With many companies facing the issue of operating their business from home, it comes with a host of problems; most notably how staff manage with the change. Our mental health has become a high priority since the dawn of the digital age, and as we enter an extended period of isolation, we must learn the tools to boost morale in severe times of need. Here our are ten tips to improve wellbeing & productivity while remote working:
Are You Addicted to Your Device?
Outside of the oncoming disaster that the COVID-19 will cause, we are also suffering from an environmental stress pandemic. We are addicted to technology. When in the workplace, the cravings can be mitigated by the fear of being caught by senior management while ‘zombie scrolling’ your Instagram feed, but if you’re at home, those restrictions are no longer in place. So how can you perform efficiently at home without the constant addiction of your electronic devices? Well, the solution is in the phrasing: Environment. Set up your working area to be ready for work, clear of any distractions and as inspiring as possible (plants, art, inspirational quotes).
Start by setting up your working area the way you want it. If you have a desk that can be near a window, move it. Organise your working materials correctly, so they’re neatly set up and easily accessible. But most importantly, remove all devices from the room! That means removing your mobile (unless it’s used as a virtual phone system at home), removing your games consoles and getting rid of any TV in the room.
Unfortunately, most of us will be using our laptops for work, and this device tends to cause the most distractions. Smart chrome extensions such as blocksite will remove all websites that you know will promote procrastination and kill productivity.
Taking Care of Yourself – The Importance of Wellbeing
Your body is the most important thing you own and when it fails you, so does everything around you. Taking care of it while working remotely for an extended period is vital. Make sure that you are getting a healthy dose of sleep each night and if possible, go to bed and wake up at the same time.
You should be eating healthy and drinking as much water as possible. However, this can be tough for people experiencing issues of accessing supermarkets affected by the surge of panic buying. Try to keep in mind, when you or someone else goes shopping, to purchase healthy non-perishable foods that are rich in nutrients and fibres.
Finally, we can’t forget about exercise. As we social distance and self-isolate, we need to ensure that we are keeping active, not only for morale but for our immune system. When possible, go for a run and avoid close contact with anyone else. If you’re in self-isolation, try a quick 30-minute indoor workout. Exercise not only strengthens the immune system but provides endorphins; in times of severe downness or depression, it can seriously help.
You Do You – Show Your Personality, Even While Working Remotely
Some people are the energy of the room; their personality will shine through in anything that they do. People like these, make the office a fun environment to work in; their upbeat attitude and bubbliness are crucial to driving morale and getting the most out of their colleagues.
When an office is forced to close, morale can be zapped. In a sales environment, staff need employees like these to keep spirits high, and when all members of the team are working remotely, a few bad calls with customers can set a morbid tone for the day.
Make time for funny emails, inspirational group chats and team conference calls to allow staff to boost morale with their personality. We’re all in this together, and most importantly, we do not want remote working to destroy the great fun & comradery that office work promotes.
Having a Bad Day? – Know Your Limitations & Pain Points
There are many dark days ahead as the globe struggles to get to grips with a different way of life. Furthermore, as we work from home, we will be in constant contact with family, friends and housemates; things can quickly become intense. It’s essential to approach each day with objectives of how you want to engage with those closest to you during isolation and how these interactions can have a knock-on effect on your morale and productivity when working.
Each day, make sure to schedule some me-time away from anyone you live with, or if you’re alone, schedule a skype call to someone close to you who may help lift your mood. If you’re operating a business telephone at home, ensure that you conduct yourself with a specific state of mind and ensure you will not allow the difficulties of customers weigh you down. Preparing a gameplan for regulating your emotions each day can make all the difference the further into isolation & social distancing we go.
Don’t Let Strong Relationships Drift – Invest in Your Co-Workers
Relationships are everything. Studies have shown that major corporations like Google are mimicking environments similar to the culture during Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona reign. What was his model? The commitment model. Studies show that people-centric businesses and how to make employees feel safe and valued, gain the maximum results in the long-run and rarely, ever go bust.
