Over the past week, thousands of organisations have shut their offices and rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thousands of workers already work remotely, but for many of us this will be the first time we’ve experienced working from home. We thought we’d put together a list of our top tips for anyone working from home.
• Get ready for the day ahead - don’t stay in your pyjamas!
Get dressed and ready for the day as if you were going to work – it makes a big difference psychologically and sets you up for the day ahead. If you’re not self-isolating, get some air and go for a walk before you start your day to wake yourself up and get some exercise in.
• Create a dedicated workspace
Try to create a space that serves as your ‘office’ – if possible try to avoid working in your bedroom so that you can clearly separate your work area from the space where you relax and sleep. Set up a comfortable workstation with a supportive chair. If you’re working on a laptop, elevating your laptop and using an external keyboard and mouse will prevent neck and arm or shoulder pain. Take a look at this helpful article and the NHS website for more information.
• Look after your mental health and take regular breaks
It’s already a stressful time for all us and being at home for long periods can exacerbate this. People who work from home tend to work longer hours and suffer from burnout. Make sure you take regular breaks throughout the day – frequent screen breaks and spending time away from your desk will also make you more refreshed and productive.
We all need to stay informed on the latest news updates but it’s important to take a breather from the news and social media. Try to focus on other things when you take a break – pick up a book or do some exercise to take your mind off things.
• Establish boundaries
It’s very easy to overwork and let your work overlap with your personal life when you’re working from home. Simple measures like making sure you take a proper lunch break away from your desk can make a big difference. It can be challenging to set healthy boundaries but try to keep to your standard working hours and have a clear cut-off point when you ‘unplug’ from work.
• Plan your day
In an office environment, your day is more structured so keeping a schedule and planning your day ahead is even more important when working from home. Set yourself designated time slots throughout the day for focusing on general admin, projects and answering emails. Unless you have other people around, chances are you’ll have less distractions at home so you could take this opportunity to try ‘batching’ your workload. Blocking time out to solidly focus on one task at a time will enable you to complete your tasks quicker and more efficiently.
Author: Melina Sophocleous, Housing Technology