At MyPeople, we are very fortunate to work in an organisation where flexible working is normalised and encouraged. However, for many organisations, working from home on a wide scale will be a first-time experiment. Keeping employees engaged and productivity up, maintaining a healthy work-life balance and learning to nurture ongoing business relationships using different strategies from the norm can be challenging. If this applies to you and working from home is a new frontier, we have put together a few tips for working remotely successfully.
- Get up and get dressed – This isn’t a re-enactment of Ferris Bueller’s day off. You never know when you might be called upon for a video call/meeting, you wouldn’t want to get caught short in your pyjamas now would you… Sticking to your morning routine also helps to get you into a ‘going to work’ frame of mind.
- This is my dance space – Set rules for others sharing your home working space, whether that be children coming home from school or pesky pets that want/need constant attention. Managing expectations will allow you to focus and not be distracted.
- Don’t just sit there! Take regular breaks, just as you would in the office. Don’t feel chained to your laptop, a lunch hour and two 15-minute breaks is a standard to aim for. If you’ve gained extra time from not commuting, it’s a great opportunity to fit in some exercise or going for a walk outside.
- Keep in contact with co-workers, video calls are best (see point 1 for advice on this!), but if that isn’t feasible, talking on the phone is helpful to keep in touch and up to date with what’s happening. Loneliness, disconnect and isolation can become a common problem when working from home. Personally, I love being able to GSD in peace and quiet! However others, especially extroverts, might struggle with this.
- Ask for what you need, if you are not properly set up to work from home. It’s worth speaking with your employer to let them know of any additional set up you require. If this isn’t readily available, at least they can put in a contingency for it moving forwards – Let’s not be precious about this though people, we are all trying to get through this together.
- Set a schedule and stick to it. There may be times when you need to adjust/extend your day to accommodate different time zones. Just be sure to maintain your work-life balance accordingly.
- Stay Positive – Keep calm and carry on.
For other novel and amusing ways in which others are adapting to working from home or recreating a home office space, click here to read an article published by HR Grapevine. NOTE: While this article provides some light-hearted relief to the panic and concern many are feeling about covid-19, it also highlights the issue that many employees are unprepared for remote working, indicating that companies need to be better prepared and have contingencies in place if the UK goes into lock down.
Organisations and individuals should be looking at the positive learnings that can be taken from any crisis situation, to build resilience and learn new ways of working. Adapting and normalising working from home practices, not just to stop the spread of Covid-19 but to also build a bed rock of trust between employer and employees and promote a flexible working environment moving forwards.
We hope everyone is keeping well and not caught up in the corona virus panic. In the short term, MyPeople have advised staff to work from home and minimise face to face meetings until things are calmer.
Business resumes as normal from home though 😊