This week everything seems to have got far more REAL. The threat of Coronavirus COVID-19 has reached the UK and the government have advised that those who can work from home should.
I’m lucky enough to be in a job where I can work from home with no restrictions or impact on my normal working day. I wouldn’t normally work from home but given the current government guidelines, our company have asked everyone to do so as a precautionary measure. This is going to take a little bit of getting used to for the foreseeable future for a lot of us
Top Tips for working effectively from home:
- Start your day as normal – After finding out yesterday that we’d be working from home for the foreseeable future, I decided I had to get up, have breakfast before starting work and most importantly get dressed! The novelty of working from home in PJ’s will probably wear off for some, but I know I will be more productive and work to the best of my ability if I feel like I’m ‘going to work’.
- Take regular breaks – today we have a team phone in with all employees. It was quite a crowded conversation but our boss made sure to remind us of taking regular breaks. When you’re at home you’re probably more likely to stay glued to your phone and laptop at risk of missing something. Don’t! Make sure you’re walking away, making a coffee, taking a full hour lunch break and working as you normally would.
- Don’t socially isolate yourself – of course, many of us around the work may currently be self-isolating or in self-quarantine, but in a work where so much exists digitally we mustn’t forget to stay social, check-in on WhatsApp, Facetime, actually MAKE PHONE CALLS *shock*, with friends, family & colleagues.
- A lovely lunch! – Make sure you take your full lunch break. Our boss advised that we need to make sure we’re taking time away from our makeshift workstations. Take the full hour (or half-hour). Use the time to go for a walk (if safe to do so), pop to the shop or watch some TV.
- Background noise is best – don’t forget to add a little background noise to your at-home workspace to make it feel more authentic. I’ve been switching between Radio 1 and Apple music all day today. Apple has some great pre-made playlists and background noise can make you feel less lonely – some of my favourite playlists from Apple are:
Celebs have been taking to Instagram and Twitter to read bedtime stories (for children) and perform concerts from their own living rooms to entertain support fans. From Amy adams and Josh Gad to Chris Martin. Christine and the Queens are playing a live show everyday around mid day on Instagram, and John Legend will perform from his house tonight at 8pm (UK time) via Instagram live.
Not everybody has the luxury of being in full-time employment with flexible working. Don’t forget to check in on your freelancer friends, those who work in retail and hospitality, are performers or work in health services. Make sure they’re doing okay, ask them how they’re feeling and if you can help with any worries. For some, the current pandemic will be a very worrying time. Whether they have a chronic illness, are worried about where their next wages are coming from, job security and general worries about the virus. As my friend, Rosie always says, PMA! (Positive, mental attitude) – Let’s all try and adopt this as much as possible and create as much joy as we can in a bit of a scary time!
** I previously worked for the NHS in a GP surgery admin role and I know how much the current pandemic is going to affect all NHS staff, both clinical and admin. While you’re reading this blog, take a moment to think about those in the health sector – they will soon be very overrun. Everybody from hospital retail workers to admin staff, Doctors, Nurses, Healthcare assistants and so many more will be under a lot of pressure. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do to help but support as much as we can in any way we can!**