Covid-19 has made its impact on all of our working lives over recent weeks. The Irish Government advised that as part of the virus containment efforts, where workers can work remotely, they should. The ability to implement this advice varies on the sector each company is in.
For those who already have this flexibility in their role or have previous experience of working from home, this directive won’t pose too great a challenge.
But for anyone who is now learning to work from home rather than in a supportive office environment, the change can be challenging.
Staying focused on the job and being productive while in your home environment takes discipline.
A few pointers are below!
Get up, Get dressed, and Go to the ‘office’
It’s really beneficial to keep your routine, get up & ready at your usual time. You won’t need your usual time to commute, so instead maybe go for a walk or do a few stretches to awaken the body as well as the mind.
You want to get into work mode, so dress properly, (no pyjamas! 😊) Get yourself into that working zone and given that you may be participating in video calls, you can maintain your usual professional image!
It’s good to have an assigned workspace in your home if possible, rather than sitting at the kitchen table, to keep things separate. Symbolically, it’s like going into the “real” office. Try to ensure you are in an area free from distractions. Wherever you set up your new workstation, ensure it is brightly lit, you have access to power sources for chargers or any other equipment, and that your seating is comfortable.
Take your proper break
Stick to your usual routine for breaks and lunch where possible. It’s important to keep business running during core hours, so if people stick to their usual break times, everyone is clear on when to communicate and expect responses.
Your breaks are an important to time to take a break from the screen, time to get a snack, listen to a podcast, or, if you have new furry co-workers, get out for a walk.
Connect with Colleagues
Challenges involved in working remotely for those who are not used to it, can include feeling isolated, or anxious, so it’s important to connect regularly with colleagues.
Where you could usually pop over to someone’s desk to ask a question, instead jump on video call or quick FaceTime. A friendly face will break up the feeling of isolation.
Don’t forget to avail of tools such as Microsoft Teams, you can make groups with your colleagues who you work with on projects, or your desk neighbours in work. Support is such an important key to maintaining the feeling of teamwork and office community.
Mental Health & Mindfulness
In this time of uncertainty and anxiety, it is vitally important for everyone to look after their mental health.
Try to only engage with factual and reliable news sources, and take a break from social media! If you aren’t willing to give up your smartphone 😊, download any of the multiple mindfulness apps available. These will send you notifications throughout the day with reminders to relax, tips for deep breathing and even tips for journaling if you have anxious thoughts. Engaging in mindfulness activities is one way to help stay grounded when things feel beyond your control.
- Separate what is in your control from what is not. There are things you can do, and it’s helpful to focus on those. Wash your hands. Remind others to wash theirs. Take your vitamins! 😊 Eat healthily. Limit your consumption of news
- Get outside in nature– but are avoid crowds. When the sun is shining, we got our dose of vitamin D, and it felt good to both get some fresh air and quality time together. Exercise will also help your physical health.
- Challenge yourself to stay in the present. Perhaps your worry is compounding—you are not only thinking about what is currently happening, but also projecting into the future. When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently bring yourself back to the present moment.
- Stay connected and reach out if you need more support. Talk to trusted friends about what you are feeling. If you are feeling particularly anxious or if you are struggling with your mental health, it’s ok to reach out to a mental health professional for support. You don’t have to be alone with your worry and it can be comforting to share what you are experiencing with those trained to help.
Mental Health Resources:
Asystec employees can also avail of the EAP programme offered by our healthcare partner Laya Healthcare, this is available through the Laya app on your phone.
Additionally, if you have concerns about the impact of Covid-19 on family or a friends business or employment, have queries on illness benefits or support for reduced hours, see the official government site for available supports.
Stay Safe Everyone!
Tara Charnley | Asystec HR Manager