#COVID-19 is affecting all businesses and the one thing we all need to be mindful of is maintaining the health and safety of employees.
Working remotely is going to become an important part of our lives over the next few weeks and one that will for many, present some challenges, if you’ve never done this before. To make the change less unnerving, we asked several of the Hart team members to share their working from home tips.
Tip #1 Find a dedicated workspace in your home that diverts the attention from distractions in the home. If this is the first time you are setting up working from home, try getting organised by setting up the night before so you are ready for the next morning. Ensure you have a good connection to your WiFi and can log in without any trouble. If not, try and clear up any issues with your provider.
Tip #2 Do you have the right equipment to set up a home office? Ensure you have all the essential apparatus to work from home including laptops to mobile phones down to the right software and apps to connect with your work colleagues online.
Tip #3 Keep your posture in check. You can get too comfortable working in your home environment from your sofa but this can cause bad posture. Suitable office space at home doesn’t mean that you need an office table, but you should be able to sit at a regular table and chair to help you stay focused.
Tip #5 Get organised. As you may already do at work, make a checklist of all the things you want to accomplish for the day ahead and don’t forget to check off this list by the end of the day too. This will enable you to prioritise tasks and plan your time.
Tip #6 Continue with your work routine in terms of having your breaks. Eat your lunch at your usual time. Go out for a walk and get your steps in, the fresh air will help you focus for when you get back to work.
Tip #7 You can stay in touch with your colleagues via the various video conferencing apps and don’t forget to include them in your meeting invites. You can set an alarm to ensure you’re not late to these virtual meetings. During these calls, it’s not just about work, make sure you ask how your colleagues are doing/feeling. Loneliness, disconnect, and isolation are common problems in remote work life, especially for extroverts. Use chat channels where remote employees can talk about common interests. It’s important to figure out how much interaction you need to feel connected and included.
Tip #8 Its important to make sure you stay well hydrated and eat during your day just as you would in the office. It’s all too easy to carry on with what you are doing but make sure you stop to drink and eat well. Try to do this away from your desk in another room. You can remind yourself to do this by adding it in your calendar such as ‘lunch’ or ‘break’. This will also ensure that your colleagues won’t disturb you at this time, as we all know it can be easy to pick up the phone or answer ‘just one more email’ on your break!
Tip #9 Reinvigorate your mind by taking frequent breaks in the day. This advice works for those in office so it should work for you at home too. Your body needs to move, and the fresh air and natural light will do you good. Know your company’s policy on break times and take them. If you’re self-employed, give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and phone.
Tip #10 Ensure you know when to start and end your day. Set limits for yourself—determine when it’s work time and when it’s not. It can be easy to leave your computer on and answer emails at night meaning you’re setting the precedent that you are available at all hours. Close your laptop/computer screen at the end of the day and log off to maintain a good work/life balance.
Tip #11 Don’t be too hard on yourself. It takes serious focus to get a full-time office job done from an unconventional space. If you find yourself working one minute and switching off the next to do something else, don’t reprimand yourself harshly. Instead, ask yourself whether people in an office setting do the same thing. If the answer is yes, cut yourself some slack, then get back to work.