How to survive working from home during a pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic becomes more complex, it is apparent that an increasing number of organisations are following the government advice and implementing a work from home approach. 

Like every business, iMultiply are having to adapt how we work to ensure that there is minimal disruption. We’ve postponed all our events and are minimising face-to-face meetings in favour of video conferencing. Many of the organisations we partner with have done the same, utilising tools such as ZOOM and Teams to allow for increased flexibility. This also allows them to keep recruitment processes moving forward.

Luckily, at iMultiply we are fortunate to have a culture of trust rather than suspicion, leadership rather than micromanagement and flexibility rather than presenteeism. Flexible working is not something that we have had to rapidly introduce due to the current climate, we’ve had the ability to work from home for the last 6 months. This is a luxury that not many are offered in their basic benefits package, so for some it can be quite exciting, however, for others there is nothing worse than working from home. 

Personally, I don’t like working from home and will only do it when I really have to. I enjoy the pressure and the focus of others around me and find that’s what make me my most productive. Don’t get me wrong, I can work from home (Kris, I can, I swear) I just don’t enjoy it. 

So, how do you survive working from home during a pandemic when you don’t enjoy it? This is the future after all and we’re all going to have to start getting used to it. Why not get the practice in during this phase of social distancing?

I asked some of my colleagues at iMultiply during our video chats (gasp!), what their top tips were for working a home to try and make this transition a little smoother and here’s what some of them came back with. 

Start the day as you normally would

Write a to do list of everything you want to get done today and tick it off as you go, also communicate what you want to achieve with who you usually report to; this also helps to ensure your being realistic with how much you can do. WFH can be tough as you can tend to overwork with fear that your being lazy or that your skiving.” – Antonia Willis

Set the right working conditions 

Create a workspace for yourself minimising distractions – don’t work from your bed and keep the telly & radio switched off.” – Alex Allen

Keep in contact 

Keep communicating – just because you are at home, doesn’t mean you’re on a desert island. Pick up the phone, ask how your team are doing. Use Slack or just send someone a text to try and maintain cohesion and the sense of a team.” – Gareth Spowart

Minimise distractions 

If you live with other people and perhaps they are also working from home – plan ahead and alternate who gets use of what rooms and on what days and have a scheduled lunch hour together to catch up on things and then return to work.”  – Haileigh Harris

Working at home when my young kids are at home as well is hard, so to keep them entertained I ask them to build something with blocks, play-doh or colouring as it keeps them busy for a while. If that fails, then Disney Plus come to the rescue.” – Gosia Herd

Know when to switch off 

When working from home it can be difficult to know when to switch off. We have all been a victim of checking emails or taking calls outside of our working hours or on weekends. It’s important to remember, the best part of working from home is having the option and flexibility to work when you feel most productive. So… make sure you set the habit of setting a time where you officially ‘log off’ for the night.” – Carla Heron 

 Many of our team have recruited through challenging times before and are well placed to provide a sounding board on recruitment for those that need. We want to continue to support our network through these uncertain times and keep moving forward. 

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