In the midst of the new Coronavirus pandemic, many companies are implementing voluntary or mandatory working from home policies. That means lots of us are dealing with an unusual challenge and working from home full time for the first time.

These tips will help you make sure that you’re successful, both at getting your work done and at maintaining your mental health:

  1. Get dressed for work – Whilst it is tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day, it is important to change into clothes. The act of changing into your clothes signifies that it is time to get ready for work and getting things done. You don’t need to go as all out as you would for the office, but waking up and taking care of your appearance can go a long way toward helping you feel like you’re taking care of yourself.
  2. Have a designated home office area – It is really important to create a designated physical work space at home. It is really important that you set up your home office area so it is not only effective for the work you are completing but also ergonomic. From what I’ve observed over the years, the key elements in designing an ergonomic home office include:
  • A good adjustable swivel chair
  • A desk with enough space at the right height
  • Keeping your computer screen at the right height
  • Accessible paper files, documents and accessories
  • Proper lighting, temperature, air and noise.
  1. Establish clearly defined work hours – You need to be clear about when you’re working and when you’re not. You’ll get your best work done and be most ready to transition back to the office if you stick with your regular hours. It is important to hold yourself accountable but also recognise when it is time to stop working.
  2. Limit distractions – During this time it is difficult not to get distracted by all the media and noise. I truly believe that distraction is one of the biggest challenges people face when working from home. I suggest setting timers for your breaks during the day. If you’re someone who’s susceptible to getting distracted every time you get an alert, turn your notifications off during the workday, too.
  3. Communication is key – It is very easy to become isolated and feel like you’re alone in your work when you’re out of an office environment. Maintain a connection to the office by choosing to make calls rather than sending emails, and keep in contact with your department members via video conferencing. Even though working remotely does drastically change interactions since you’re no longer together in person, you can still make sure that the little things you did in the office continue. This might include sending funny, work-appropriate GIFs over WhatsApp, text, or email; chatting about sports or your family or anything else you would normally do. These little things help reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety.

Working from home can initially be a bit of the challenge. But due to the current circumstances, staying away from crowded offices greatly reduces the likelihood of transmission. Until the Coronavirus is under control, the benefits of remote work outweigh the inconvenience. As long as it’s handled the right way, your business can continue and be as productive as ever.