Working Remotely in the Time of Covid-19

In the midst of a global pandemic and the onset of COVID-19 (it seems surreal starting a sentence with that!) many companies around the globe have been fast to adapt, rolling out new remote working environments in efforts to keep their employees and families as safe as possible, whilst aiming to stop the spread and flatten the curve.

Terms which have now become part of our daily vernacular.

Here at Ethical Brand Co, we have adopted all necessary social distancing measures while we continue to conduct our business as usual, and provide our valued customers with the exceptional products and service they know and expect from us. Our administration and marketing team members are all working remotely from their homes, while our factory and warehouse team continue to operate separately within their isolated areas and split-shifts have been introduced.

The team at Ethical Brand Co, working in isolation and from home during COVID-19

It is realistic to assume that the mass shift to home offices will become the new norm for a lot of us, at least for a while, and working from home can bring with it many challenges.

Whether you are a newbie or a work from home veteran, maintaining motivation, connection to your workplace and productivity can be a complex task for many. Throw in some new-found home-schooling duties or distracting toddlers, babies or pets into the mix and you could be in for a real challenge! Here are the 5 top ways to help stay motivated and connected whilst navigating the working from home space.

BOOST COMMUNICATION

A lot of workers in the creative and customer service sector (like us!) are accustomed to working in close and constant contact with their colleagues where regular face-to-face communication is effortless and second nature.

Making a conscious effort to maintain your usual communication via other means is vital to keeping moral high and productivity on track.

Enter technology!

Modern Video conferencing software such as Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype have paved the way for virtual communication and the up-take has been swift and vast.

It is now easier than ever to check in with your much-missed work mates to help keep yourself connected, motivated and on track. If you have a smart phone, laptop or desktop –your work mates are literally only a click away!

KEEP YOUR OFFICE HOURS (TO A DEGREE)

Even for those who are used to it, working from home can tend to make the day feel unstructured. Whilst the added flexibility of the home office can be a positive thing, setting a daily routine and sticking to it can help you to stay focused and motivated.

Aiming for set start, finish and break times each day may help to maintain some regularity within your workday and make the line between “work and home” a little less blurry.

CREATE A CONDUCIVE WORKSPACE

If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated home office space, try making it feel as similar to your usual workspace as possible. This could include displaying recourses and reminders, keeping a visual note board, or having a fresh posy of flowers or your favorite essential oil in a diffuser nearby to keep you feeling ‘awake’ and invigorated.

If you don’t have the luxury of a dedicated office space at home, try to set yourself up in an area away from the bedroom if possible, to differentiate between your rest and workspace. If your office equipment is portable, take advantage of the fresh air by relocating to the backyard or patio.

While it may be tempting to work from bed in our pajamas (we’ve all been there!) It will do your mind and body the world of good to get up and dressed and “ready” for your workday.

AVOID FEELINGS OF ISOLATION

It is understandable that prolonged isolation has the potential to impact on our overall mental and physical wellbeing. Attempting to sustain some semblance of normalcy and togetherness during this time is important, so making sure we put time aside to connect with our loved ones virtually should be a priority.

The rise to popularity of group video calling apps such as House Party have made it possible to stay connected with friends and family, and many people are using these platforms to celebrate birthdays and other special days by distance.

Scheduling in regular, virtual catch ups with friends and family outside of work hours will help to keep those feelings of isolation at bay, give us things to plan and look forward to, and maintain some sense of a ‘social life’ outside of work hours.

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STAY POSITIVE! WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER

 

It is important to acknowledge that these are stressful times we are facing, and it is completely normal to feel down or low at times. Negative headlines, worry about vulnerable loved ones, and uncertainty about the future among an array of other concerns can lead to feelings of loneliness and anxiety for many.

But the more effort we put into staying connected with our friends, family and colleagues, the more chance we have of avoiding feelings of isolation. Now is the time to ensure we utilize the amazing technology that is available and include as much face-to-face interaction as possible through video calls, especially with our loved ones who may be more vulnerable or live alone.

Check in on your neighbors, friends and family members and stay strong, because it won’t be forever, and we are all in this together!