Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 all aspects of our normal daily lives have dramatically changed. Self-isolation and quarantine are the new normal for us in 2020!
Everyone is doing their part to try and stay home as best as they can, to assist in preventing the spread of this virus any further throughout the community.
Due to these self-isolation measures, we know a lot of you both employees and managers, would be performing your normal daily jobs from the comfort of your own home.
Now at first working from home seems super exciting. You get a nice sleep in, avoid the hassle of traffic or overcrowded trains and the best part, get to do work in your most comfy pyjamas! This was all fun for the first week until we started to miss seeing our team each day, getting to be in a productive environment and most importantly watering our flourishing desk plants.
We need to be mindful on how this disruption of normal daily life can have a big effect on our physical and mental health. You will now be spending much more time working from home, so we have thought of some ways to try and make your working days a bit more productive.
We have put together 10 Husset tips that may assist you whilst working from home.
Maintain your regular working hours
Our first tip is an important one to help ensure you are keeping not only work-life balance, but routine in your life. If your usual working day is 9 am to 5 pm try as best as you can to stick to these working hours. This will also mean that all employees will be online and available at the same time, to make sure everyone can still work together as a team via an online platform. Setting out your working hours will also help incorporate routine back into your life. We know that sometimes things do get in the way, so if you need to alter these hours from time to time that is also fine, you can make these hours up in other times that may suit your set daily schedule.
Create a morning routine
It is great to create a morning routine which you can implement to gain some order back into your life. This routine should end with you beginning your working day at your normal start time. This routine could include things like morning exercise walking, yoga or an online gym class. Exercising is shown to be a good way of clearing the mind, and getting rid of some of that stress that you may have due to COVID-19. Showering, getting dressed, eating breakfast to then begin your working day is just an example of how you may start your day. Customise it to fit your ideal morning. It could help train your brain to be ready to smash out all of those tasks you have planned for your day. Make it somewhat similar to what you would be doing on an average morning outside of isolation.
Set ground rules with the people in your space
You may currently be living in a share house with 3 other people, or your partner is also working from home. There are also lots of parents out there who have children home from school due to closures. All these above factors can be distracting when trying to complete your daily work. We recommend that you set some ground rules with the people in your house. These rules are important to ensure that the people around you allow you to focus on your tasks, without assuming that you can complete normal daily house chores like doing the washing. If you need to assist your children with homeschooling, we recommend speaking to your management about ways in which you can make both working and homeschooling, productive and harmonious.
This point is an important one to remember whilst working from home. Setting designated break times will help you schedule out your day to ensure you are being the most productive. Lunch breaks are vital for the brain to replenish your mental resources. It may even be a good idea to get outside, go on a walk and stretch your legs due to the long hours you will be sitting at your desk. Your attention to your tasks will improve, you will be able to make a better decision with more logical thinking, and you may gain some more motivation to get those annoying tasks completed. It is also a good idea to set a family/house lunch break time, so you can sit and enjoy your break with some company, mimicking what you might have done with your team in the office.
Do not hesitate to ask for what you need
It is important that you have the ability to do your work from home at the highest possible standard. If you have work items or equipment that may need improving it is very important you speak to your manager about this. Due to these unforeseen circumstances adjustment and extra assistance is necessary for everyone. Your management should be understanding of the current situation, and attempt to help you as best as they can. It is best to speak up if you have any questions or concerns to avoid future headaches or added stress.
Keep a dedicated office space
Not everyone has the ability to have separate space available for an office in their home. We do recommend dedicating a space that could be a work zone in your house. This is to assist you in both mentally and physically switching from home to work mode. Please ensure that this space has a comfortable chair, with back and neck support, and maintain a good OH&S standard in the area. Make this work area somewhere you will be comfortable in, you will be spending most of your day there. Have some fun with it! Get creative, maybe even buy some new desk plants that you can help grow and love. Do what works for you.
Communicate with your team
Isolation can get frustratingly boring, but also very lonely. It is a big change from being around people all day every day, to only being able to communicate through technology. We know this can be a difficult adjustment, but you need to remember we are all in this together! A great way to socialize with your team can be through platforms like social media, a morning meeting via video chat, some emailing back and forth or just a phone call here and there. Try to check in on your friends, family and team as often as possible. Make this fun! Why not set up a daily quiz or some trivia? There are various apps out there you can download onto your smartphone to make it easy for everyone.
Show up to online meetings
It is vital whilst you are working from home you attend your online team meetings. This will help ensure you are up to date with any work-related information and give you the opportunity to voice any questions or concerns. This will assist in fostering those communication channels between your team, to help you all work together the best that you can outside of the office.
These virtual meetings are also a time where you may need to be presentable. Get out of those PJs and back into some formal work attire!
During these stressful times, we can understand that it may be difficult to be your most happy self. If you are not coping or worried about your mental health it may be a good idea to speak to your management, or get into contact with a healthcare professional. There are also good online websites like Beyond Blue and Lifeline offering free 24/7 counselling services.
Written communication via email can be misinterpreted as it lacks the ability to interpret tonal and facial cues. Try and be more upbeat and positive when communicating with others through text message and email. This may spread some much-needed happiness, or could even make someone’s day! Exclamation marks or a happy face emoji 😊 are good examples of positive communication techniques.
End your day with routine
Similar to how you start your day off with a routine, start ending it with one also. Make sure you remember to let your team know when you are signing off for the day and close your computer. It is very important to keep a healthy work-life balance during these times. Try to limit the amount of work-related content you are looking at after hours, to really allow your brain to tune out and relax. Cook your favourite dinner, go on a run, have a nice bath! Whatever assists you in turning off your bodies work mode. Reduce the amount of screen time you have before bed, to help assist in a night of good restful sleep. This can help make you even more productive for the next day.
We hope the above tips may help improve your working from home habits. It’s important during these times to put yourself first, and always do what your body can both physically and mentally handle. Make sure you are implementing these strategies in order to benefit the most whilst working from home during this difficult time. Try not to push yourself too hard!
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your own personal working from home habits during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are always just one call or click away.