Working from home during the lockdown

With the COVID-19 outbreak having forced the hand of many employers into allowing their administrative staff to work from home, many workers are now faced with the prospect of being thrown into the deep end of permanent home-working. The mental effects of being at home, in a relaxed environment with less accountability, can quickly start to form undesirable habits and working practices if a good daily routine is not formed quickly and stuck to rigidly. We’ve put together some tips for optimum home-working, not just during pandemic lockdown situations, but whenever the need arises.

Start the day off right

The most critical part of a good day is the start of it. Although you may be at home, set yourself up for a working day as though you were going to work, with as close as possible to a normal morning routine. Set an alarm, get up, shower, get dressed, have a cuppa, eat a good breakfast, and get yourself in the “working day” mindset.

Make use of the extra time to exercise

It may be tempting to have an extra hour in bed to replace your usual morning commute, but instead, you can fuel a more productive workday by using that time in several different ways. Why not take advantage of the government-mandated “one daily outdoor exercise session” and go for a run? If you’re committed to indoor isolation, then there are plenty of workout routines on the internet designed for minimal equipment. Exercise is proven to trigger the release of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, “feel good” brain chemicals which can have a dramatic positive effect on your mood – and maintaining a positive mood is crucial in times of enforced isolation.

Set up your workspace effectively

It may be tempting to sit on the sofa with the TV on and your laptop on your knee, but you’ll almost certainly create a better working environment for yourself if you sit at a desk or table, in a chair with good back support, and minimise distractions in order to focus on your work.

If you have them available, an external monitor and mouse can massively optimise your comfort and productivity level. A mouse is simply far more suited ergonomically than a laptop trackpad – your wrists will thank you. A second monitor allows you to have your computer programs more comfortably arranged – you can use one screen for your email inbox to make sure you don’t miss any incoming messages, work across two applications, or whatever your job function requires.

Do you have any tips for effective home-working? If you’re an experienced remote worker, or even if you’ve just been thrown into the deep end of home-working but quickly learnt to swim – we’d love to hear from you, and we’ll share the best ones, with credit, in an upcoming article.

The Collect Group are committed to supporting UK small business throughout the COVID-19 situation, whether it be by continuing to collect and deliver your orders safely to your customers, or providing useful information and advice to keep you going.