During these times of uncertainty, many companies are choosing to let their employees work from home where possible. Though there is no wrong or right way to battle COVID-19 from an employer’s point of view, many are choosing to ask their employees to self-isolate just to be on the safe side.
However, working from home doesn’t come without its teething issues – especially for any workers who may not be used to such flexible working conditions.
The PCIAW® team have compiled some tips together for anyone who is working from home at this current time.
- Stay in contact with your colleagues regularly via phone call, email or even a Whatsapp group. Self-isolating can be incredibly lonely, especially if you are used to being in an office bouncing ideas off each other! It may even be useful to set up two Whatsapp groups – one for work talk, and one to chat about your day, what struggles you’re facing and general chitchat. A weekly – or even daily – conference call is also the perfect way to catch up on anything work-related and each other’s day-to-day lives.
- Stay in your regular routine. Your commute may now be much, much shorter, but you’ll no doubt struggle to stay motivated if you sleep in, stay in your pyjamas and forget to take regular breaks. Although we don’t recommend wearing a suit just to sit at your laptop, comfy clothing may be that perfect balance between feeling ready to work but also comfortable enough to settle wherever your work station may be now. Not everyone has a desk and may have to work from the sofa!
- It’s also essential to stick to your normal working hours. Don’t get into the habit of working into the night – and always take a full lunch break. If you can, get outside for some fresh air – perhaps in the garden or for a lunchtime walk. Just be cautious and don’t head anywhere crowded.
- Even if you feel safe in your own home, you should still take necessary precautions – as should anyone else in your home too. Remember to regularly wash your hands, drink lots of water and if you must leave the house to get some food, try to do it at a quiet point in the day when the supermarkets will not be busy. If this is a struggle for you (such as if you are vulnerable or showing symptoms of COVID-19), don’t be afraid to reach out and ask someone else to pick up some bits for you.
- Struggling with motivating yourself? Try planning out your day in advance and distribute your workload into hourly blocks. Some people swear by a method where you work straight for 45 minutes before taking a short 15-minute break – then starting over again. The workload may be lighter once working from the comfort of your own home, but it isn’t an excuse to slack off. You could even use this time to do those lengthy admin tasks you never usually have time for.
- Keep Netflix or the TV off during work hours – but it doesn’t hurt to have the radio on for company or an inspiring podcast if it helps with motivation.
- If you can, try and set up a dedicated working space. Even if you don’t have a desk, having a set space to work in each day will hopefully stop you becoming too distracted. This is especially helpful if there are other people working from home with you!
- Consider placing restrictions on social media. It’s okay to have a small browse during your breaks, but with so much unreliable news going around at the moment, it’s easy to panic or become caught up in it all. If you must use social media for your job, you can place block restrictions so terminology related to COVID-19 will no longer be seen on your timelines. Additionally, only follow reputable news outlets when staying up to date with what’s going on.
- Finally, keep moving. Try incorporating a relaxed morning yoga routine before you get going for the day, and stretch regularly throughout the day too. If you can get outside for a short walk at lunchtime, this will be helpful. If not, it may be worth partaking in an online workout class a couple of evenings a week.
We hope these tips have helped with anyone in the same situation as us. Unfortunately at this point we don’t know how long COVID-19 – or working from home – may last, so it’s important to get into healthy habits early.
The PCIAW® team