Coronavirus: Working From Home
Updated: Apr 3
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, more and more people are working from home. If you have never worked from home before, then it could feel strange, difficult and lonely. Maybe you are worried about being distracted and staying motivated.
So, how do you work from home efficiently?
1. Get dressed - It could be tempting to sit in your pyjamas all day but is this actually productive? Having a wash on a morning, brushing your teeth and getting dressed when working from home will help you to get into work mode. After all, we don't go out to work in our pyjamas! Wearing clothes you would normally wear to work could be helpful to help you get into that mindset. Then at the end of the day, change your clothes. This can help your brain to recognise that the working day is over.
2. Stick to a routine - If you usually go to bed at 11:30 pm and wake up at 07:00 am on a working day, then continue this sleeping pattern as best as you can and where possible. If you usually start your working day at 09:00 am, have your lunch at 13:00 pm and finish your working day at 17:00 pm, then continue with these times where possible.
3. Work in a quiet space in your home where possible - If you are fortunate to have a study or office in your home, then this is great. However many of us do not. If you don't have an office or study in your home, then try to work at a kitchen table, a dining room table or in a spare bedroom which will ideally have a table or desk in it. It is also recommended that you choose somewhere where you are not likely to be disturbed. If you have kids or live with somebody else who is also working from home, then have a chat with them and set some ground rules during your working hours. Most employers understand these difficulties and how they can affect the quantity and quality of your workload; if you have any problems or queries with working from home, then talk to your employer who will be able to help you.
4. If you are not self-isolating, then get some fresh air - Make sure that you still follow and keep up to date with government advice and guidance, particularly around social distancing. Going outside can help you to clear your mind and gain a new perspective and motivation when returning to your work tasks. A walk around the block is a good idea, or you may prefer to run, jog or cycle. If you are self-isolating, then you could sit, exercise or stand in your garden if you have one. You could even water your plants!
5. Keep in touch - It can be lonely working from home especially when you are used to working in a team environment and/or when you are used to meeting customers face to face. If you need to ask your colleague(s) for help with a task or if you need to work in a team for a task you have been given, then pick up a phone where possible as this can feel more personal than a text or an email. You could even try video calls using platforms such as: facetime, zoom, skype, Microsoft Teams or google hangouts.
6. Take regular breaks - Always take your regular breaks that your employer allows. It is also important not to stay glued to your computer or tablet screen for hours and hours at a time. Give your eyes, your brain and your body a break. Standing up, stretching and having a break from your screen are important not just for your health but for your productivity too. 7. Continue to follow company policies unless told otherwise - Ask your employer if they have a 'work from home' policy. If you have any questions or difficulties, always speak to your employer.
8. Take opportunities to develop yourself and your skills - There are many online courses available often free of charge. If you are not sure which ones are relevant to your role, then ask your employer or colleague(s) for some guidance. This could further enhance your CV and your future job prospects. 9. Finish your working day - Always turn off your computer and your work phone at the end of your working day. Your work space is now in your home but your home is also where you relax. File away those documents, tidy up your desk, put those coffee mugs in the sink and those biscuit wrappers in the bin ready for tomorrow!