With COVID-19 forcing many workplaces to close and others to find ways to protect their staff, a lot of us who have never worked from home are getting used to just that. The Mitchell & Whale team is now just about 100% remote, and as long as the Internet doesn’t fail, we should be able to conduct business as usual, for the most part.
Here are few suggestions that we’ve found helpful for our team. They may help you too:
- Create an office environment – A quiet place to get away from ‘home stuff’, a comfortable chair and working surface, noise cancelling headphones if the kids are nearby and avoid sitting on the couch or bed.
- Stick to a routine – Try to stick to some semblance of the routine you would follow if you were in the office. Take your breaks at the same time etc.
- Get dressed – It might seem silly, but it’s important to get dressed. Working in your pajamas might seem like a good idea, but you’ll be more productive if you feel like you’re at work.
- Communicate – Reach out to your co-workers just like you would if you were at work. About work, but also to check in, share a joke, whatever. Email is fine for this, but you can also set up team chats in a number of different apps.
- Stand up, walk around – Without the distractions of the office around you, you may sit for longer. Force yourself to get up and walk around every half hour.
- Set boundaries – With no physical difference between your work and home environments, it’s easy to let home life bleed into your work day, or vice-versa. When your day is done, make sure to disconnect and have your ‘me’ time.
- Keep in touch with friends – This is not about working from home, but when you’re confined to your home, it’s important to stay connected to your friends and family. Set up a group chat with them as well, or reach out 1-on-1. This is essential for your mental health.
- Stay healthy – When you are not in your regular routine, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. There are probably more snacks at home than at work, and the gyms are closed. It may be impossible to maintain your usual routines, but create a new one. One that includes healthy snacks and as much physical activity as possible. The weather is getting nice. Go for a walk!
Perhaps just as importantly, don’t forget to take care of your mental health. Especially if you live by yourself, working from home can be a very lonely experience. Add to that the stress and anxiety we are all feeling about the COVID-19 pandemic, and it can all be overwhelming. Check out the resources available on the CAMH website. If you have a therapist/counsellor, they may be offering phone and/or online sessions. If you are having a mental health crisis, call 911.
The Mitchell & Whale Team Working at Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Rest assured, this too shall pass, and before long you’ll be back to your regular work routine. Let’s all try to stay as healthy and productive as possible in the meantime.
Thanks to Amanda Ketelaars, VP of Operation at Mitchell & Whale Insurance, for her help with this post.