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Whitney Joseph My Friend Jen Contributor

Working from home with Sickle Cell

When Shielding Began In March 2020, Lawyer Whitney Joseph Shared Tips With Us On Working From Home With Sickle Cell

Flexible Working

One of the first things I asked about when I interviewed for my job was whether there was a policy for working from home.

Living with sickle cell, flexible working with the ability to work from home is a big deal for me but never in a million years did I envision a time where my entire office would all be working from home for an extended (and what feels like an indefinite) period of time.

As a lawyer I’m no stranger to working late nights and long hours and even though I have worked from home in the past most of my time is still spent in the office, so being on a long-term lockdown has been a big change. Nonetheless, here we are and I am doing my best to make the most of it. 

Working from home isn’t all bad. For me, it means no more miserable morning commutes on the Underground, no spending endless amounts of money on Pret breakfasts and no more overpriced London lunches. Most importantly, it means that on the days that I’m fighting with Sickle Cell pain and don’t feel great I don’t have to worry about putting on a ‘brave face’ in the office to make it through the day. Instead, I can simply focus on getting my work done. 

Routine

Admittedly, the first week working from home was rather haphazard, but I’ve since been working on ways to work more efficiently by creating a “Quarantine Routine”. It’s unrealistic for me to stick to it religiously, but it does serve as a good reminder for the tasks which I’d otherwise avoid doing or just forget to do. At the very least, this new routine has helped my weekdays to feel more like weekdays and my weekends to feel a lot more like weekends!  

As I now approach week 8 of the government’s recommended 12 week shielding period for vulnerable patients, I think I have finally narrowed down some things which have helped to make this extended working from home experience much more manageable. Here are some of my top hits which might help others in a similar situation.

Tips on working from home with sickle cell opened notebook with pen on white desk

Top Tips

  1. Write a daily to do list to help prioritise your workload.
  2. If you can, set up a designated workspace to help separate ‘work’ from ‘home’.
  3. At the end of each day, shut down your computer and switch off from work. If possible, walk away from your workspace so that you can keep work out of sight and out of mind for the evening.
  4. Organise your day effectively and don’t forget to stop for breaks.
  5. Most of all, don’t put pressure on yourself. You’re not just working from home; you’re working from home during a pandemic. So, whatever your ‘normal’ working practices were before, they may change now. Be flexible with how you work and be kind to yourself if you are struggling to adjust. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or additional support if you need it.

You can follow Whitney on Instagram @thecityprescription

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