23 March 2020

Dos and Don'ts for working at home

Following the escalation of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Government announcement of measures to help tackle its spread, working remotely/home working is now becoming the ‘new norm’ for many people. IOM3 has put together a list of 'dos and don’ts' that those of you not used to working from home may find useful over the weeks to come.

DO’S

  • Stick to a routine; start your day as you would if you were going into the office, having breakfast/coffee and ensuring you take your normal lunch break hour away from your desk.
  • Take regular breaks; Stand up, stretch, move around and even go for a short walk to take a break from your work and your screen. It might be a good idea to set an alarm to remind yourself to get up and move
  • Make sure you have a good working area that is clutter free
  • Plan your day and assign goals or a to do list
  • Work your normal hours, as you can, childcare permitting
  • Stay active; there’s lots of free online videos for workouts/yoga/stretching to do at home
  • Communication is key; Use Microsoft teams, Skype and/or other accounts to keep in touch with managers and regular check in with your co-workers. Self isolation can be tough so it is important to keep checking in on one another in these uncertain times
  • Meet with your team members on a regular basis via video call or telephone
  • Use this time to have a clean-up or sort out of work stuff whether its filing or cleaning out your inbox, sorting documents, get that admin you have been putting off done etc.
  • Have headphones available if you have external noise in the house when making conference or video calls.
  • Before the end of the day – communicate with your colleagues. Is there anything else you can do? Is there anything they need? Finish off and write yourself some goals and lists for the next day
  • Relax. Log out, pack up - whatever you need to do to finish for the day. Leave no trace of work that will tempt you to return. Now take a deep breath and enjoy your evening!

DON’TS

  • Get too distracted with social media. A quick scroll on Twitter or Instagram can turn into an hour here and there, so avoid temptation!
  • Be tempted to stay in your pyjamas all day. While there’s no need to wear a suit, keep a happy medium for getting dressed in the morning to ensure you feel productive and fresh for the day
  • Skip meals; make sure you are eating regularly and keeping a balanced diet, which will help you maintain a healthy body and mind
  • Sit in bed or on a sofa to work. It can make you feel more tired and less productive
  • Don't deviate too much from routine
  • Stay at your desk while having a break

A reminder to all that although this is a lot of change right now, this period will end and, in the meantime, look after each other, stay safe and follow the Government and World Health Organisation advice.