Category: Flexible Working, Physical Wellbeing, agile working, mental health, home working, remote working, COVID-19
With the country going into lockdown, most businesses are now encouraging remote working for their staff, and with good reason. To avoid the spread of Covid-19, social isolating is rapidly moving from being suggested to enforced.
But this article is not here to scare you, it’s to offer advice if you’re home working or self-isolating to help keep you mentally well and productive so that working life can continue.
Tip One: Organise your working space
Clean it, tidy it and set up your space. If this can be separate to your living space, then being able to switch off and close the door at the end of the day may help stop you over working and allow you to step away for breaks.
If not, then at least clear the kitchen table of any daily debris and try not to sit at your computer unless you are working. Physically separating your work from your home will allow your brain to switch between the two and reduce the feeling that you’re working (or not working!) all the time.
Tip Two: Open the window
This sounds daft but we’re serious. Fresh air can clear your head so if you can’t leave the house, throw open the windows and let the air clear the cobwebs away.
Tip Three: Communicate with your team daily
At VERCIDA we now have at least one video call with the whole team per day where we share what we’re up to, how we are both personally and professionally, and where each team member is given the space to talk about any concerns. These meetings are not strictly kept to work, as when you’re in the office, those water cooler moments aren’t necessarily work either.
We’re actually finding that we’re collaborating more than usual by having these cross team calls and enjoying each other’s company. Remember, we’re in this together, so encourage camaraderie across your team and be there for each other.
Tip Four: Designate social media and news time
If you don’t try and keep a handle on it, you could spend your whole day reading the latest on Covid-19 and looking at memes on Facebook.
It’s OK to read the news and it’s OK to scroll through social media, but watch that the current situation isn’t taking over and stopping you focusing. Set aside a few minutes every few hours to check in and log off in between.
Tip Five: Streamline your remote working technologies
You might be tempted to download every remote working technology available but do you really need them all? Is working out how to actually use them just going to cost you time and cause stress? Decide exactly what your team need to work effectively and pick as few different services as possible to achieve your goals. Over complicating things is only going to give you a headache. Technology is meant to make your life easier, not harder, so if you’re struggling to get to grips with something, it might be time to ditch it and simply pick up the phone.
Tip Six: Work to goals
This doesn’t only apply to remote workers. Goal setting not only keeps you focused, but when you reach those goals, up goes morale. Try dividing your goals into hourly’s, daily’s and weekly’s and tick them off one by one.
If you’ve got children at home making set hours tricky to stick to this gives you a way of measuring your productivity. It doesn’t matter what time of day you work when you’re working to goals.
Tip Seven: Be realistic
When setting goals, be realistic with what you can achieve. You may not be able to achieve as much as you could in usual working circumstances so don’t be too hard on yourself. Know your limitations and understand that others may also be struggling right now. Don’t expect too much of yourself or others.
Tip Eight: Look after your mental health
If you’re struggling with anxiety, as many of us are, reach out and talk to someone about it. It could be a colleague, friend, family member or someone from one of the many support networks available. Take it easy at work and try not to let the pressure get to you. Your health is more important than your work and reducing stimulation can lower anxiety. So, switch everything off and practise mindfulness. Even it’s just for five minutes a day.
Remember, you can’t control the current situation, only your reaction to it.
Tip Nine: Look after your physical health
If you can’t go out and aren’t lucky enough to have a home gym, exercise may seem tricky right now but there are plenty of ways to keep fit in the house.
Yoga, Pilates and Thai Chi require very little space and are good for the mind as well as the body. There are thousands of online classes available and if you practise with the family it can be a good way to connect and spend quality time together. Eat well and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Physical and mental health go together, lose one and the other is at risk, so take care.
Tip Ten: Dress for work
It may be tempting to work in your PJs but getting up and getting your work attire on can help put you in work mode and keep you focused. Then, at the end of the day, get out the comfies and relax.
Most importantly, know that you can only do your best and in a time of crisis looking after yourself is of upmost importance. None of us know what tomorrow’s headlines will bring, but rest assured we are with you and everyone is in the same boat.
Keep well, keep going, and together, we’ll get through this.
With all our support,
The VERCIDA Team