Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, most of us are working differently to the way we usually would. At Greater Manchester Mental Health (GMMH), both of our library sites have closed and we are providing virtual library services from home. Working from home is both a challenge and an opportunity, so here’s my personal experience of surviving it through a typical daily routine!

7am - Get up and go for a walk. I take my outdoor exercise in the morning as an alternative to commuting, which gets me in a good frame of mind for work. I'm very lucky because I live close to the River Mersey so it’s scenic too!

Walks by the river Mersey

Walks by the River Mersey

8.30am - Sign in and action emails. I start work at the same time as I would if I was in the library because I find it helpful to stick to a regular schedule. It feels more relaxed working from home, so keeping as close to my usual routine as possible helps me to stay focused.

10am - Library team huddle. Our library team has a video call every morning so that we can check in with each other. The library manager gives general updates from the Trust and every member of the team shares what they are working on. This is really helpful because it enables us to communicate effectively and work together despite being apart. Working from home can also feel isolating so it’s nice to have this daily catch up.

11am – Post on Twitter. I try to tweet 2-3 times a day (@Knowledge_GMMH if you want to follow us!). It’s particularly important to promote our online resources at this time, and to remind users that we are still here to support them with any information needs.

1pm – Lunchtime. I close my laptop for half an hour to have a break from screen time. I'm using the opportunity of being at home to do household chores at lunch, which frees up time in the evening.

1.30pm – Find information. We're getting a lot of information requests, both about COVID-19 and for reliable information for the public. One of the tasks we’ve done as a team is to collate online links and helplines for a range of mental health topics to support the Trust's 24/7 helpline.

2.30pm – Tea break. I get up to make a brew and stretch my legs several times a day. I don't have a desk or dining table at home which can be tough, so I move around throughout the day to avoid back pain.

2.35pm – Produce bulletins. We're producing a lot of current awareness around COVID-19 to keep staff up-to-date. To reach more staff with the bulletins, we are looking at further ways to promote them such as adding them to the library website.

4.30pm – Log out and stretch out. It’s a very busy time, so it’s important to remember to log off when the tasks for the day are finished. As my post-work 'commute', I do some yoga to help me wind down and stay active while being at home.

Do you have a home-working routine or any tips that work for you?

Naomi Hall
Knowledge Service Assistant
Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Home office with my assitant Stanley

Home office with my assistant, Stanley