries around your work hours 
This is important so you don’t find yourself working every waking moment. Ross Young (former WSAA Executive Director) used to say “Don’t forget to go home”! Tricky when you’re already there, so pick a definitive finishing time each day and log off.

Have a dedicated work area and make expectations clear
Co-workers can be so needy. Make sure any roommates, spouses, kids and fur babies (yeah maybe not kids and fur babies) respect your space during work hours. Just because you're working from home doesn't mean you're always available. Brendan Moore and his coworker Kenzo.

Structure your day as you would in the office
What time would you start, have lunch and stop work each day? Do you have regular meetings? Use time blocking.

Plan out what you'll be working on ahead of time
Working from home requires different skills to stay organized. For a clear picture of what you need to accomplish, set up weekly goals, as well as a list of day-to-day tasks. 

Make time to talk to real people every day
Pick up the phone and use face time now and then, as well as utilising email and instant messaging (also supports getting out of those PJs). Bianca Petrevski with her mentor  Rod Naylor.

Make time to exercise and move
Pace the floor every time you’re on the phone, walk at lunch or like Sophie McGuinness get up early and walk before work. Sophie McGuinness's view of  Rangitoto Island.

Plan out your meals 
Step away from the fridge. You don’t need two breakfasts, two lunches and multiple snacks in between. Plan your lunches and do some meal prep on a Sunday (your jeans or PJs will thank you for it). Jaimie Hicks ‘busted.’

Get some fresh air and natural light
Open a window, stand on the balcony, go into the garden, sit on the deck to read a book or have a cuppa. Morgan Pauly with her coworkers Mischief and Mayhem.

Work when you're at your most productive
Your motivation will naturally ebb and flow throughout the day so capitalise on your most productive periods and save your harder tasks for when you know you'll be in the right headspace for them. Rita Chandra’s coworker Tink.

Give yourself a reality check
With everyone home, there will be (big) bumps in the road. If your kids are interrupting you, try to be patient and get creative. Give them tasks or make an indoor scavenger hunt. And if there was ever a need to relax those screen time rules, this might be it. Diane Rapson and her coworker Elizabeth.

Give yourself a break
Working from home can be a big transition and it can take time to get used to. You might feel a combination of stressed, unmotivated, relieved and productive. It's all OK and totally normal. Your idea of productivity might need modification, be flexible and adapt.

“Self-care is being productive – create space and make time to self soothe, whether that’s giving yourself a facial, practicing yoga, working on a puzzle or listening to your favourite album... It’s just as necessary as water!” Bianca Petrovski.

And your colleagues 
That means you have to be patient with your colleagues, too. Empathy, kindness and humour can go a long way to helping everyone feel like we're in this together. (And let’s face it, fancy head wear hides the lack of hairdresser visits beautifully). Anna Reeves and crazy coworkers.

21 Apr 2020

Jaimie Hicks

Jaimie Hicks

Manager Engagement & Innovation Culture