For Directors and Managers, it means the reassuring of staff and their value during these trying times. For co-workers, it can be a simple reminder that they’re of great importance and help to the team; shifting the momentum of fearing for their job, and instead, encouraging them of their worth and skills.
Focusing on Your Strengths – Ensure Your Team Knows Your Worth
Now is the time, while remotely working to show your value to your team, managers and director. Take time to acknowledge what you’re good at and how your skillset provides value to your employer.
Sit down and write 3-5 qualities that you believe are your most definite strengths within the workplace. Preferably, these should be strengths that only you or a few employees possess. Then, focus on delivering these through your work. Ask your manager or boss if tasks revolving around these areas are needing to be completed, even if they are not allocated to you.
It could also be an excellent time to offer your time for after-hours work. Remember, if you’re good at the tasks you’re performing, it won’t feel as much like work!
Use This Time to Learn – Develop a New Skill
While many companies are operating remotely, staff will have a lot of time to themselves after working hours. Instead of mindlessly binging on Netflix or climbing the rankings on Fifa, try to learn a new skill without distraction from the outside world.
Ever wanted to improve your graphic design skills? Are you interested in producing music? Or, do you fancy yourself as a future coder? Valuable online learning resources like Linkedin Learning or Skillshare provide continuous training on all creative software amongst other tutorials such as cooking, writing & business coaching.
If you have your eye on a future career now might be the time to learn the skills that will land you an interview in your dream job post-COVID-19.
When to Say No – You Can’t Be There For Everyone
When many staff work at home, some employees prone to procrastination can soon find their workload getting away from them. In times like these, they may turn to other staff members for help.
However, if you’re already preoccupied with your objectives, it would be unwise to take on the burden of extra work. The outcome can look rushed and delivered in a manner that does not reflect your usual standards.
In times of economic worry, it is crucial to ensure that you are delivering your tasks at the highest quality to provide yourself with the best opportunity to have a future with your current employer. If someone has asked for help out due to their negligence, do not be afraid to say no.
Set The Record Straight – Making Changes to Improve Your New Way of Life
For families with young children, managing them while working can be almost undoable. As we enter an unknown era of remote working, children who are no longer attending school can grow bored quickly. Parents will be under increasing stress to entertain their kids while managing their workload. It is essential to recognise that with this shift in culture, so must your working day. Informing your boss about your new set up and the unique requirements needed could vastly improve productivity while ensuring you can manage your children.
Outlining flexible working hours to balance your life at home could be beneficial for both employee and employer. Instead of starting at 9, you could begin work at 6 am and finish at 2 pm, with your partner beginning work at noon and ending at 8 pm. The new setup allows young children to be looked after almost always throughout the day. Although this setup is not ideal, it provides a short-term solution during a short-term crisis.
Holding Yourself To Accountability – Take Ownership of the Situation
Whatever the current crisis, you shouldn’t be scared or disheartened that you cannot come through this situation more robust than you were before. Visualisation tactics can help keep morale high and prompt you to work towards a goal you want to achieve.
If you’re a telecoms professional, you may wish to make more calls & close more deals in a week than you ever have before. Sit down, envision the number of calls you want to make by the end of each day and with every dial, you’re closer to your overall goal. It would be helpful to pick a goal that aligns with your profession but also excites you. Write this goal down on sticky notes, display it as the background of your desktop/laptop and set reminders on your phone every few hours to ensure you’re on top of it. At the end of the week, you might have just surprised yourself!
Remote Working Can Be Hard – Prioritise Your Physical and Mental Health
Our mental and physical health will be tested over these coming months, but we hope that these tips will be helpful. As we enter the most challenging period of our lives, our spirits must remain high. Some of these tactics above may be utilised at different times along your journey of social distancing and self-isolation, but if they provide any help along the way, then we are happy we could help. Be strong.