23rd March 2020

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has required many employees to adapt to working from home. But for many this will be the first time they have worked from home, as opposed to just checking emails.

Working remotely comes with its own unique pressures and stresses, most notably the inability to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Belfast One has rounded up the 5 best ways to work effectively from home.

1) Stick to your routine

Just because you’re not commuting and going into an office doesn’t mean you should skip your weekday morning routine. Wake up at your normal time, shower, and get dressed and have your breakfast. Doing this will not only improve your state of mind, it will psychologically prepare you for the workday ahead.

Whether you need to change into business attire depends on the type of person you are and the nature of the job you have. Some people may find that dressing formally is helpful, and useful if they need to dial into a video call.

2) Find your work space and make it your own!

Just because you’re working from home does not mean you can’t have a working space set up. It will of course be tempting to work straight from your laptop from your bed or even your couch but creating a dedicated work area is one of the most important things for a productive day of work. Working from a desk, like you would do if you were in the office, will help you get in the mindset of work and maintain good posture.

3) Start the same time you would at work

Be ready to start your day at the same time as you would normally arrive in your office or workplace and finish your day at the same time. If you typically work 9-5, then do that at home. It’s easy to lose track of time and before you know if you’re working late into the evening.  Remember, having a good work-life balance is really important.

4) Take breaks like you would in the office

It’s good to have a routine when you’re working from home and taking breaks should definitely be a part of this. It’s important to take regular screen breaks and get up from your desk and move around and of course that one-hour lunch break, just as you would in an office.

5) Get some fresh air (if you are not self-isolating)

We’ve all been advised to limit contact with people and because you are working from home, you’re likely going to spend a lot of time indoors. Open the windows to let in as much natural daylight and fresh air as possible. Nothing breaks your work day more than getting some movement in and exposure to daylight, so for your lunch break why not go for a short walk around where you live – you will come back to your desk refreshed and ready to work through that afternoon slump! (Make sure to wash your hands as soon as you return home).

Useful tools that are beneficial when working from home:
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Drive
  • Zoom, Slack
  • WhatsApp
  • SharePoint.