Tips for working from home during the Coronavirus crisis
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Tips for working from home during the Coronavirus crisis

31st March 2020
By Tom Ladle

The Coronavirus outbreak has completely turned the world on its head and the severity of the situation is only looking to increase. One of the most drastic developments for the working world is the rise in people having to work from home. This may be new territory for many people and trading in your office for a home set-up can be daunting. The sudden change in routine can also throw many people off, after all we are creatures of habits. We’re here to try and ease employers and employees alike into a world of working from home. You’d imagine we have lots of experience in this arena from our product offering and you’d be correct (shameless boost). So, here are a few tips from us to make sure you’re getting the most out of working from home!

Trust is paramount

One of the biggest concerns employers face when they have a workforce working from home revolves around the question, is anyone working? To think that your employers work hard in the office but as soon as they’re asked to carry out their tasks at home, they turn in to complete slackers is unfair. Trusting your employees is essential and to measure how well they’re working, make sure you are setting out clearly defined and achievable targets.

For employees, make sure you’re doing everything in your power to not go against this trust. Don’t view this time as a holiday, just because you’re at home. You could lay on the sofa all day, laptop on lap, with your PJs on but this doesn’t mean you should. Use the perks of working from home as something to boost your productivity, not slow it down. The luxury of being able to take regular breaks without the fear of being judged should mean that when you are in front of your desk, you’re working at maximum efficiency.

Communication is key

One of the swell things about being in the office, which unfortunately you may not get a lot of at home, is face-to-face interactions. As an employer you’re going to want to let your workforce know that you can be reached. You’ll want to reassure your employees that they aren’t sending emails into the abyss by making sure you respond to all their messages. Make sure you’re scheduling time regularly to check in on how everyone is getting on. Remember working from home comes with many benefits but it can also be lonely, particularly for sustained periods. Use video call tech and show your face. Use these meetings to reassure your staff and keep everyone on track.

For employees this means embracing regular catch ups and voicing any concerns you may have (within reason). Let people know that although the situation might not be ideal, you’re managing it the best you can. Try your utmost to have a sense of humour about the situation, as let’s face it, people with a sense of humour are much easier to speak to. Another bit of advice is not to sit around with the news on in the background all day, this won’t do your productivity any good and will only encourage pessimism. The best thing you can do in this situation is try to remain positive!

Why not switch up your video call by introducing everyone to your adorable pet, let them take over the reigns for a bit. Have your own versions of cribs, offering virtual tours of your house. Point is, the more comedy you can gain from the situation, the saner you’ll remain.

Welcome your new routine

Carrying out your job from your humble abode certainly takes some adjusting to. Try and identify the things you like about working from home and use them to accept your new routine. This could be the fact that you avoid the daily commute, get to spend some extra time in bed, more time with the family, whatever it may be use these as motivators to stay productive. A routine is key to giving us a sense of purpose so try to craft one that you enjoy and will keep you going strong during this period of self-isolation.

Get dressed!

We’re starting simple. Slipping out of your PJs and putting on some proper clothes is the first step towards getting in a working mindset. You wouldn’t saunter around an office in bed clothes so don’t when working remotely. The basic act of getting dressed helps kick off a sense of purpose and routine, something that is essential when working remotely.

Plan your day

After you’ve carried out all morning formalities (teeth brushing, showering, getting dressed etc) you’re ready to start planning your day. Working remotely is sometimes prone to procrastination. You’re not in a traditional working environment under the watchful eye of fellow colleagues. A great way to avoid procrastination is to get stuck right in by planning your day. Set out what you wish to achieve that day and don’t dilly-dally in getting it done.

Take regular breaks

Working remotely has many benefits and one such benefit is the freedom to take regular breaks (without fear of being judged). The key is to not overindulge and waste an hour of the day watching a documentary on Sloths. Only take breaks when you’ve achieved something productive. Tell yourself that you’ll work solid for half an hour, after this you’ve earnt yourself a five-minute break. Taking breaks are fantastic for inspiring creativity and problem solving. Briefly taking your mind of the task at hand can often inspire a fresh take and get your creative juices flowing.

Wrap up the day

Just how you start your day with setting out what you hope to achieve that day, end the day by reviewing your progress. Update your to do-list, send out any final emails and prioritise your tasks for the next day. This will set you up perfectly for a fulfilling tomorrow and help you unwind. Make sure you do unwind. Reward yourself by chilling out!

On that note, it’s time to wrap up this post. Hope that these tips offer some useful knowledge on how to get the full benefits from remote working.

Balance work and play

One negative associated with working from home is that it can be hard to switch off, due to your home becoming your office. A 2019 study found that 92% of people working from home answered emails out of work hours. For your mental wellbeing and to avoid burning out, it’ crucial to balance work with activities that you enjoy doing. The situation we find ourselves in is tough on everyone, so it’s a great time to reward yourself more than you usually would.

Being stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t socialise virtually, go on virtual art tours, participate in a virtual workout or just spend the evening watching Netflix.  Here is a list of 6 virtual events to get you through isolation. If 2020 teaches us anything it will be to appreciate the people around us and not to take the little things for granted (life lesson over).

Support one another

We hope these tips make working from home for a prolonged period more bearable. It’s a trying time for us all but try and remain positive and constantly communicate with one another. Supporting each other and showing empathy to one another is more important than ever!

For more advice please visit: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus.

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