Businesses all over the world have now rolled out remote working to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Blurring the lines between your personal and work life is never easy which is why it’s more important than ever to take some steps to stay productive and look after your mental health. While you may have the right equipment and software to work remotely, we thought we would offer some tips to make working from home more manageable.
Set up a designated workspace
This may be hard with the family battling to use the kitchen table for meals, games and art projects but try to find yourself a space free of distractions. It could be a bedroom or garage or even sitting outside while the sun is out!
Stay in touch
It is important to have regular check-ins and conversations with your team to ensure that you are on top of your workload. Communication is vital and frequency should be agreed up front. Some teams use WhatsApp Group calls, Skype, Zoom or other meeting apps to have regular catch-ups.
Those pyjamas may be the new ‘office-wear’ for the first few days but the novelty quickly wears off. Consider dressing for the day you have ahead; if you have a more relaxed schedule, perhaps the leggings or shorts and that comfy jumper you have will do the trick, but if you have a video conference lined up then maybe digging a shirt out for the occasion will help you mentally switch into a ‘work-ready’ mode.
Watch your well-being
The next weeks and months are going to be difficult for everyone, especially with so much uncertainty around and the impact of social distancing taking its toll. Take extra time to look after yourself, ask your employer who to turn to if you are feeling anxious, and make sure you find time to stay active throughout the day. There are an abundance of online resources available such as this BBC guide and free courses from LinkedIn to manage your stress.
Establish a routine
Where possible, try to establish a routine, but recognise that you may have to adapt to a more flexible style of working. Of course, for parents trying to harmonise business with home-schooling this can be particularly difficult, so be sure to have regular discussions with your manager to make them aware of your circumstances and that you may need to work more agile hours to get through your workload.
Take regular breaks
The coronavirus has completely transformed the way many of us work, and it may be a struggle for some, so do take breaks. Leave your desk and go and do something completely non-work related, and hopefully you will return refreshed and ready to complete your tasks.
Set up a virtual water cooler space
Office life can be fun, so try to replicate that online. Maybe have some virtual drinks on a Friday lunchtime where the team gets together for a chat and update. Zoom is a popular video conferencing technology to use and it’s free for group calls up to 40 minutes, or for after work consider using the Houseparty app.
Keep in the loop
It’s never nice to feel ‘out of the loop’ and even when working remotely, some people miss the conversation, the insight or just the chat that is part of an office environment. Ensure that you have access to the right communication channels and are part of the conversation. Remember to contribute regularly to group chats and be ready to share what’s on your plate – you never know who is struggling so this could be helpful for you and your work colleagues.