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Working from home in the current climate

Wed 18th Mar 2020
In the past week we have seen a majority of UK workforce start to work from home amid the Coronavirus pandemic. For some it will be the first time they have ever worked away from the office and with the news and the home environment being a constant distraction it can be a challenge to focus on the task in hand and maintain your usual productivity.

Equipment

Ensure you have everything you will need to work from home; not just the basics that you may need to do the occasional piece of work. Before leaving the office take anything you need day to day that you use, i.e mouse, screen, etc. If you need to access a company intranet or system then understand how this can be done securely.

Routine

Whilst you may not have a commute or school run to consider at the moment, it’s important to try and keep to your usual routine as much as possible. Get up and ready in (almost) the same way you would normally. Stick to your usual meal and break times and focus on work at the same times you would otherwise. ‘Clocking in and clocking out’ daily is going to help as continuously being in ‘work mode’ may not help your mindset.

Environment

Having the right space to work in is going to be crucial for your state of mind, have a dedicated work space – ideally home office or somewhere you can fully focus. Get some fresh air by opening a window! Make sure your home office is somewhere you can work and stay on track of everything. Have a chair that you can sit in for hours without any discomfort and a door that you can close. It’s almost impossible to work effectively at home if there are other people nearby.

Distractions

It’s so tempting to have the news running constantly in the background or be constantly checking Twitter for updates but this is going to have a huge impact on your work output. Schedule in time in your day to allow yourself a break, check the news, check your social media and make any personal calls you may need to. Outside of this time turn off your notifications and allow yourself to focus.

You may also have the distraction of family at home; try and understand what will work best for you as a ‘team’ and communicate what you can all do to help each other. For example; working in shifts to allow one person to be able to look after children. Agree time that you want to spend outside getting some exercise and also time that you want to spend as a family.

Updates

Keep in touch with your clients and ask them to keep in contact with you. One of the hardest parts of remote working can be the feeling of being isolated or ignored. One of the ways to avoid this could be to set up video calls, if you’re working on a particular project with someone even having the video call running whilst you work for a period may help.

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