Following the Coronavirus outbreak in the UK, the Government have said that everyone who can work from home should do so. The points below will help you work effectively and efficiently at home, whilst making sure that your health and wellbeing are not affected. To download our full ‘Guide to Homeworking’, please follow the link below.
1. How should I set up my workstation at home?
Clear your work surface of clutter and set up your equipment to avoid physical strain – do a self-check using the guidance here.
2. Who provides the equipment?
In addition to your laptop, a separate mouse and keyboard are conducive to a healthy way of working. Remember to ask your manager for permission to take home a mouse and keyboard should you wish to use them and do not currently have any of your own at home.
3. Who is responsible for workers while they work?
The Company has a duty of care for our staff, even when you are working at home – treat any issues that you may have as you would if you were at work. Contact your manager, HR or whoever is appropriate for the issue you may have.
4. What suggestions do you have for effective homeworking?
Below are some suggestions as to how to work efficiently from home whilst, at the same time, maintaining your own wellbeing.
- Get dressed: Getting dressed will not only improve your state of mind, it will psychologically prepare you to start work. Likewise, changing out of work clothes when you clock off for the day helps your brain to understand that the working day is over.
- Establish boundaries: It's important to stick to your set hours of work when you're working from home. Be ready to start your day at the same time as you would normally arrive in your office or workplace, and finish your day at the same time. At the end of a working day, it's best to switch off your computer and tidy away papers and other items.
- Get out and about (if you're not self-isolating): Working from home shouldn't mean you stay cooped up indoors all day. Get your shoes on, get outside and enjoy that fresh air. A different perspective will also help undo mental blocks and give you a fresh pair of eyes for any tasks you're struggling with.
- Pick up the phone: Make sure you make some time to have a real conversation, rather than relying on email and instant messaging. Your line manager will check in on their staff teams on a regular basis and arrange online meetings to ensure colleagues can get together and discuss anything that they wish to.
- Take regular breaks: You shouldn't stay glued to your screen all day so it's important to take regular breaks and get up from your desk and move around just as you would in an office.
5. Feeling anxious about home working?
Should you find that you are having issues with working from home, please contact your line manager or HR department to discuss them.
In addition, your Company may run an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) offering you a structured way to work through any difficulties or issues you are experiencing.
Need more advice?
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England have put together some guidance for ways to support your mental health while working from home Supporting your mental health while working from home (PDF).