Fear and panic is being felt all across the world. Global travel is all but suspended. Many countries have already self-imposed their own lockdown measures in an attempt to slow and limit the transmission of the Coronavirus COVID-19. For many working people, this has led to less time in the office and more time at home completing their daily tasks. It seems that working from home is now more important than ever.
This follows the unprecedented emphasis from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to work from home where it is possible. For many people, this will be the first time they have ever worked from home and as such, a strange experience.
You may find yourself worrying about how well you’ll work from home, boredom from social isolation, how often do you take breaks, distractions etc. This blog will help you to put those fears aside with 5 pieces of advice and work-friendly tips to keep you focused and enjoying your time working at home.
Why is working from home is important during this outbreak?
Working from home is nothing new. If you have worked in an office, then you may have experienced working at home before and the freedom and flexibility it can bring, The country has however never seen a mass movement of home workers like this before, so why is it important that we work from home now?
Working from home is just another form of social distancing, the go-to phrase of the government’s plans to limit public gatherings, unnecessary outings and continuous contact with others. The earlier people take the initiative and distance themselves from daily activities, public entertainment and crowded offices, the better chance we have of avoiding the transmission of the coronavirus, delaying and flattening the peak and therefore protecting the elderly, pregnant and other vulnerable groups.
Working from home will not only protect you from possible contact with the virus, but it will also help to keep your family safe and the local community at large if you do come down with the symptoms. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to work from home. Those who do should be working from home for the benefit of the community.
Make sure you are getting up at a reasonable time.
The difference between a productive day and a wasted day is the time that you decide to get up. Working in an office normally leaves you in a routine: wake up early, get to work and go home, repeat. However, working from home can bring temptations into your routine. You might get out of bed later and work later, which may not be good use of your time.
Working later on in the day can make it difficult to concentrate and you may lose focus on your task. When you do start working from home, get up at the same time you’d normally wake up on a workday (or 30 minutes later if you normally have a longer commune) to make sure you are ready to start work at the same time you would be in the office.
Manage your work hours effectively.
If you work 8 hours a day in the office, make sure you are working 8 hours a day at home too. Working from home shouldn’t be an excuse to slack off from your duties. If you manage your time effectively as you would in the office environment, you can expect to get the same level of work completed and the satisfaction of keeping your time management in check.
Give yourself regular breaks.
You may not realise it, but every time you go off to make the tea and coffee round or visit the toilet, you are giving yourself time away from the desk work and stretching your legs. Carry this over to your home working. Don’t be afraid to stop your work for a tea or toilet break. Use the freedom and flexibility you have at home to complete the work with the necessary breaks to keep up your productivity during coronavirus lockdown
Use your dinner break more effectively.
At midday, most people grab their dinner and sit around waiting for the hour to be up – don’t waste your time sitting around. If you are not feeling any of the symptoms, you could go for a quick walk around your neighbourhood or local park to clear your head and give yourself some much needed fresh air.
Working in an office can limit your ability to use your hour break more effectively so take advantage of your situation and give yourself a proper break while in coronavirus lockdown.
Don’t ignore people, your phone or your TV.
Everyone needs a distraction. Office chatter and the radio usually fill this void when you are working with others but what about when you are home alone? Give yourself something to keep you calm and feeling included. This can be TV chatter, the radio, or a podcast.
Music is a massive help in getting you through the often boring and lonely day. If you are home with other family members, interact with them whenever you can. This also goes for your phone, if it beeps and buzzes, then don’t be afraid to check what it is. Any form of contact can make a huge difference to your mental wellbeing. Having total silence is not always something to strive for. Keep yourself occupied with something that isn’t just your work every now and then.
If you need more advice and support in keeping up to date with the Coronavirus and isolation methods, then you can visit the dedicated NHS Coronavirus page here.
You can also read our new Coronavirus blog on staying at home and the methods you can use to ensure you and your family are protected.
If you are currently working from home, are you still following your office routine? How are you keeping yourself entertained in this gloomy period? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.