COVID-19 has sent giant waves of disruption through many areas of our personal and professional lives. Thousands of people have suddenly found themselves in the new position of working from home, so we’d like to share some top tips from our HR department on how to make it work for you.

Before this crisis, you may have considered working remotely a luxury, but once out of the office environment, staying focused and motivated can be much harder then you expect.

If you’re not used to working from home, suddenly being there all the time can be a real challenge. It’s important as you transition to this ‘new normal’ to keep your spirits up and stay efficient. Here’s how:

1.  Get dressed

An obvious tip perhaps, but it’s a very important one! It may be appealing to stay in your pyjamas all day but getting ready as if you’re going into the office will improve your state of mind and prepare you to start your working day.

2.  Establish a routine

Stick to a routine as best as you can.  There will need to be flexibility for those who have childcare responsibilities but if you try, where possible, to get a routine in place, it will really help you get in the work flow.

Start your day at the same time you normally would and finish at the same time too.  You should also switch off your computer at the end of the day so there is a clear distinction between work and personal time.

3. Create a defined work space

Establish your work boundaries and create a space for work only. Staying in bed with your laptop may be tempting but it’s not a good idea. Not only could you hurt your back if you work without the proper supports, there’s also no boundary between your personal time and your work time which makes it harder to unwind after work.  

If you can, set up a separate area within your home, whether its at a table in your sitting room or in a spare bedroom. Having a set area will help you mentally prepare for work and keep your work and home life separate. 

4. Connect with your colleagues

Working from home can be lonely. You’re not surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a noisy office or colleagues chatting. When we’re at work we are more likely to engage with colleagues but when working remotely, we may not speak to anyone, all day long. 

It’s important to try stay connected and keep up communications. Video call to talk to colleagues; have a coffee break and just chat about anything and everything. Message regularly for thoughts and feedback on work and try keep in touch and stay connected!

5. Take regular breaks and get some fresh air

Make sure you take regular breaks.  Get up from your desk area and move around – just as you would in the office.  It’s important to stand up, stretch and move. If you don’t stop for your breaks you will become more tired, and potentially less motivated to complete what you are working on. 

It’s also a good idea to get some fresh air if you can on your lunch break. Get out in the garden for a few minutes or take a short walk. It can really put that pep back in your step and wake you up so you can stay motivated for the rest of the day.

We hope these tips help you make the transition to working from home as smooth as possible. We’re here to support you and help you stay connected during these challenging times so please feel free to reach out if you’d like us to cover any other areas and we’ll do our best to bring it to you here on our blog.