Coronavirus: Top Tips for working from home
Prepare, Stay Connected, Stay Productive, Stay Motivated.
Four months ago, no one had heard of the Novel Coronavirus or COVID – 19 and, despite country’s going to great lengths to prevent the spread, it’s beginning to have an impact on everyday life. So far, it’s understood that the virus is spread by person to person contact and therefore social distancing is being encouraged to avoid a quick escalation of the outbreak. You and your team may find yourself facing isolation or working from home, something you’re not used to. We have some suggestions on how to stay prepare, stay connected, productive and motivated.
- Not all businesses are set up to work from home so spend some time making sure you and your team have the IT to work remotely. One Drive and SharePoint are great for accessing files and documents remotely, if you don’t have access to those tools copy key files and documents onto your desktop
- Take your laptop home overnight in case you’re advised before the next morning to isolate to minimise disruption
- Prepare a workspace, dedicate an area at home that’s free from homelife distractions
- Build a structure to your day, without colleagues arriving, taking lunch and leaving at the end of the day it can be easy stare at your screen for extended periods or work beyond hours. Make sure you stop for an hour for lunch, step away from your computer at regular intervals and turn it off at the end of the day. If possible, put your laptop/device out of sight when you’re finished
- You can’t stop by someone’s office or desk to catch up on a project so instead of firing off an email pick up the phone and check in
- IT is your best friend, there are so many tools now for messaging and online updates – using Teams or Skype is a brilliant way to hold interactive meetings when working remotely
- It’s easy to get caught up in a long email trail when you’re working from home, why not consider creating a Teams call and getting the answers you need quicker.
- Make Whatsapp your friend, we’re all human and the main thing we miss working from home is interaction with colleagues. So, use WhatsApp to keep in touch, check in on the football chat, peoples plans for the weekend, the latest on Love Island or whatever you miss talking about
- Keep your diary up to date and create progress logs of what you’re working on to share with your team so they have visibility of where you’re up to and can pick up if you become ill
- Arrange regular check in calls so everyone knows where they are on projects and deliverables
- Communicate any changes to the structure of your day that may affect deadlines. If you’re isolated it’s highly likely your family will be too and with the best will in the world it may be difficult to keep strict hours so let people know when you are available and when they can expect output from you
- This too will pass – the current period of isolation is 14 days which may seem like a long time. But see it as a chance to pick up or sort out any work you’ve been putting off due to office distractions
- You are not alone, as the situation develops you may find many or all your colleagues or clients are also working from home or in insolation too
- Finally see this as an opportunity to look at how you work – Change demands new learning – Rosabeth Moss Kanter