Tips For Working At Home During COVID-19

25 Mar 2020

By Paul Riddle


Since 2005 I've been employed in remote working roles, making me a working from home veteran of fifteen years. The one thing all of these roles have offered me is the chance to also work in an office so I usually split my time to two days in an office and three days out.

So how should you approach working from home full time:

1. It is not the office

Don't see working from home as being in the office or else you will fail. It is good to have a schedule but don't become to rigid with it. As an example I still rise at about 0630 and I will probably log on by 0700 and see what has come in overnight, answer some emails catch up on news etc.

Then I go and make some breakfast, pop out to the shops to get milk etc which means I might not be back at my desk until after 9. But the world will not end at 0900 if you haven't sent an email or said hello to a colleague in chat.

2. Get dressed.

It is easy when working from home to stay in your pyjamas and not jump into the shower. Don't do this. Have a shower and get dressed after you have had breakfast. You will feel in a work mode then. Plus your colleagues don't want to see you on a con call with stubble, bed hair and a dressing gown.

3. Social media is not a work colleague.

Don't have a 'quick look' at Facebook. You will still find yourself there two hours later scrolling through wedding pictures of someone you vaguely remember from school.

4. The sofa and coffee table is not the office.

Sit at a desk with a proper chair. It is more productive and you will not need a chiropractor in three months' time.

5. Take a break.

When you work in an office you probably don't realise how many short breaks you take. Catching up on last night's TV with a colleague, making a coffee, popping to the post office. Do this when you work from home. Step away from your screen for 15 minutes. Make a coffee, go for a walk. Watch some TV whilst having lunch. Don't feel guilty about this. It will keep you focused.

6. Interact with colleagues.

People either keep their head down when working from home to make it look as if they are deep into work or constantly pop up to let you know how hard they are working!

Find a happy medium. Chat to colleagues on Skype or Slack etc but don't overload. Sharing ideas is great but maybe a phone call is better than an endless chat. You'll soon find your rhythm.

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