17th March 2020
by Marie Holden
The latest from No.10 is this, the government advises that the UK should be working from home. Now, whilst this simply is not possible for some professions, for many of us, it is. So, we absolutely should be taking this official advice seriously in order to play our essential role in helping to curb the devastating effects that Covid-19 is currently wreaking throughout Europe, and the rest of the world. In essence, this is not a drill.
Taking Coronavirus out of the equation momentarily, many companies have already started to realise the potential benefits of remote, flexible working, and if this pandemic can teach us anything, it will hopefully be how to better manage and inspire a more productive, healthier and happier workforce.
So, what if the concept of flexible working is new to you and your employees? It can seem daunting, relinquishing visible control and putting your faith in employees, and yourself, to still work as efficiently and effectively as possible, but have faith, it does work, we promise.
To help you get to grips with this new reality, we’ve compiled a list of our top tips to help ensure that your business is still able to maximise productivity, whilst maintaining good mental and physical health for your staff and colleagues…
1. Organise your space – Tidy desk tidy mind, right? Well, even if your space at home is limited or not ideal, there’s plenty you can do to make sure that your home workspace is conducive to productivity. Ensure that you have all the things you need to be able to get your work done and that you have a comfortable environment e.g. enough light, comfortable seating, the right temperature etc. As tempting as it might seem, working on the sofa isn’t great for your posture and can make you feel lethargic when you’re trying to concentrate. Instead, try and find a good solid surface with a comfortable chair that offers support for your back.
2. Keep moving – There is nothing worse for your productivity, physical or mental health than sitting still in one place all day. Not only does it cause eye strain, but it also effects your focus and engagement. Try taking a stroll around outside to clear out the cobwebs, or even better go for a run!
3. Human interaction – Yes, we should be isolating as much as possible at the moment, and whilst the peace and quiet might seem to help your productivity, it can also be very detrimental to a vibrant and useful mind. So, embrace technology and use a video calling platform to keep in contact with your colleagues, the real-time engagement can work wonders for moral and also help to create a team atmosphere even when you’re not in the same building, or postcode!
4. Get dressed – This may sound odd, but you’d be surprised how quickly people regress into staying in their PJ’s all day and night when they don’t need to leave the house. This is not always a good idea in the long run. Why? Because again it can increase feelings of disassociation and isolation from the real world. So, try and get in a routine that emulates your usual office one, i.e. getting up, getting dressed and separating work from slobbing out. This will work wonders for your productivity at home and will help you to switch off again once the working day is done.
5. Organise your day – You have to be focused when working from home and try not to get distracted by household chores. Whilst it is great to break up your day by taking a break to do the dishes or hoover the lounge (plus your other half will thank you profusely for the gesture) it can end up taking over and you start to fall into weekend mode. So, try and make a list of tasks that you want to complete for the day and give yourself some goals that aim to help with focus, that way, once they’re done, the duster is all yours.
There you have it, some quick, top tips to help us all stay productive, focused and healthy over the increased amounts of time we’ll be spending at home over the next few weeks. Remember, as with everything, this too shall pass so remember to keep calm, learn to get creative with baked beans, and know, from the very bottom of our hearts, that no one needs that much toilet roll…
Thanks for reading!