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Working at home | Working and learning during COVID-19 | Birmingham City Council

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Working at home

Everybody is being encouraged to work from home wherever possible as one of the government measures to help prevent coronavirus spread.  For many of us this means a big change to our daily routine.  Working from home shouldn’t be a barrier to leading a healthy lifestyle and could be an opportunity to establish a good work life balance.

As daily working from home is new to most of us. The following tips might help you to stay energised and focused, whilst maintaining a positive and productive approach.

Set an alarm

You may have more time in the mornings without your daily commute, use this to your advantage.  Aim to get up at the same time each morning.  This will help you to maintain your routine as well as helping you to get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.  It might also help to plan in time for a healthy breakfast and a form of activity that could replace your commute to the office.

Get dressed

You might not need to wear your normal office clothes, but it is important to shower and get dressed.  This will help put you in the right mindset.

Set up your workspace

Think about where the best place is your home to work from.  It can be difficult to separate your workspace from your living space, especially if other people in your household are working too or you have young children at home.  It is important to make sure your workplace is set up so that you are sat correctly and avoid any injuries.  Also make sure to take regular screen breaks as you would in the office.  Try setting your alarm on your phone to remind you take a break.

Set a working pattern

When your office is also your home it can also be hard to switch off at the end of the day.  You many have also needed to adjust your working day to accommodate having childcare.  Make sure you communicate your working hours with your manager and team.  Also aim to start and finish your day at the same time and allocate time for a lunch break.  Setting a regular pattern should help you stay more focused, motivated and productive.

Stay on task

It can be harder to manage when you are not in your usual routine.  Try and work in the same way as you would when you are in the office.  Setting a task list might help you keep focused. 

Avoid distractions

This is easier said than done!  If you get distracted by background noise, try to avoid having the TV or radio on.  It is also a good idea to avoid browsing social media, or if it is part of your job set a routine time to check in.  Housework can also become more appealing when you are working from home, try to allocate time outside of your working day for jobs. 

Regular food and drink

You may also find yourself ploughing through biscuits far quicker than you normally would.  It might help to prepack your food as you would to take to the office.  Make sure you drink lots of water and eat a balanced diet.  This will help you stay focused throughout the day.

Social connections

It is easy to feel isolated when working for prolonged periods of time from home.  Make sure you check in regularly with colleagues and your manager and be honest around how you are coping.  There are lots of great tools for staying connected, for example set up a virtual kitchen, a drop in drop out space for your team to connect.

TOP TIP:

Try writing and following a wellbeing action plan.  Mind, the Mental Health charity, have produced guidance to help you to create your own personalised plan.  Whether you have a mental health concern or not, it is a brilliant way to help us to identify what keeps us well at work and what causes us to become unwell.