We have all been recently affected, in one way or another, by forces out of our immediate control. Many companies are asking employees to work from home, a task that some may find daunting. There’s no need to fret, with proper planning and discipline, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle and be just as effective from home as the office. Below is my 7 tips for staying healthy, happy and productive while working remotely.
1. Create a Real Workspace
We’ve all been temped to work from bed or the sofa when working remotely. Have you ever heard that making your bed in the moing sets the tone for the day? It’s the same principle here. Set up a pseudo home office for yourself. Sitting upright and having all the tools you need for the day will help you start as you mean to go on.
2. Stay Connected
Check in regularly with your team as you would at the office. Microsoft Teams allows for seamless communication while working remotely. Phone and video calls, document sharing, team creation and instant chat ensure you’re never alone. Ideally, working from home should feel like you’re no further than a desk away.
3. Stick to your Routine
Just because you’re not driving or getting the train into work doesn’t mean you should throw your whole life out of whack. I suggest keeping your same schedule as if you were going to the office. Wake and shower at the same time and put on real clothes. (It’s tough to get motivated in your housecoat and bunny slippers) Keep a schedule and start the day with the mindset, ‘I am going to work’.
4. Get out of the House
This may be the most important thing I tell you. We may be home for quite some time and staying at home alone everyday can negatively affect your mental and physical health. Schedule in time for a walk or a run. Go to the park. Make sure that it’s not just you and your computer all day. Running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour can reduce the risk of major depression by 26%. Make sure while you’re working hard for your company at home that your health doesn’t fall by the wayside.
5. Prepare for disruptions
Regardless of your careful planning, there are going to be disruptions, especially if you have children who are home from school. The phone and doorbell will ring and little Tommy will want you to read a story. Find a quiet room to work and have a talk with your children before the day starts. Make sure they understand that your work is important and that you need to focus. You can even use a colour coding system on your door. Red construction paper for ‘do not disturb’, green for ‘go’ and yellow for ‘check first’.
6. Stay out of the Kitchen
Believe it or not, those commuting into the city each day lead relatively healthy lifestyles. Walking to and from the station and scheduled meals are a good thing. A sudden change of this nature can be jarring and the temptation to stop by the kitchen for a quick snack is ever present. Again, this is where sticking to your schedule and having an ‘I’m at work’ mindset comes into play. If you don’t snack at the office, I don’t recommend snacking at home. Stick with your regular schedule and maintain your physical health.
7. Ask for help
The current climate and situation is largely out of your hands and your company should understand this. If you need help, ask. Speak to your colleagues, superiors, friends and family should you need a helping hand. This is where staying connected to the outside world becomes so important. You don’t need to do this on your own and nobody expects you to.
Here at DMJ, we believe that everyone needs to stick together through this difficult time. We are here to help and that doesn’t end at our current clients and candidates. We are keen to help and only a message or phone call away. We have several staff members who routinely work remotely and we’d be very happy to put you in touch for advice. Let’s work together to ensure we all come out stronger on the other side.