Our Managing director Lee Gill has asked us to share his top tips on how to work smart during the Covid-19 Virus.
The situation is fast-moving, and the language is stark. According to the government, we’re facing the greatest national challenge since the Second World War. COVID-19 has come like a bolt from the blue disrupting how we live our lives and the way we do business. Now the latest government advice is to limit all unnecessary social contact and where possible to work from home.
Coronavirus advice from experienced homeworkers
Millions of people already do work from home but, for many of us, it will be a new experience. Experienced homeworkers stress the importance of keeping regular hours and maintaining some sort of routine. Schedule breaks and make sure you take them in their entirety. Likewise, ensure that your work doesn’t seep into the rest of your life.
Having a separate office/study is ideal if you have the space. If not, find a corner or a nook that everyone in the household understands is where you work. If you have a family, make sure they understand when you’re working so you’re not to be disturbed.
Establish the ground rules early and you’ll have fewer problems. Also, you might be able to work in your pyjamas, but some people might initially want to dress for work as usual. It might seem bizarre to be sitting in your office clothes in the spare bedroom but if it helps you get in the right frame of mind then it’s the right thing to do.
This might be particularly important if you intend to video conference clients!
Practical and technical issues you might face
Before you begin trying to work from home, you need to ensure that logistically you’re set up to do the job.
Have you arranged for work calls to be diverted?
How are you going to communicate with your boss and colleagues?
Do you have all the necessary apps and software you’ll need?
Do you have access to all the information you need to speak to clients?
When will communication take place with your colleagues and how will you report back?
If you and your team have a daily or weekly meeting, will that still take place and if so how?
Establishing clear ground rules and procedures at the beginning will save time and effort later on.
A new working culture will, in all likelihood, emerge as you overcome teething problems and begin to resume working effectively. Don’t allow your initial procedures and schedule to become an enemy of positive developments. Stay focused on the end results.
Now, more than ever, for the sake of the economy, our mental health and general well-being, it’s vitally important that we keep doing business and don’t stick our heads in the sand. It may not be business as usual, but if we work smart, we can all get through this.
If you’re part of a team, work hard to maintain a supportive team culture
Working from home, we may feel we miss the mutual support and assistance we get from our colleagues who, after all, play a large part in our lives. We might not be able to share lunch or a coffee with colleagues, but we can email and call them. To facilitate this, and keep that all-important face-to-face contact, ensure that you can speak to your colleagues and clients through Skype or any other digital platforms that you use.
In terms of collaboration, there are plenty of digital options available such as Slack, Asana, or via pages such as Microsoft Teams or Facebook Workplace. Anywhere you can place up-to-date notes, messages, documents etc to keep the conversation and workflow rolling with your teams is of paramount importance.
In addition, there’s nothing stopping us sending mail, order flowers, or gifts to colleagues who are going through a hard time – and online collections can still be taken for birthdays and other occasions. It’s still possible to keep a healthy and supportive office culture even if we are not physically seeing each other every day.
Adapting to the challenge
The coming months are likely to present us all with new challenges, but business doesn’t have to come to a halt. With a positive attitude, a degree of flexibility and a determination to get things done, these months can be a time to look back on with a sense of pride and accomplishment at how we managed to adapt.