12 Tips and Tools for Working From Home During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Well… this is different isn’t it?
With COVID-19 rapidly spreading across the globe, it means very different working arrangements for most businesses. Flexible working is a very big part of the SST culture and many of us are lucky enough to be able to work from home on a weekly basis. However, working from home comes with its disadvantages too. It can become lonely and there can be many distractions.
We have come up with a list of tips and tools to help get us all through the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Set your alarm as normal
- Get dressed and make a coffee
- Set up a dedicated work space
- Write a “to-do” list
- Define your hours making sure you take breaks
- Download Microsoft Teams, Slack etc..
- VPN (Virtual Private Network) Access
- Adjust to your new “shared office” with your family
- Be thankful and grateful for your team who are still having to go in to work and keep the company ticking over
- Notepad and pen
- Additional monitors
- Comfortable chair
1) Set your alarm as normal
Try not to oversleep, start your day like you would when having to get up and go into the office. The mental association between work and an office can make you more productive. There is no reason that feeling should be lost when working from home.
2) Get dressed and make a coffee
Don’t stay in your PJs. As lovely as it sounds to stay in your pyjamas all day long, it doesn’t do anything for your mental state of mind and makes you less productive. Get dressed, make yourself a coffee and start your working day.
3) Set up a dedicated work space
Just because you’re not working in an office doesn’t mean you can’t have one at home. The kitchen table is good, however it’s where a lot of distraction may take place. Our advice would be to find somewhere quiet; spare room, cupboard under your stairs? Try not to have your dedicated space somewhere that you associate with relaxing, as it may encourage you to do more work when your working day is over. AND (it’s a big and) if you have kids…prepare for disruption and a lot of it!
4) Write a “to-do” list
This is one of my all-time favourite things to do…when I’m working at home and in the office. Lists make everything so much more organised. It also de-clutters my mind. If I have it written down, I won’t forget about it, meaning I don’t need to think about it anymore (decluttering). Organised lists makes an organised mind.
5) Define your hours making sure you take breaks
First thing is to make sure to take breaks. That means, walking away from your computer or work station. Go for a walk (if you still can do that), get some fresh air, hop on the treadmill, stay active and do a work out, have some lunch with your family, play a board game. Secondly, it is really important to finish work when you normally would. It is very easy to work more at home because, well…you’re in the comfort of your own home. However, your family/friends, cats and dogs still need your attention and you still need to relax and recharge for the next day ahead.
6) Download Microsoft Teams, Slack etc..
Working from home can at times feel very lonely, especially when having to self-isolate. These tools allow instant chat, group chat and video conferencing so that you can still “socialise” with your work mates. They are great tools that enable an office environment at home…minus the lovely sweet treats your boss brings into the office every day!
7) VPN (Virtual Private Network) Access
This allows you to access your company’s network at home. This is really important as it makes your work life so much easier when you have access to all essential work resources that are only available on your office network.
8) Adjust to your new “shared office” with your family
This is a tough one…if you have a husband, wife, children, relatives, sister, brother at home then its important to remember it’s their home too, so learn to come and go with everyone. Explain as best you can, that at times throughout the day there needs to be no interruptions. For younger children to understand this, it can be difficult, as they like to charge in at the most inappropriate times. Luckily, we have an understanding workforce if this was to happen.
9) Be thankful and grateful for your team who are still having to go in to work and keep the company ticking over
We have an incredible team of people who are still going to work every day and making sure product leaves our premises in order to meet customer demand. These people do not realise that without them, we could not get through this hard time. This goes for hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide, so be sure to make sure they know how much of a good job they are doing and how appreciated they are.
10) Notepad and pen
Well, this just goes without saying…
11) Additional monitors
This helps massively when having to have multiple applications opened at the one time. Analysing data on numerous spreadsheets, order taking, research…you name it, having two screens makes you more productive.
12) Comfortable chair
We could be here a while, so make sure you are sitting comfortably!