Working From Home – Advice from Two Astronauts

HRM published a fabulous article on 7th April that provides advice on how to survive self-isolation from two astronauts (Andrew Thomas, Australia’s first NASA astronaut, and Chris Hadfiled, the first Canadian to walk in space).  I encourage you to read this.  The advice is extremely good.  If you haven’t got time to read it in full, here are the key messages:

  1. Learn the difference between fear and danger – we live with danger all the time but we learn how to manage it; don’t be afraid of this big amorphous thing because this anxiety colours the way we react to it; seek reliable information from health authorities and become a local expert in the virus in order to distinguish between real risks and perceived danger;
  2. Remember that we are all in this together and we need to build cohesion and trust in order to remain hopeful and strong together;
  3. Learn to be in control of time – instead of counting down for how long we’ll be in lockdown (because that is dooming yourself to dreading the days and making it an awful experience) think about ways to make the most of this experience and the time will flow effortlessly;
  4. Learn the power of routine and meaningful work – break your day into chunks and follow a pattern; take care of your basic needs like food, exercise and sleep first and then create meaningful work; give yourself some clear goals to create this sense of purpose and this will help to avoid a feeling of “groundhog day”;
  5. Give people space – when you’re confined to the home, it’s inevitable that conflict will arise. You need to respect other people’s boundaries; some people are not going to act completely normal at the moment, so allow people space and time where appropriate;
  6. Think about the new positive habits that you want to maintain after this is all over and when we all come back to earth – this is a rare moment in history where the entire world has a common enemy; we have a common purpose and this is immensely unifying; bring this sense of unification into our homes and virtual workplaces and use this as a huge opportunity to learn.

These are six great tips from two amazing human beings and I encourage everyone to reflect on these and seek to integrate them into your lives throughout this period. Remaining positive and hopeful, alongside taking care of personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of others around us, is more important than ever right now.

At Steople, supporting growth in leadership and wellbeing are a key focus of what we do, so please do contact us if we can help at all.