The growth of the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect our lives and daily routines. We are seeing panic buying on a global scale. Supermarkets are having to introduce rationing to ensure that everyone, especially the vulnerable, is able to access essentials during the pandemic. We have been advised to self isolate, with people now staying away from clubs , theatres and gyms in their droves. Many businesses have shut their doors , leaving many thousands of people fearing for their futures.
Another major change in our way of life has been the move for more people to from home. Many governments around the world have encouraged ( and in some cases forced) people to work from home where possible. This represents a major sea change in how we work and may actually lead to permanent changes post the pandemic. Of course some people are already used to working from home. Writers, journalists and freelancers having been working this way for years. However for may thousands of people, this is a new way of working.
Below are 5 Tips on working from home during the pandemic to help maximise your time at home.
Get Out Of Those PJs!
It may be tempting to spend your day in your pyjamas. Especially when you don’t have any video conference meetings planned. Try and resist that temptation. Wearing your usual work clothes will help in getting you out of ‘home’ mode and into ‘work’ mode. It is a way of demarcating your day and will help to psychologically prepare you for your work day. There is also a chance that you may be called upon to attend a hastily arranged video conference, so you need to be prepared!
Don’t Get Distracted
When you are working in the office do you have the TV on full blare? Radio playing? No? Then that should be the same when working from home. Of course there will be distractions , you may recieve a delivery, for example. So be prepared to manage distractions like that but do not deliberately create distractions that you know will put you off your work. Your home work environment should be as close to your office environment as possible.
Take A Break
Make sure you take regulat breaks. How you time your breaks is up to you however there are several time management techniques that are available to use. One such method is the Pomodoro method which advocates working for 25 minutes chunks with short breaks in between. There are a number of applications and websites available to help manage your work time. Try and make sure you don’t spend your whole break on social media! Take a walk around your kitchen or even outside to the end of your road! Get a coffee/tea and make sure you get some lunch. Breaks are just as important at home as they are in the office.
Have A Start And End Time
You should ensure that you are clear about when you start and stop working. As with the ‘dressing for the office’ tip, having clearly defined hours will help in demarcating your day. Without clearly defining your start and stop times you could easily find yourself working into the late evening or after ‘work’. Of course if there is an important deadline to meet then you plan accordingly but do not let it become a daily habit. This will end up affecting your personal and family life.
Stay In Touch
Working from home can potentially be very isolating. The coronavirus pandemic could mean you don’t see your colleagues in person for months. That means you no longer have the little chats in the kitchen, the ‘water cooler’ chats and social events. Some people can feel very isolated and disconnected which can affect mental health long term. There are a number of tools available like Zoom and Slack that will allow you to stay in touch with colleagues. If your company does not use these at present, talk to your line manager. Explain the importance of communication and how that can affect productivity for those feeling isolated at home. Make sure you have regular catchups with colleages and you can even schedule ‘virtual coffee breaks’ with your peers!
We hope these tips help you on your work from home journey. The next few months promise to be quite challenging , so lets do all we can to work together, lift each other up and stay safe.
Drop us a comment below on your own work from home tips!