COVID-19 can take its toll on our health, if not physically, then definitely mentally. Offices are empty, but the businesses are moving forward. Like so many other companies, we have encouraged our employees to work from home. Adjusting to this “new normal” brings with it some challenges that are worth tackling head on.
To start, it’s best to take the opportunity to set up your workplace according to your needs and to create your own feel-good atmosphere. For example, you can turn on music, light a candle or sit by a window for some natural light and a view. Set up a place where you can do your work comfortably. To prevent back problems, use a table, chair, and an external mouse and keyboard. All of this helps with posture. Working on the couch is tempting, but you should avoid it. Refrain from working with a pile of dirty laundry or dishes in from of your nose as it can be hard to concentrate. Sometimes it helps to place photos or plants on your desk.
So that you can get through the coming weeks in your home office and remain productive, it is important that you set yourself some rules. Try to follow your normal everyday life schedule as much as possible. In order to make everyday work easier for you in this new transition, we have collected a few tips and tricks below:
- Stay true to your routine. Do you usually wake up and train? Do you commute to work? Take a walk around the block before you start and end your day.
- Set yourself limits and stick to working hours as best as possible. When working from home, work and leisure can mix up. In order to remain fully productive, it is important to take regular breaks. Try new things to make your breaks varied. How about meditation or a walk in the fresh air, for example?
- Now you have no excuse to avoid working out. Use the time you normally need to get to work. Try an online workout – whether it’s a quick HIIT workout or invigorating yoga. Regular stretching exercises will also help you to keep moving – your back will thank you!
- Exchange your day with your supervisor. What have you achieved and what are you going to do the next day? Communicate openly with your teammates and ask for help if you need help. Keep in touch with your colleagues and take the time to say “Hi” and “Bye” every day. Share GIFs, create group chats and ask how your workmates are doing. Plan a virtual coffee or lunch to keep in touch.
- Stay positive! Stay up-to-date with current events, but make sure the source of the information is credible. Don’t just focus on negative news and consider limiting how often you hear the news and / or use social media.
- There is no reason not to celebrate birthdays and personal milestones. Organise a video call with your team at the end of the day and pour all of them a glass. Find a virtual way to make it special. Ever thought of preparing a little quiz for your colleagues?
The most important thing is and remains the (virtual) contact to your colleagues, friends and family. Isolation isn’t easy easy and it can get very lonely at times. Remember, get in touch with the resources available to you if you need help. Your HR team will be happy to support you and provide you with advice and action. We are all in this together!