This week the UK officially went into ‘lockdown’ as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic , and that means most people are now working from home.
And for lots of employers, that means you’re managing remote workers for the very first time—with the added pressure of trying to keep your team’s morale (and productivity) up during a difficult and uncertain time.
Here at BrightHQ, we’re in the same boat—our HQ has now temporarily shut its doors and we’re all working from home. So we understand only too well that the little things make a big difference when it comes to keeping spirits high while we’re all locked down.
Here are a few top tips to pass on to your employees (and to follow yourself) while working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak:
1. Get dressed (properly!)
Freelancers have long faced the misconception that working from home means a luxurious lifestyle of working in pyjamas, drinking coffee, and ticking off tasks at a leisurely pace… and now we all know it isn’t so.
Work is still just as busy—or even busier—and getting in that ‘work’ mindset can be challenging at home. Getting properly dressed might sound simple, but it helps you to get in that professional headspace, and also make a clear distinction between being ‘at work’ and relaxing at home.
2. Embrace digital communication
We’re social creatures, so keeping the lines of communication open in your team will not only help your people work more efficiently and effectively, but will help keep their energy levels and mood up, too.
Try What’sApp for voice notes or group calls, or Slack for instant messaging, or Lifesize for video calls and virtual morning meetings. These digital platforms help to keep your team connected, even when far away from each other.
3. Take lunch breaks outside
We’re limited in how much outdoor activity we can get these days, with instructions to only go outside for exercise once per day, and visit shops only when in need of food or medicine. But it’s still important to get some sunshine and fresh air wherever possible.
Whether that means having your lunch in your garden, reading a book on your balcony, or just drinking a cup of tea on your front step, just a few minutes outdoors can help you feel less cooped up when you’re working inside.
4. Create a designated workspace
Working from home comes with a lot of challenges, one of main ones being just that—you’re at home. How are you supposed to feel motivated when the sofa’s just over there, there’s washing to do, and you have a load of box sets waiting for you on Netflix?
You need a designated work zone away from distractions, interruptions, and your daily ‘to do’ lists. So whether you have a home office or you’ve just set up somewhere at the dining room table, create a workspace where you can focus.
5. Monitor your media usage
The COVID-19 global pandemic is affecting us all, and it is, of course, important that we’re informed and educated and aware of what is happening in the world around us. But the constant coronavirus news can be overwhelming and upsetting, and leave us feeling stressed-out, anxious and depressed.
Be conscious of how you choose to keep on top of the news. It could help to set certain times aside to read and watch it, instead of constantly scrolling on your phone throughout the day.
Bright Wellbeing & Counselling
And don’t forget you can also refer your staff to Bright Wellbeing & Counselling, our EAP (employee assistance programme). From a 24/7 support line to quick access to face-to-face counselling, our EAP gives your staff an extra level of personal support during this difficult time.
To find out more about how Bright Wellbeing & Counselling can support you and your staff, speak to one our out experts today. They’ll give you confidential and compassionate advice and help you to find the perfect EAP for your business and your people. Call now on 0800 786 2806.