Coronavirus diary 19/3/20 – working from home


I’ll be blogging my way through the Coronavirus period, with a focus on the psychological impacts and how to keep yourself and the people you care about safe and mentally healthy.

Look after yourself peeps..

Dr Gareth Furber

So I got the instruction to work from home from tomorrow 20/3/20.

Not surprising really given that my job is primarily computer-based. I am hoping that is the reason and not that my colleagues think that I smell bad.

Given that the university has been aggressively moving all teaching content online, many of you have probably already started your ‘work from home‘ life. Make sure you keep checking your university email and FLO for notifications about how to best access the teaching content. All other student relevant information can be found here – Basically, most teaching activities are going ahead, but just with a movement to the online space.

I’ve worked from home previously in other jobs. I am lucky that I have a dedicated space at home that I call my office.

Working from home has its ups and downs.

On the plus side, I tend to get a little more work done at home, especially if I am very mindful about what pieces of work I want to get done. I recommend you set yourself at least 3 study goals per day, so you know clearly how you want to use each day. Make these commitments at the beginning of the day. I use Google Calendar to record what I want to do it and the time-frames in which I want to do it. I have 4 things planned for tomorrow.


On the downside, I am prone to getting distracted at home. The things that distract me the most are the refrigerator (and its contents), my guitar (playing it badly) and watering my plants (which get soaked cause I water them too much). To be honest though, distractions aren’t really a bad thing if you are using them to break up your day, get up from sitting down, or connect with other people.

At the moment, South Australia is not on any kind of major lockdown, so ‘working from home’ doesn’t necessarily mean stuck at home, unless you are in self-isolation/ self-quarantine or have been instructed otherwise.

This means that heading out to get something from the shops (if anything is left) or simply taking a walk around the neighbourhood is still a goer – just follow the social distancing guidelines. I’ll take the occasional walk to the corner store for supplies.

A couple of things that I will be doing to ensure I get off to a decent start with my working from home:

  • I will limit my exposure to Coronavirus news to just checking in the morning and then once in the evening. I stick to the Department of Health website, ABC and Flinders University Coronavirus page.  Overexposure can increase anxiety. People differ in their preferences for news, but be mindful of whether the news you are consuming is helping you be better informed or simply making you more anxious.
  • I’m going to be pretty vigilant about keeping my sleep and nutrition routines in place. Those parts of your routine that you can keep in place do so.
  • I am going to try to create a few new ‘working from home’ routines. One will be meditation in the afternoon (to go with my morning meditation) and the other will probably be some kind of simple gardening task. One simple way to help us adjust to significant life changes is to create new little routines that help us feel in control in situations where everything feels a bit chaotic.
  • I will use chat programs (e.g. teams) to continue to talk with my colleagues, cause I will miss seeing them.

In future posts, I will talk about some of the other things I am doing to make the transition to working from home and isolating myself from work a little easier to deal with.

A couple of useful links

Mental health advice amid COVID-19 concerns


COVID-19: Mental health in uncertain times


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Coronavirus Mental Health

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