With Covid-19 casting a cloud of uncertainty over the foreseeable future, many of us are having to adapt to working remotely instead of in the office, and for those working from home for the first time, the change in environment and routine can be challenging to deal with.
Everyone is different and will need to learn how best to adapt in their own way to working in a space that’s different from the usual hustle and bustle of the office. Here are some of our tips on how to get settled in and work from home productively.
Bring everything you need home with you
Ensure you leave the office with everything you will need for an extended period of working from home. However, if you get home and find you need additional equipment, don’t be afraid to ask your employer.
Ask for contact details and server access
Make sure before you leave the office that you have been set up with access to the relevant folders on the server so that you can access everything you need remotely. And don’t forget to transfer or copy the contact details for everyone (internal and external) that you will need to keep in touch with.
Establish a working space
Set up a space to work away from distractions. This can be anything from a spare room to the kitchen or dining room table, where you can get into the zone for work time, checking emails, taking calls and communicating with your contacts. Make sure your space suits your needs and set ground rules for other people living with you, such as flatmates, partners or family members, around what they can and cannot do or expect from you during your scheduled work time.
Get into a routine
Try to stay in a routine that is similar to your office-based working day. Get up and dressed for work at the same time each day and set a schedule to structure your day with clear start, finish and break times. This will make it easier to return to your daily commute and routine when you start working from the office again.
Keep in touch with your colleagues
This is important not only for work but also for your mental health. It can take some time to get used to working remotely, so schedule in regular opportunities to catch up with your team to help keep your spirits up and make it easier to adjust to working from home. As BT used to say, “it’s good to talk”.
Last but not least, remember to look after yourself
Working from home at any time can be a challenge, but it’s particularly important during times when you are required to self-isolate that you make time throughout the day for regular breaks from your work and your screen. Take frequent breaks and, where possible, get out for a walk to refresh yourself. Eat healthily and ensure you continue to follow the current hygiene guidelines to help prevent becoming ill.