As the coronavirus spreads, it is recommended people put extra precautions in and work from home if they are able to. We have put together some tips and tricks for you to implement for when you may need to work from home.
1. Go to work as usual and keep brain activity high
We recommend waking up with your alarm and getting dressed for work as usual. If your usual day includes a commute to work then instead, go for a walk and get your morning coffee, then return home for the workday. Exercise is important to include in your daily routine, even if it is just a short, brisk walk. We do not recommend staying inside all day as this is not a normal workday. If you usually commence work at 9 am then start working from home at 9 am. Do not work in your pyjamas but keep in mind you do not have to wear a full suit. Dress for your day and stay comfortable but presentable. Keeping your brain activity high is imperative. We suggest not slacking off on your usual work commitments and completing all required tasks you may usually perform. An example of a work activity you can perform at home is staying up to date with your CPD. Being a member of Professionals Australia allows you to have online access from home to many CPD courses and webinars.
2. Create a NEAT office environment
It is important to have as much normality to your working day working from home. If you have a desk at home, we recommend setting up your workstation there. If you don’t have a desk at home, try using your kitchen table and replicate a neat workspace there. Do not sit on the couch or in bed with your computer. Firstly, it is bad for your back to sit on the couch doing work and secondly it promotes bad habits and can cause distractions as different activities are usually performed on the couch, like relaxing and watching TV. It is important that the two are separated and not confused at either time. We also recommend if using a laptop to try using a proper mouse if you have access to one.
3. Avoid feeling self-isolated
While it is advised to practice social distancing, there are ways to avoid feeling isolated. Try not to stay cooped up in your house working with no contact from the outside world. If you usually go for a walk to eat lunch in your break, then do so when working at home. Leave your workstation and go outside. We suggest making your lunch at home and taking it to a nearby park to eat. We also recommend having frequent phone calls with your colleagues to keep up to date with news and to reproduce the normality of a working office. If you are regularly contacting staff, it reduces the impact of feeling isolated.
4. Don’t over work
If you usually work a 9 am – 5 pm day, then do this at home! It is hard to switch off and if you are readily available 24-7 you will go crazy. Remember to not work outside of your working hours and switch off your computer and do not check emails outside working hours. Go about your day as per usual and have your short breaks that you would usually have with staff in the kitchen. Call a friend, colleague or family member to create normality and have conversations that you usually would if working in the office.
5. Think positive and stay up to date
We can’t stress this last point enough, but it is important that we are all here together and we need to stay positive. Professionals Australia have resources that you can access from home and stay up to date with the latest news. Being a member allows you to have full access to our internal forum, “The Collective” and chat with like minded professionals within your industry. Staying up to date with your industry can be hard at home. Professionals Australia send frequent updates to members including when registration or insurance expires. Use this time at home to unleash the resources that a union can provide and look at the benefits and take them to your advantage while at home.