10 Ways To Work From Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Coronavirus is making the country take drastic measures. The aim is to preserve the safety of the vulnerable and attempt to prevent our NHS from being overwhelmed. Guess what? Home working has been fully advised where possible.
Our team has been home working since our beginnings back in 2017, so we thought we’d share a few tips to help you on your way through this challenging time, but even for us we face the challenge of possibly having to juggle work and entertaining / teaching our kids at home too.
So here goes…
- Plan – Spend some time just planning your work. It may feel like precious time wasted but it is totally worth it. By planning you can prioritise your work and aim to keep to a schedule. Personally I find the best time to do this is on a Friday afternoon (in an attempt to keep weekends free for family time). Make use of tools like Trello and Asana or if you prefer just use a good old diary!
- If you are going to be home working with your partner and have kids at home then work in shifts. We may have to accept that one takes an early shift working with an early start and then the other takes a late shift to work with a later finish, swapping over the childcare.
- Where possible try to find your home working space. Your office, the dining table, a summer house, the bedroom just somewhere you can hopefully get some quiet time to work. Make sure that area is clear before you sit down to work.
- If you’re flying solo with kids at home then there is no doubt it’s going to be a tough few months. Although schools aren’t yet closed, coronavirus may force them to close soon. So, accept that you are not going to be firing on all cylinders. Prioritise your work. Don’t book calls in consecutively, space them out. Avoid cabin fever by getting out for a walk at some point in the day. Don’t get hung up by mess or chores. They will get done just maybe not as quickly as you are used too.
- Avoid social media whilst you are home working (unless you are a social media manager, then you just have to be super disciplined!). Social media can be very distracting and before you know it, you’ve wasted a significant amount of time. Turn OFF your notifications.
- Check in with your team. Communication is key to efficient and productive home working. Preferably 3 times a week or more if you are full time. Use tools such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, the good old telephone and Slack to keep lines of communication open. Perhaps establish reasonable hours of the day to communicate with each other so that nobody is expected to answer a call in the evening if that is deemed unreasonable.
- Take a break. It’s ok to take a break. Especially if you are wrestling with kids at home too. Do work in bitesize chunks where possible, try to incorporate that into your planning.
- If you are trying to homeschool as well as home working then be realistic. You cannot possibly achieve the same output as a full time school whilst working. Break up the day into school time and work time. However it works for you, but don’t (unless you have older kids who can study with little supervision) try to do both at the same time. Stick to shorter lessons and only one or two a day. Utilise resources such as Twinkl or check out this fabulous lady and read her advice: Erin Loechner OtherGoose.com. I also saw this useful list from a facebook group that may be worth checking out.
- BACK UP YOUR WORK REGULARLY!
- Make sure you are adhering to data protection and security laws. Make sure you have the latest security software installed on your device. Ensure access to your device is password protected and encrypted to prevent unauthorised access if the device is stolen, misplaced or hacked. If you’re accessing your work network whilst home working, make sure access is secure. Check with your employer that they have covered this with your team.
Coronavirus may be disrupting our day to day life but we will get through this. It’s a challenge yes, but hopefully our communities will come together and work to support one another. Look after your elderly or vulnerable neighbours. We are strong and capable and work best when we work together.
Keep up to date with the NHS latest information and guidance on Coronavirus here. NHS
If you are responsible for a team or are a business trying to make remote working work for you, then our trusted friends Ursula Tavender and Liese Lord have put together this fab resource: Get it here.