The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the world, with drastic consequences for the travel industry.
This will be new territory for a large portion of the workforce, especially business travellers who are more accustomed to hotel rooms, airport lounges and airplanes as working environments.
While the travelling aspect of the “business traveller” has been put on hold for the time being, the business aspect must adapt. To abide by the government’s guidelines of self-isolation, many companies have requested that employees work from home.
We’re here to offer some tips on how to be productive when working from home, all the while reassuring you that this is by no means the end of the road for travel.
Here are five tips for working from home.
Lazing around in pyjamas might sound inviting but it’s not conducive to productivity. Opt for something comfortable, or continue with business attire, to get you into the right frame of mind for the day ahead. This also means that you will look (and feel) professional should you need to dial in to a video conference call.
Eat well. Start the day with an energising protein-filled breakfast and make sure to have regular tea, coffee and snack breaks. Take a proper lunch hour and join a family member, flatmate or video call a friend to get your mind off work. This will help to reset you for the afternoon.
Maintain a routine
If possible, stick with the same hours as a normal working day so that you can clock on and off. While you will no longer be commuting to/from work, you can use this time to get in some exercise – there are loads of videos online for at-home workouts that you can follow along to, or set your own routine. Jot down a to-do list before you begin work and tick off the tasks once completed. This will help to maintain structure and show you what you have accomplished by the end of the day.
Set up a workstation
If you can, separate your bedroom and work environment as this will help you to switch off in the evening and get a better night’s sleep. Tidy away any clutter and set up your workstation to make it as comfortable and inviting as possible. Make sure you have a socket close by and that you are near a strong wi-fi connection. If using a laptop, try fashioning a stand from coffee table books so that your eyebrows are level with the top of the screen. This will prevent you from slouching and enduring back pain. You could also invest in a sit/stand desk and an adjustable office chair.
Don’t forget to back up your work on an external hard drive or in the cloud – it really isn’t the time for another disaster!
Self-isolating doesn’t mean that we should restrict ourselves from all human interaction, quite the opposite. It’s all the more important to keep in touch with colleagues, friends and family during times of crisis.
Buffer’s State of Remote Work Report 2020 revealed that 20% of remote workers find that collaboration, communication and loneliness are the biggest challenges of working from home.
To resolve this, use social media platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom. Chat to your colleagues regularly on messenger or video calls to keep in the loop and bounce ideas off one another.
Videoconferencing has seen a huge rise in demand already, with Italy seeing a threefold increase according to the Financial Times. Just make sure that your phone is on mute when other people are talking, especially if there’s a lot of background noise at home.
Give yourself a break
Make sure that you take five minute breaks throughout the day to give your mind and eyes a break after constantly staring at the screen. Finally, don’t fret if it doesn’t all go to plan to begin with. We’re all adjusting to this new way of working and it will take a few days to work out which practices work best for you.