Coronavirus – How to work well from home

Following government advice during these uncertain times, thousands of people are now adopting to remote working as part of their new routine.

If you are one of the 1.5 million that had already worked remotely, you may still find that you are experiencing a slightly different version of the routine you are used to. Getting through the working day when you may also be feeling isolated, as well as having children at home to look after and home school, can lead to anxiety about the level of productivity you can achieve.

For others, who have never experienced remote working, it is a step into the unknown; and can trigger feelings of being disconnected, isolated and anxious about having to adapt to an unfamiliar working day.

We have put together some practical advice to help maintain physical and psychological well-being during this time of isolation, whilst also bringing some newfound order to your working day – keeping you as productive as possible.

Six super tips to effective and happy working from home:

1. Get dressed

As tempting as it may be to stay in your PJs all day, it isn’t going to psychologically prepare you for your working day. Whether you feel the need to change into business attire depends on the type of person you are and the nature of the job you have. Some people find that dressing formally is helpful and provides them with a sense of motivation, while also proving useful if they need to dial into a video call.

Otherwise, make sure you are dressed comfortably.

2. Have a routine

Routine offers us comfort and can also help reduce feelings of stress. If family circumstances allow, try to stick as close to your working routine as possible – and without the school run or early morning gym session, you might find that you have more time on your hands!

If your usual routine involves hitting the gym before work, try one of the many online workouts to start your day – either alone or encourage younger members of the family to join in before setting them their own tasks for the day.

Try to maintain your normal working hours, starting and finishing at the same time and taking your regular lunch break. The more you stick to this the more of a habit you’ll be in, and it’ll become easier each day.

3. Have a comfortable place to work

When deciding where you are going to be working in your home, we advise you to find a space that is separate from where you relax.

Try to create your own designated working area, even if you don’t have the luxury of a separate room, put together a little table and chair area – optimise your environment and keep your desk space and area as tidy as possible.

4. Organise your day

Working from home can begin to feel monotonous, missing the comradery of the office.

If your office day is usually broken up with meetings, chats at the water cooler, walks during lunch breaks or even the odd trip to the loo, working in isolation can suddenly seem like a long day.

So, work in short bursts – ensure that you take regular breaks. Make yourself a task list, plan what you are having for lunch the day before, stretch your legs and try not to get distracted by that list of household chores!

Don’t stay glued to your screen all day. It’s important to take regular screen breaks and get up from your desk and move around just as you would in an office.

5. Communicate

We may not be able to have those morning catch ups over coffee at our desks or attend work related meetings with colleagues around the board room table, but we CAN still communicate in plenty of ways.

Email, Skype, FaceTime calls, video conferencing or a good old-fashioned phone call are the tools to put to use when working from home. Video conferencing is particularly helpful when we are missing the face of those we are used to working alongside each day.

Staying in touch is particularly important if you are living on your own as well, because without communication we can quickly become very isolated and lonely. And if you do happen to know someone who is living alone and working alone give them a call even just to check in and see how they’re doing.

A little hello from someone can go a long way in this digital world.

6. Get outdoors

If you’re able to get outside on your lunch break and take a little walk, whether that is round the garden or around the block in line with Government advice, this is a great idea.

In a normal day in the office you move more than you do at home, so a little wander outside will get the blood flowing, alongside the feel-good hormones, endorphins. It’s also beneficial to just get away from the screen for a bit. On top of this, fresh air is so good for us, mentally.  Studies show that being outside can do wonders for relieving stress, anxiety and depression.

We hope these tips go some way to making the transition from office to remote working a little easier, and aid you in remaining safe, comfortable and productive.

If you need support with your job search in these difficult times please do get in contact with a member of the Anne Corder Recruitment team.

About the Author

Emma Plummer

Emma Plummer

Recruitment Partner

Emma blogs for the ACR jobseekers’ blog covering tips on how to stand out, managing the job-hunting process and more.