Covid-19 has meant that many people, including our own team at Pure, having to adapt to working from home. This change may have been quite new for some people and perhaps a little daunting for many. It can come with some challenges, particularly when we are strongly advised to stay at home.
With this in mind, our Director, Caroline Batchelor, has put together this guide for working from home.
Create a routine for your working day. Have a consistent time to get up and prepare for your working day. Know what time you will be starting and finishing, be aware of your working hours are and stick to these. Remember to make time for lunch.
Create a dedicated workspace where you clearly define your working and non-working hours. Be upfront with anyone you live with and set expectations about disruption. Share the requirements of your role, for example having uninterrupted time for writing or calling contacts or having conference calls. This may be difficult if your family are all at home too, but creating space can help other members of your household know when to communicate with you and you with them. Check out this guide to "Homeworking and staying healthy" from the Chartered Institue of Ergonomics and Human Factors.
Aim to take a break at least every 90 minutes. Remember to stand up and stretch, make a cup of tea, walk around the house, do some sit-ups - whatever works for you, but take appropriate breaks throughout your day as you would if you were in the office.
Keeping in touch with your colleagues, teams and managers is critical with home working. Make the effort to phone people if you are able to, rather than email, as this will help you resolve things faster and maintain better communication. Ring a colleague, friend or relative for a catch-up at least once a day to avoid feeling lonely. Using the phone and email is standard, but consider setting up regular conference calls within team or virtual coffee room to give people the opportunity to catch up with each other, ask questions and let off some steam.
Try to get some exercise every day and there are plenty of ways to do this at home. Whether you like Yoga, HiiT workouts, shuttle runs in your garden or simply dancing to your favourite tunes in your lounge. There are some great online workouts and apps that you can download that give a great home workout – check out the free exercise classes on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
You no longer have commuting time to unwind so try to find another way or distraction to help you do so at the end of each day. Meditation, reading a book, art and crafts, films, listening to music or playing an instrument are some ideas that will help you to wind down from your workday.
Take care of your mental health. Pay attention to how you are feeling and make sure you communicate this to your family, friends, and manager so they can support you. Create a specific time to get news updates and turn off notifications on your phone. Avoid media outlets and second-hand sources of information which sensationalise. Check out this article from Suffolk Mind on “How do we meet emotional needs while self-isolating or working from home?”
Working from home for extended periods is a new experience to many people and it can feel isolating. It is important to realise that these feelings are normal and that talking about the situation can really help.
If you are feeling low, talk to you line manager, your colleagues and anyone else who you would feel comfortable talking to. At Pure, we have mental health champions, who support each of our teams. If your organisation has mental health champions, ensure your colleagues know who these are.
Our team are adapting to working from home but be reassured that we are here to support you in any way. If we can help you with your working patterns and work from home strategies, please talk to our consultants.
Caroline joined Pure in 2002 at the beginning of our journey. As Director, Caroline is co-manager of the Cambridge office as well as leading the Human Resources team. A graduate from Manchester University, Caroline started her recruitment career in 1999 within the HR, Professional Office Support and the Accountancy sectors.