Five ways to work productively from home during a pandemic

17 April 2020 by Grace Coleman
blog author

​​Three positives have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic: we’re washing our hands properly, environmental sustainability is undergoing a little transformation and we can work from home successfully when push comes to shove.​

Navigating this new working lifestyle that has created considerable disruption to business, is providing an enormous learning curve in a world where we are working towards flattening the curve. However, the flip side is that it is slowly cleaning up the environment.

Scientists have released new data which shows considerable drops in air pollution across major UK cities. On a larger scale, improvements in air quality have been evident globally, with less carbon emissions in Italy and China, due to lack of transport and industrial work.

It’s interesting to note how swiftly measures were taken to combat the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 in comparison to how we have been tackling climate change. Perhaps, once life eventually returns to normal, the climate crisis will also get the emergency treatment it deserves, because it’s clear we can act with speed during a global disaster.​

The pace at which the infectious disease spread has forced the closure of businesses, and there is no doubt working from home has upended life for professionals.​

A LinkedIn study from October 2019 found that 82 per cent of workers wished they could work from home at least part of the time.​

But while there is no commute, no jostling on tubes and no office politics, working from home isn’t as easy as people assumed. However, there are some ways to make it more successful:​

1.Pretend you’re actually going to work

It’s important to have structure in your day to get those creative juices flowing. Wake up at the same time you would on a normal working day, shower, dress and pretend you are going to the office. Under no circumstances should you work in bed with re-runs of Cash in the Attic on TV.

2.Leave the house to work from home successfully

One of the key points about working from home is that you should actually leave your home (unless you’re self-isolating). It helps your brain distinguish between your professional life and your home life. Walk the dog or go for a quick swim, then sit down to work feeling motivated and smug that you didn’t have to dash for the train.​

3.Don’t let your children become your new colleagues

Set clear boundaries with the rest of your family. If you are in your office and the door is shut, you must not be interrupted. Let them know when you need to make important Skype calls so they can keep noise to a minimum, and little ones won’t suddenly burst into the room unannounced – no one wants to re-enact that whole Professor Robert Kelly saga.

4.Ensure you are not feeling neglected

Loneliness is one of the biggest problems while working remotely. Beat the isolation by scheduling in a call a couple of times a day with your boss so you don’t feel ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Staff wellbeing has never been more crucial and employers should also be checking in with you to ensure you have everything required to conduct your work.​

5.Stay connected

Establish new working methods by using a variety of available technology to stay in contact with colleagues. From the joys of Zoom to Microsoft Teams, you can collaborate, bounce ideas off each other or indulge in Friday night drinks. Switch between phone and video calls to mix it up a bit.

All Acre staff are working remotely and are on hand to assist. Remember, these are very trying times but take comfort from the fact we are all in this together, probably for the long haul.