What impact does remote working have on ADHDers?

Tired woman sits at a dining table in a home with a laptop in front of her and a mobile phone.
Exhausted Parent Working Remotely From Home by Jacob Lund Photography from NounProject.com

I am a fan of working from home, you may be aware. I do however think that as an ADHDer I am affected by working remotely and so I have had to think about how I avoid certain problems.

Starting the day

Before mostly working from home (before the pandemic) most of us had a set time to be in an office each morning and had worked out how to achieve that. We might walk to work or commute by train, car or bus. There was a set start to the day. There is a whole exercise by Jeff Patten demonstrating User Story mapping using the start of the day until you get to your desk. (That was much more complicated to run once people started working from home.)

The effect that not having a defined start to the day has on me is that it can be difficult to get started. Some ideas to combat this are:

  • Set an alarm for the same time each day and get up when it goes off. You might need to put it away from you so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off
  • Have a routine which you follow each day, for example, showering, dressing all the way to shoes and eating before you sit down to work
  • Before you begin to work you could walk around the block to get a small amount of exercise and to get the blood moving around. If you have a dog you may do this already
  • Have a list of things to start working on from the day before and start with those, don't open email and start with the firehose of everyone else's demands.

Ending the day

Again before the pandemic many of us had a period of time between ending work and reaching home. I have often had a train journey of around an hour at the end of each day. I have used this time variously to read fiction, to catch up on some work or study, to play games on my phone and a variety of other pursuits including staring mindlessly out of the window.

Without this time I find that I don't always properly transition to post work. If you find the same you could:

  • Walk around the block
  • Meditate
  • Read fiction
  • Talk through your day with someone
  • Ask your kids about their day
  • Or something else which helps you to move into a more relaxed state.

How does working from home impact on you?