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Mentors’ Guide to Working from Home

by | Mar 13, 2020 | Company Morale, Employee Well-being, Mentors Blog, Work From Home

With the growing uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and how it will impact working, business and life in general, a dominant concern on everyone’s minds is of course surrounding what course of action to take with their work life for, what could inevitably be, an issue of self- quarantine and/or working from home. What is considered to be a hype-up that could even present itself a resolution sooner than anticipated, the hope for such an outcome is there but subsiding. And as is commonly known but should most definitely take centre stage in this instance, “Hope is not a course of action”.

As a growing number of employers are extending WFH (Work from Home) options to employees, we take a look into the tools and tips available to work effectively, strategize timelines and stay productive in the event of home confinement.

 

Routine, Routine, Routine

In times like these, we finally understand why, from when you were a baby, all the way through school and beyond, the concept of routine is so important and consistently part of ones day-to-day life. What started as timed naps and feeding cycles, to doing your homework as soon as you got home from school, there is a reason routine is drilled and exercised into your living and working day. The standardization of activities allows for you effectively make decisions and in itself, diminishes the anxiety sometimes surrounding decision-making. In instances like this, where uncertainty and most definitely anxiety are at an optimum, reduce whatever anxieties possible through taking direct control over what you can. Reducing the guesswork and contemplation of what to do and when to do it can help employees effectively align their energy and concentration to the things that really matter. Routine can also greatly assist in one’s overall ability to prioritize, something that yields insurmountable benefits to every aspect of your life.

 

Open your Windows

Again, as painful as this as a child not wanting to go to school, this time too has passed. Open your curtains. In all seriousness, there’s a direct correlation to productivity, boosted  morale/wellbeing and opening your curtains and windows, especially when confined to working from home. Having air circulate around and light pour into your newly adopted workspace can give you the mental release needed to fully lean in to your work and maintain a flow in clarity and salience. Not only for the mental aspects associated with working from home but opening your windows can help aerate your space and rid it of germs and potentially harmful bacteria’s. In a time when cleanliness is at the forefront of all decisions and resolutions surrounding COVID-19, it really is no-brainer.

 

Compartmentalize your Space

Be it working from your mansion or your studio apartment, regardless of the space that is made available to you, it is pertinent to allocate separate places to whatever ‘activity’ it is that you’re undertaking. Working? Confine yourself to your desk in the corner. Relaxing in the evening? The couch it is. Lunchtime? Well, the kitchen is a good place to start. Convoluting such spaces, such as moving with your laptop to the couch, also serves to interrupt your work-home boundaries and potentially hinder your workflow. Stay put where you are!

 

Block it Out

The lack of human and social interaction associated with working from home can most definitely correlate with depression-inducing isolation and loneliness. Although at times unavoidable, this can undoubtedly hinder your ability to effectively do your job. And job aside, it will definitely have the capacity to affect your mental health. Use your lunch and work breaks effectively by FaceTiming or calling family and friends. This can help you regroup and recentre and serve as a mental outlet during breaks and downtime. Another recommendation, especially useful in times like these where hysteria and hype are continuously building across all channels, is to make an effort to avoid social media. Not necessarily advising for people to fall off the face of the earth, but definitely make a conscious effort to not consistently engage with every social media channel out there. Is it useful to be informed of the happenings of the world? Absolutely. But there treads a fine line between informative content and panic inducing bulletins. Choose wisely!

 

It’s All about Balance

Corona Virus or not, it really is of the utmost importance to try to maintain a healthy work life balance. If working from home or self-quarantining, you should definitely be looking into any means possible with the potential to boost your mood and overall productivity. Exercising will absolutely always subside the difficulties associated with working from home. Be it loneliness, writers block, frustration or even excitement, doing a half hour of yoga or even a fifteen-minute home workout can make a huge difference to your mental wellbeing and increase your attention span. And being able to do this without even leaving the room? One could say that it’s a logistical dream!

 

Use This Time Effectively

Provided it’s not getting in the way of your workload, take this time to plan and investigate things that you have earmarked and, for whatever reason, potentially neglected. This could be a project continuously put on the back burner or merely a matter of properly planning and organising files, folders, emails and tasks. Use this time, potentially void of noise and distraction, to dedicate to such duties. There is an undoubted sense of achievement in finally tackling ‘head in the sand’ type tasks. Most importantly, however, is that executing and parking such projects can facilitate your ability to look to the future and plan those next steps. For all other uncertainties surrounding your current and future business landscape? Contact Mentors and see just how effective their professional guidance can be in determining your companies next steps.

 

For more information, contact Ronan Harbison on r.harbison@mentors.ie or at +353 1 487 1180/353 86 8058624

Ronan Harbison

Ronan Harbison

Commercial Director