COVID-19 | Tips for Productive Working or Studying from Home
With the arrival of COVID-19, organisations and individuals need to plan and to be able to deploy with immediate effect a remote working strategy.
Many of us have learnt how to manage working flexibly between the office and home. But if its something you don’t do regularly or haven’t done over a longer timeframe, you might want to look at updating a few home behaviours to make working from home easier and productive.
I have shared my Study and Working from Home Guide before, but there’s nothing like stark reality to make situations that you may not have considered relevant before, relevant now.
If you’ve been watching official reports, the key emphasis and agent in controlling COVID-19 is human behaviour.
In the same way as we are being asked to be mindful of our behaviours of social distancing and increased regular hygiene, working and studying from home also requires adapting behaviours for a productive home-working setup.
Here is what I do when working from home:
- Be professional and don’t dress down too much when working from home. In fact, for some people, just remember to get dressed! Most workplaces are pretty casual, so dress as if you would at work. This will engage your work mindset more easily. Assume you could be asked to attend a video call at any time. Jim-jams or a onesie won’t cut it
- As you would do in the office, be honest about your time and set out what you want to get out of that day
- Communicate with your team and work colleagues about when you will be available. If you say you’re going to be available, be available. Trust and connectivity matter even more so when you are working at a distance
- Have a dedicated workspace to work from
- Set clear physical and mental boundaries around your home work environment. You will require an “at work” attitude as well as a clear “not at work” attitude when working from home. When your working day is over you will welcome being able to switch off more quickly to focus on quality domestic and personal areas of life. Blurring boundaries at work and home can complicate that and you will not have the commute to buffer or de-stress between work and home
- Remember, it’s important to take regular breaks to clear your head and to move. Step away and re-fill your water glass, tea, coffee, etc. Step into the garden, onto your balcony, take some form of break – when you do these, it’s fine to broadcast that via your online status or a group message
With a COVID-19 mindset:
- Maintain hand washing and hand sanitiser protocols as well as keeping your desk, computer/laptop and phone clean
- Elevate the importance of your physical and mental wellbeing
- Do virtual check-ins with loved ones
- Follow reliable advice!
You will find the Working from Home Guide here. Pin it on a notice board or store it on your PC/phone/tablet.
I hope you find it useful, I wish you well and please remember to stay in regular contact with friends and loved ones who may be at greater risk.