Pandemic.  Social Distancing.  Stay at Home.  Unprecedented.  The Coronavirus has affected us all in our everyday lives so quickly.  No one could have predicted that in 2020 a lethal virus would compel all of us to rethink how we live, interact with each other and work.  While some of us are unable to work from home due to the very nature of our job, most of us have access to a laptop and can work from home.  But are we ready to do so?  We’ve put together our top 5 tips to working from home during this difficult time. 

1. Have Clear Boundaries

Some employees will be working from home for the first time and will need to create a defined space for their work.  Getting in to a good routine with working from home is important – get up and be ready to start work when you normally would.  You wouldn’t go to work in your pyjamas so get dressed and be ready for the day.  Set up your work station in a spare room or quiet area of your home with good ventilation will help you to focus on your work.  By now, you should have all your technology set up at home – do you need a security key to log in?  Are all your applications accessible from home?  While face to face meetings are being cancelled, ensure you have a good internet connection for online video conferencing.

Working from Home

2. Keep your Kids Busy

Now that the schools are closed, childcare may be an issue when both parents are working from home.  Following the HSE guidelines regarding contact with children and Grandparents who may have previously minded the children is essential.  Most children have received homework and projects to do over these next few weeks and this will keep them occupied for a short while.  There are several free learning websites including www.kids.nationalgeographic.com where kids can learn all about geography and fascinating animals, www.funbrain.com where kids can play games while practicing maths and reading skills or www.storylineonline.net where stories are read by movie stars!  Of course, we don’t want our children to be stuck on a tablet all day long, so there are plenty of outside activities to keep them occupied including the many walks parks around Ireland.  For older kids, trying to keep them off their mobile phones is always a challenge so try to get them outside for a walk with the dog.

Children playing at home

3. Communication, Communication, Communication

Have clear communication with your manager and work colleagues.  Have an open discussion with your manager about what can actually be achieved whilst working from home.  What are the main priorities and discuss how everything will be achieved.  This is a fluid situation so communication with all work colleagues is vital.  Many employees will not enjoy the prospect of working from home as this presents some challenges with isolation and loneliness so companies should support these people with regular conversations and perhaps one-one-one mentoring.

4. Take Some Breaks

Working from home has many advantages – no commuting, money saved on lunches, it is important for our wellbeing to take some regular breaks.  Go for a short run or walk with the kids to clear your head.  We all suffer from information overload and fear about the Coronavirus spreads panic and anxiety.  Regular exercise in the form of pilates, yoga at home or a walk along the beach can help us physically and mentally.

5. Projects

If you can’t do everything that you normally would at work, maybe this could be a good time to look at those projects that you put on the long finger.  We all have those emails or plans that we said we’d look at when we had some time…Or maybe this could be a time to reflect on how we can work better, what can we improve in our workplace, how can you work smarter not harder.

We don’t know how long the Coronavirus will affect us or how long we will be working from home.  We hope that everyone will stay safe and healthy and follow the HSE Guidelines.

If you are interested in finding out more about how we can help your business in the future and start to plan ahead for your company, then please contact us by email stevehalpin@etacsolutions.com or call us on 01-685 6535.

ETAC