With the spread of COVID-19 across the world, self-isolation and social distancing have become the norm for the meantime. For many of us this is the first time we’ve needed to work from home on a long-term basis. It can be hard to get used to it, which is why we’ve compiled this useful guide to show you how to work from home.
There’s no dress code in a home office but before you sit down at your desk we recommend getting dressed. Not only does this get you ready to start the day, it also helps you stick to your normal routine. That isn’t to say you need to wear smart attire or your uniform. However, changing into something that isn’t your pyjamas will make you feel refreshed and capable. You can always revert back to your sweatpants or joggers on casual Friday.
Stick to a routine
With working from home comes the temptation to have a leisurely lie in before rolling out of bed and straight to your desk. Instead, try to establish a routine that works in your favour. Wake up in time to grab 30 minutes of exercise, make yourself some breakfast and catch up with the news. Whatever your morning activities, make the most of the extra couple of hours you have in the day.
Wondering how to work and stay fit? Well, during this nation-wide lockdown regular activity has been actively encouraged. At the time of writing this the guidelines allow us to leave home to exercise once a day. You should stay 2-metres away from others at all times. This means team sports are out of the question but lone activities like running, cycling and walking are ideal. Go earlier in the morning to avoid as little risk as possible.
Stay in touch
Up until recently you probably spent every day in the company of your team. To suddenly not see them every day will be strange.
Whilst decreased productivity should be expected whilst settling into new routines, staying in touch means everyone is on the same page. Online tools like Skype, Zoom and Slack mean you can talk throughout the day and ensure the work flow. Similarly, try to keep to your regular meetings to retain as much normality as possible. Try not to get frustrated by your colleagues – you’ll soon settle into a routine.
Finesse your workspace
More important than anything is making sure you create a productive, comfortable workspace.
In most workspaces we’re treated to ergonomically designed chairs, foot supports and sprawling desks. This is often not the case when you work from home. Unless you have the space and money to invest in new furniture then you may have to find a compromise.
Imitate your office rather than trying to work from the sofa or your bed. This could involve permanently transforming the dining table into an office space. Or you could improvise and turn a nightstand into a desk. If you do decide to buy a dedicated office chair then opt for one that’s designed to support your back.
If you live with flatmates, family members or a partner, work with them to create a plan that works for everyone. For example, if you need to work free from distractions then let them know.