11 Tips For Working From Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic
As coronavirus is causing countries to go into lockdown, you may have been told by your employer to work from home (WFH) whether you're displaying symptoms or not. Whilst it's a precautionary measure, it doesn't come without its fair share of uncertainty and apprehension.
By WFH you drastically decrease the chance of catching or passing on the virus. Whilst the prospect of WFH by many may seem exciting, this excitement starts to wear off when you're stuck in one environment 24/7, unable to have your regular meetings or socialise properly with your colleagues.
WFH can cause feelings of isolation, loneliness and anxiety. In order to fully prepare those about to WFH, we've rounded up a few tips that will make this transition far easier to cope with.
Take regular breaks
It's very easy to stay sitting at your desk (or sofa!) working away on your desktop or laptop. Just because you WFH, it doesn't mean you can't take a break every now and then.
It's instilled in many first-time WFH-ers that because there are plenty of distractions around, you must be totally present "at work"at all times. This is simply not the case, and it can seriously impact your overall productivity.
Just as you would in the office you should take your regular amount of breaks. Whether that be in the form of brew rounds, performing some stretches or reading something uplifting for a few minutes.
Keep an eye on the time and any work communications whilst you're at it, but don't deny yourself any breaks!
Remember to eat
It's common knowledge that working in an office makes you snack more. "Oh look it's Karen's birthday – cake for everyone!". But without these little snacktractions, you may find yourself going hours without food.
Stick to at least three balanced meals a day with a couple of healthy snacks in between to keep you going. Combine this tip with your regular breaks to ensure you're getting your daily calories! Use your extra time in the mornings to make those poached eggs you oh so crave…You know you want to.
Make work adjustments
WFH requires adjusting to a very different routine. If you had lots of meetings in the office, you might begin to feel restless working from one spot. Try and mix things up by moving your laptop/workspace to different areas of your house if need be.
Be very careful about where you choose to work. It can be tempting to work in the comfort of your own bed, but this can cause serious disruptions to your sleep cycle and makes your bedroom a far less relaxing environment when you do hit your slumber.
Just because you're WFH, it doesn't mean you should work past your contracted hours (unless you really want to). Manage expectations with your team and if possible, set an agreeable amount of deliverables per day/week so that everyone is in the loop.
At the end of your working day – put your work equipment away and prepare for your evening as you would always do. Maintaining a health work-life balance during this time is absolutely key to getting through it.
Get dressed for the day
It's extremely tempting to stay in your PJs. On some days you may just do so! But if you can, dress like you're about to work. Even if you just change out of your PJs into some activewear or linen trousers – anything is better than your already slept in PJs!
Getting dressed for your working day, even if you're WFH, is fantastic for productivity and puts you in a working mindset. Give it a go!
Create sociable channels
Creating specific groups on WhatsApp or your work messaging system like Slack or Teams is a fantastic way to keep fun communication open whilst you work. Because let's face it, when it's all work and no play, even when you're WFH, it's going to be isolating.
Control your social media time
Browsing on social media is all the more tempting whether you WFH or not. During this period of time it's going to be even more tempting to keep up to date with the C-word. Whilst you definitely should too, make sure regular social media checking isn't getting in the way of work. It's a serious productivity killer – definitely the last thing you need whilst WFH!
Log out of your social channels and log back in during your breaks if you absolutely need to.
Be wary of and avoid distractions
Have you been meaning to start your spring cleaning early? It might be tempting to, especially if you're working in your bedroom!
If you absolutely must get ahead of your household chores, start early before work, or wait until the working day is done. It's extremely easy to get sucked into another task that's not work-related then before you know it, hours have passed by. Bottom line – Marie Kondo-ing your wardrobe can wait.
Get all your technology working
We absolutely need technology to work in order to WFH properly. Liaise with your employer to sort out a work laptop, extra peripherals, solve any VPN or IP issues and ensure you can access shared drives and folders as you could normally in the office.
If you have no idea how long you'll be WFH, as if you can take your desktop computer home or arrange some kind of drop off. It may be that your personal computer can't handle the load of several applications you need to use on the daily. If Wi-Fi speed is going to be an issue, get IT involved and ask any other questions you may have about effectively WFH.
Check you have enough bandwidth
Again this is something you may need to discuss with IT and your employer. If you need a lot of bandwidth then it's worth only using the necessary applications if and when you need them before shutting them down. If anyone else is WFH or you have children, make sure ground rules are set for conference calls.
Manage your mental health
WFH is undoubtedly lonely and access to mental health services are, understandably, going to be harder than before.
If you find that whilst you're WFH that you start to experience feelings of loneliness or negative thinking, the following apps are fantastic for boosting your mood and managing symptoms:
These apps are not designed to replace any medications or therapy you already undergo. Be mindful and seek professional help if your mental health gets worse. Read more about free mental health tracking apps.
Make sure you get plenty of exercise
Many gym-goers might feel reluctant to go to their local, which is pretty understandable. You don't know who could have the virus or how often the equipment is cleaned.
Why not try an exercise routine that involves little to no contact? This could involve jogging, yoga, calisthenics or resistance band training. There's an abundance of little to no equipment tutorials on YouTube, so there's no excuse not to get your exercise in! Track your calories and activity levels with your smartwatch.
Use different tech in the evening
Maybe you've been on your phone all day and the thought of it has become associated with work. Instead of browsing, messaging and streaming on your phone, why not use your iPad to do all those things in the evening instead?
We can't stress how important it is to separate your working day from your evening time, so make sure habits are changed when you're off the clock to truly unwind.
We understand this may be a difficult time for some and we're here to inform and make lives a little bit easier. If you don't have everything you need to work from home or unwind in the evenings, we offer cheap refurbished tech at a fraction of retail prices such as iPads, Tablets, Wearables and more.