As we all move into this uncharted territory and waters of home working and isolated living, I’ve drafted up a few quick thoughts to help you cope.
• If you’re working from home then make sure you stick to a routine; get up as if you were going out the front door and making your way to work. It’s really easy to find distractions around the house that stop you from doing what you’re supposed to be doing, but if you carry on as normal you’ll get over this hurdle quickly.
• Take a lunch break. It sounds stupid to even suggest it but make sure you do. It’s really easy to lose track of time, or trying to prove that you’re really working by answering every message and email that comes in within minutes of its arrival. You’re entitled to a break even when you are at home.
• One of the things I have found is that sometimes not everything will be in your control, especially if your job is relying on other people to do theirs. Try not to stress out – ask for people to give you estimated times of when things might be done so you can both plan out better ways of doing things.
• Parents – I haven’t forgotten about you – I know it can difficult to work from home if you have a small child that needs your attention, and that it might be even harder to work if your child is off from school. See if you can work outside of your normal office hours to try and complete work that needs to be done, or alternating with a partner the childcare duties if that’s an option. If you’re really struggling, try and chat with your manager or HR department to try and find a solution that works for you both.
• Keep in touch with others – not just for work purposes but for your own well being too. Not being in an office and seeing people regularly can almost feel like cabin fever; chat and video call on WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype.
• If you have to buy some items to help you with your work which your office can’t provide, make sure you keep the receipts so that you’re able to claim them back when things do return to normal. Do check with your company first before making any purchases.
• Should you fall ill, talk to your company about what your options are and if you are entitled to any benefits. There’s also information on the government website should you need more information – http://www.gov.uk
• Most importantly try and stay safe, follow any guidance you have been given about your own health and ensure that you follow it through for the safety and protection of yourself, your family, friends and colleagues.