Structure your Day
Try and do some of the things you would normally do to prepare for coming into work: set your alarm, make breakfast and get dressed. It may seem simple but just a few tasks to start your day can prepare you psychologically to start work.
You may have to split your working day into chunks to look after children or others. To help you do this try and split your tasks up as part of a daily routine. A good idea is to take 5-10 minutes each morning to map out your working day, then 5-10 minutes at the end of the day to note what you have achieved. Try as much as possible to focus on the positive aspects of your day, work-life and personal life, which will help to keep you in a positive mindset.
Build-in regular breaks to your day, including a proper break for lunch. Whether that is just to have a stretch, make a coffee or get some fresh air. It’s important to try and stay as healthy as possible at home to keep your body agile and your mind fresh.
Working area/set up
Some people may have a desk set up at home, others may not. It is possible to be as productive from your dining table, just try and make your workspace as comfortable as possible. If you can, set up your workspace near a window so you can benefit from some natural light. If this isn’t possible, ensure you keep your room as well lit as possible, so you don’t strain your eyes.
Working from home has its advantages, but with multiple competing priorities from home life, significant disruption throughout your working day can take its toll on you. Be mindful of changes in your mood and look out for changes in your team too. In addition, while you are at home, it can be easy to check in on social media at multiple times throughout the day and have the television on in the background. It’s important to stay informed but be careful of reading and watching every breaking news report.
Health & Safety Executive Guidance
The Health and Safety Executive have confirmed that as employees are working temporarily from home there is no requirement to complete a home workstation assessment, but they have suggested some simple steps to take to reduce the risks from display screen work:
- Break up long spells of display screen work with rest breaks (at least 5 minutes every hour) or changes in activity
- Avoid awkward, static postures by regularly changing position
- Get up and move around when you can or do some stretching exercises
- Avoid eye fatigue by changing focus and blinking enough so your eyes don’t get dry
Microsoft Teams or other online communication channels are a great way to keep in touch with your colleagues and team. You can use the chat, video and call function at any time throughout the day. It can also be used to discuss work, upload and share documents and work on team projects. A good video call etiquette tip to ensure everyone gets the most from video call meetings is to suggest that everyone on the call saves and closes down their work and email inbox to avoid jumping between screens or being distracted by emails whilst on the call.
It is often thought that working from home establishes a better work-life balance but in your own home environment, you can get so caught up in work that you lose track of time. In lieu of colleagues tidying up and finishing for the day, reminding you to do the same, it’s important to have a finish time in mind so you can start the process of finishing your working day. Think of it as trying to have two clear bookends to your day.
Workplace & WhatsApp
Workplace is a platform developed by Facebook for businesses to use to help communicate with employees and for employees to share resources, similar to Facebook, in a news feed style way. Workplace has a free version which works well or alternatively they have a premium paid version with more functions. Some businesses are also using WhatsApp to communicate to share important resources, job tasks and more light-hearted communication to help maintain morale. However, it is worth noting that with all forms of communication, it’s important to have some guidelines in place to ensure employees use it appropriately in line with your usual communication protocols and guidelines.
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