The Impacts of COVID-19 On Regular Working Conditions
As we are all aware, the COVID-19 outbreak has prompted many businesses across the UK, and indeed the world, to ask their employees to work from home. For many of us, this is something entirely alien. If you’re not used to it, it can be really difficult knowing how to approach working from home. As a small company with no specific need for office space, we are well used to working from home at Mango Pie. If you’d like to know what works for us then keep reading on and we will share our top tips!
Top Tips On Working From Home
Be Ready For The Day
Arguably, the most important thing you can do is get up, get showered and get dressed. Do all the things you would usually do before going to your usual workplace. This will get you into work mode and set you up for the day. If wearing makeup is a necessity for you to feel ready for the day then I encourage you to continue with this; personally, I do find this a bit of a waste of makeup, time and effort!
It is important that you have a dedicated workspace. That may be a desk in your living area or, if you are lucky enough, a separate office room. Any clutter around you can be a huge distraction and slow your productivity, so do try and keep this area as clutter-free as possible. Keep the space bright and airy and ensure you have at least one window to crack open.
Communication is KEY! Most jobs will involve you working as part of a team, at least in some way or another. Many companies may have their own internal messaging system to keep everyone connected. If not, however, there are plenty of applications out there that can be downloaded in an instant. Our go-to app is Microsoft Teams which is basically a messaging app for teams where all conversations, files, notes etc can be accessed by everyone, all in one place. You can create different channels to have focused conversations about specific topics, or projects for example. Microsoft Teams can support meetings for up to 250 people and includes features such as video calling and screen sharing.
Another vital part of working from home is being organised. There are also some great applications out there to keep you on top of this, our favourite being Asana. It is essentially a to-do list which you can use either for yourself or as part of a team. Teams can create projects, assign tasks to other team members and set deadlines. I haven’t even mentioned the best part about Asana yet, which is, of course, the ‘Celebration Creatures’. These mystical animals leap across your screen every time you complete a task – how cute!
Work Amongst Friends/Family
It is no secret that working from home can be lonely. But with the majority of individuals now quarantined at home, whether working or not, being lonely is less likely. If, like me, you are living with others then I would highly recommend creating an office-like environment. Everyone can work together with a tea/coffee/biscuit station set up, whilst playing some background music at a low level. If you live alone then, please, make use of my previous tip and keep connected with others via messaging platforms. Just because you are isolated physically it doesn’t mean you have to feel isolated in any other way.
Be Strict With Your Working Hours
If you normally work from 9 am to 5 pm with a one-hour lunch break at 12 pm, stick to that. When you lose the structure in your work routine your productivity takes a hit; you might even end up working longer hours and getting less done. A good idea is setting an alarm for the end of the day to indicate when you should call it quits for the evening.
Don’t Be Idle
This one is so important, particularly if you are fixed to a chair with your eyes glued to a screen all day. Why not make use of your one exercise per day and go for a leisurely lunchtime walk or cycle? Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you peel yourself away from your desk often to simply stretch your legs and give your brain a break.
Instead of feeling like a prisoner in your own home right now, adopt a positive mindset. Think about all the benefits that go hand-in-hand with working from home.
- First of all, you get to spend more time with your loved ones. Despite the fact that you may be working for much of the day, this is still very much possible. You can have lunch together or work alongside each other. As soon as you clock off work your time is completely free to enjoy with those you live with, be it your family or friends.
- Although I previously advised sticking to your normal working hours, this is no hard rule. I think if you want to be a little more flexible with working hours then go for it. For example, now that your usual work commute has been eliminated, you can afford to start and finish an hour earlier than normal. This means you have more free time in the evening to do what you enjoy.
- One of the things I like most about working from home is getting housework done that would otherwise only get done at the weekends. Put a wash on, hang some clothes out to dry and prepare your dinner in the slow cooker. In some respect, these are luxuries we seldom have time for.
- It is needless to say that pets around the globe right now must be ecstatic about having their owners around more often. Make this bonding time count by letting your rabbit out of its hutch more often or teaching your dog some new tricks.
Just Enjoy It While You Can
With the current COVID-19 situation triggering a tsunami of panic and fear worldwide, it is easy to get swept up in this and forget to look on the bright side. How many times have we all wished we could work from home, to not have to make that dreaded commute to work? Now that time has come, albeit in a way none of us desired or expected. Take this opportunity to focus on yourself, do the things you never have time for and bond with those close to your heart. This is something we all have to ride out together and we don’t know how long it will last. We may as well just enjoy the positives of it while we can!
Please do not hesitate to contact us regarding any enquiries, or even if you just fancy a friendly chat!