Working from home this winter

In lockdown earlier this year, a large percentage of people had to work from home. This was unprecedented for many and we had to adapt quickly. We became experts at managing chaos and we juggled kids, pets, online fitness videos, Amazon deliveries, Zoom calls, family quizzes and supermarket queues. Though, as lockdown was happening through the spring and summer, we were able to enjoy lunchtime walks, working in the garden and in the long days of summer we appeared to have more free time than ever before to enjoy new hobbies or spend quality time with loved ones.

Unfortunately, new measures and extended restrictions have been put in place and we have been asked to work from home again where possible. This request seems more daunting as we head into the autumn and winter season but there are many ways, we can ensure we remain focused and engaged at work without compromising on our wellbeing:

Top Tips

Try and do as much physical activity as you are able. Running in the rain can be refreshing and there is nothing better than getting the hat and gloves on for a cool and crisp winter walk. Alternatively, find ways to exercise at home, there are many fun and inventive ideas online.

  • Maintain your normal morning routine, this will help you prepare for a return to the workplace when restrictions ease.

  • Limit video meetings to under an hour where possible as attendees will become disengaged.

  • Do not spend too much time alone. Arrange safe and socially distanced catch ups with colleagues.

  • Eat well – It is much harder to resist carbs and sweet treats at this time of the year but having healthy snacks to hand will limit visits to the fridge whilst at home.

  • Stay hydrated, especially if the central heating is on in your home.

  • Wear bright colours – a simple tip but an easy one to follow and you will feel the difference.

  • Avoid pyjama days as your energy levels will plummet.

Remember, take time off if you are unwell. You may feel being at home means you should continue to work but it will only prolong any illness you have.

  • Take your annual leave as normal to avoid burnout. If your holiday is cancelled, do not let your rest time be.

  • You are entitled to your break times, take them as you normally would.

  • Social events may be cancelled, but why should the fun stop? Continue to recognise your achievements and look at alternatives to Christmas and New Year parties.

Continue 1:2:1’s with your manager.

  • Staring at a screen during dark mornings and evenings will not allow you to be fully productive in your work. If there is a task that can be completed without using a screen, make the most of talking to someone about it or dust off the pen and paper, you will be amazed how good you feel having time away from technology.

  • Be open and honest with your manager, if you are not productive in the mornings at home for example, ask if you can work flexibly until you return to the office.

  • Ensure your manager is aware if you need any equipment at home to be able to do your job.

Create the best working environment you can:

  • Do not work from your bed, however comfortable it is it will become harder to separate personal and work time

  • If you live with someone tell them when you need quiet time or when they should avoid interrupting you.

  • Work in the lightest room possible.