Since the coronavirus outbreak has altered dramatically in recent days (and is continuing to do so), the order of daily life has changed significantly as a consequence, and employees in the UK are being urged to work from home, if they can, to protect others and further prevent the spread of COVID-19.
One worker from Bobatoo has chosen to work from home and set up a makeshift work station on their landing.
Choosing to work from home and staying motivated
If you are lucky enough to be able to work from home, there are both advantages and disadvantages to this. One benefit is the amount of money you’ll save in fuel and other unnecessary ‘essentials’ like coffee and pricey lunches.
On the other hand, one main concern is the struggle to stay enthusiastic, motivated and focussed on the tasks at hand. After all, you are unlikely to get paid if you don’t.
It is entirely up to you to put strict plans in place to ensure that you remain motivated and are able to carry out tasks as usual - and that you stick to them.
So, here are some tips to help you stay driven while working from home (some have been suggested by Google and moneysavingexpert, Martin Lewis):
1. Carry on as if you’re still working normally
One of the best things you can do is carry on with your normal working routine as much as you possibly can. As urged by Martin Lewis, you should get up at the same time, shower, have breakfast and coffee etc. exactly like you normally would, to keep the momentum flowing.
It’s also a great idea to wear your working clothes as usual, to prevent you from feeling too relaxed in your own home.
2. Set up the right working space
It is imperative that you set up a suitable working space - one that’s clean, tidy and free from any distractions (the biggest challenge of remote working).
Set yourself up as close to how you were set up in your workplace, if possible. Don’t just sit all cramped at the end of a messy dining table - take the time to get yourself set up properly so that you have a clear head before starting.
3. Make a to-do list and plan ahead
Before you start working, write a list of what you want/need to achieve that day and tick each task off as you go along - the act of doing this is motivating in itself and will make sure you stay on track. Keeping it all in your head is overwhelming and counterproductive.
Even if you need to plan out the next few days or the next week, do it! You’ll feel much better and more organised, knowing exactly where you are and that you’ll get things completed on time.
4. Do not carry out any household chores
Even if you can’t stop thinking about that load of washing that needs doing, it’s time to take working from home seriously. You wouldn’t be able to do any chores if you were in work anyway, so they will have to wait until you’ve finished your working day.
5. Use online tools to help you collaborate with others
Apart from standard emailing, if you need to discuss work and ideas with your colleagues, you can use chat features like Google Hangouts to stay in the loop. Trello is also a great collaboration tool, which lets you organise tasks and move them once completed - this way, everyone can see what’s going on, what’s being done and noone needs to keep asking the question ‘have you finished yet?!’.
Videoconferencing or using apps like FaceTime are also perfect tools for those who need to have meetings, discussions and make decisions in person.
6. Stay hydrated and take breaks
It’s important to take breaks no matter where you’re working. If you usually have scheduled breaks in the morning, afternoon and for lunch, stick to them as normal!
It’s the simple things like taking breaks, eating and drinking water that will keep the juices flowing and spirits up.
7. Finish the day the right way
When it comes to the end of your working shift, it’s important to tidy up your working space and get everything sorted for the next day so that you’re ready to start again.
Try to do some exercise afterwards if you can, too. Whether it’s a home/garden workout or a stroll or run near your home (keeping a safe distance from others, of course). This will keep your mind and body in-check, further increasing motivation and helping to achieve productive working days in the house.
What about people who can’t work from home?
While it is an ongoing worry for those who cannot work from home, changes to UK law have been taking place. Those who are affected by coronavirus or are showing symptoms are being told to self-isolate and are able to claim SSP (£94.25 per day) on the first day of their illness, rather than the fourth.
Self-employed workers are now also able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from day one of the illness instead of day eight - the amount you receive will depend on your individual situation.
On Tuesday 17th March, the government announced that a total of £330bn will be used to support companies and businesses in the UK. From this, it is hoped that more funding will come to light to further help those in financial distress, particularly those who are unable to work and foot their bills in the coming weeks and months.
If you have any other tips for working from home, let us know in the comments section of our Facebook post here!
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