Amidst the lockdown, many more people than usual are working from home – maybe for the first time – trying to adapt their job roles to suit not only a new environment, different equipment and sometimes slower external resources, but maybe even providing an altered service to meet current demands. Consequently, it’s imperative that we ensure working from home is safe and suitable.
Before you start working from home – ensure you have assessed all the risks. Working from home is generally low risk, as it’s mostly office type work and we’re in a familiar setting, so it should be straightforward to ensure your home is suitable for working in. Some things to consider…
Is there enough space for you to work safely and comfortably? Is there adequate lighting and ventilation? Are you working in a comfortable temperature/ can this be adjusted? Have you removed hazardous objects that you could fall over? Do you have a working smoke alarm in place?
Once you have evaluated/ addressed these risks, read through these tips to ensure remote working goes smoothly…
Routine – Try to establish a routine that works for you and your work demands, with regular starts and finishes. A lot of people find getting dressed out of their pyjamas each morning helps with productivity and focus. Ensure you close your workstation at the end of the day.
Workstation – You may be having to work with what you’ve got at home – which isn’t always ideal – but ensure you are using a supportive chair with a sturdy surface for your work devices.
Work environment – If possible, work in a space away from the main home area and especially not in your bedroom. It’s better for focus and balance to have separate work and leisure spaces.
Regular breaks – Ensure you get up and stretch your legs every 20 – 30 minutes, go outside for some fresh air or go up and down the stairs a few times – so you’re not just sedentary all day. You can even set an alarm so you remember and drink plenty of water throughout the day as part of your routine.
Minimise distractions – Some home-work distractions are inevitable if there are others at home too, but doing the big jobs first, keeping your personal mobile away from your workstation where possible and only having the radio on when it helps you maintain focus, can all help.
Communicate – Whilst everyone is having to practice social distancing at the moment, lots of people, especially those working from home are utilising conference call apps. Whether video or phone calling, it’s good to check in with others during the workweek.
Insurance – If you’re currently working from home, in line with government guidelines, you’ll need to confirm with your insurer that any work assets now at home are still covered. Some insurers are temporarily allowing your work equipment to be covered under your home policy – so just get confirmation of this before you start.
Working from home can be a positive alteration to your normal work routine, so once you’ve ensured you’re safe, comfortable and properly insured, you can do what you can to try to enjoy this new normal.