COVID-19: How to Successfully Work from Home

BEFORE COVID-19 HIT THE NATION, ONLY 1.7 MILLION BRITS WERE WORKING FROM HOME REGULARLY

Perceived as a model reserved for specific professions, endorsed by nonconformists and trendy millennials, remote working hasn't been an option available to everyone – until the pandemic struck, that is...

Working from home became a saving grace for many companies, allowing them to keep their people employed and their businesses operating during these unprecedented times.

While some of us have longed to work in the comfort of our own homes, others have been finding the adjustment difficult, and not without reason. Although mundane and time-consuming, the commute to work enabled us to put some distance between our personal and professional lives; the kids were left in the capable hands of their teachers, and we could complete our tasks in dedicated office environments with all the necessary facilities.

The shift in gears has undoubtedly been challenging.

With many organisations set to continue allowing employees to work remotely in response to the ongoing pandemic, it's important that we all continue to adopt some best practices that will help us to remain productive, energised, and motivated in the coming months. Here's some of our top tips to share and roll out in your own organisation, if you haven't done already:

1. SET A ROUTINE 

Having a routine immediately relieves your brain from having to make ad-hoc decisions about how to spend your time.

When you've planned your day around the hours you're most productive, you'll be more successful in completing tasks on time and getting better results. Having a schedule that includes sufficient break times and puts a hard deadline on when your working day ends will help you to create that all essential work-life balance.

At first, working from home may have seemed like an excellent opportunity to stay in your pyjamas and have more drawn-out mornings. There's no harm in extending your snooze time since you no longer have to get ready for a commute, but there's also a lot to be said for seizing the day.

Getting up, squeezing in some exercise, having a shower and putting on something a little less 'chilled', will help you feel more work-ready; plus, you won't have to worry about the state of hair when your boss suggests a quick Teams call.

2. CREATE THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT

If you're missing your ergonomically designed office chair, you're not alone. Not everyone's had the luxury of already having a home office set up – or space for one. Nevertheless, you must carve out a little corner for yourself and make that your dedicated work area.

Ensure you have sufficient light, good airflow, and limited distractions. Let other people in your household know that you can't be disturbed during certain hours and create boundaries for yourself, where possible.

Your bedroom or sofa are usually associated with rest and leisure, so to avoid getting cabin fever at the end of the day, try to make your workspace in a neutral area of your home.

3. take your breaks

You may be getting in the flow, and it may be a particularly busy day, but burnout can affect you in the same way at home as it can in the office. Scheduling in regular breaks where you can enjoy a healthy meal, catch up on some housework, or decompress with a hobby is good for your mental and physical wellbeing.

Make sure that your colleagues know you'll be unavailable during your lunch break and claim that time as your own. You'll feel refreshed and energised when you return to your computer instead of heading for that 3pm energy dip with no respite.

4. keep exercising

Arguably, you may have been more mobile before the pandemic. Whether it was your commute to work, your movement around the office, heading to and from meetings, or popping out for lunch breaks, your day was probably a lot more dynamic than it is now.

We've all experienced the perils of being stationary for too long: stiff neck and shoulders, pain in the coccyx, and headaches. These ailments can be avoided with good posture practice and regular movement.

Set 20-minute reminders to change position or stretch. Keeping your body agile and flexible will help to keep any aches and pains at bay and your mood in check. Gyms may be closed, but your exercise routine doesn't have to stop. There are tonnes of exciting online programmes you can follow, or you can go for walks and jogs around your neighbourhood.

Regular exercise helps to reduce stress and improve performance; the better you feel, the more productive and alert you'll be when completing your work tasks.

As experts in employee wellbeing, we've curated a Health and Wellbeing pack full of handy tips that HR managers can use to keep employees happy, healthy and engaged. Download it here for free.

how we can support you through covid-19

At Sodexo, we help organisations build fantastic workplace cultures through specially designed programmes that help to keep your employees motivated during the good times, and the bad. Our experts have pulled together a range of helpful resources for HR teams to tap into when looking for advice and support during these unique times. Visit our dedicated resource page for all of our HR solutions for COVID-19. 

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