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It’s an uncertain time as COVID-19 continues to spread and more and more businesses are instructing their employees to work from home in order to allow social distancing and maintain health and wellbeing. Understandably the current situation is causing many people to feel anxious about the upcoming weeks and months but being prepared for working remotely and how to stay positive and productive is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety.

Fortunately, here at VPS the majority of our workforce are able to work remotely and keep things up and running as smoothly as possible. Our work culture is already geared towards remote working, we’re confident in our team and our systems to continue providing the service and standard you have come to expect. We’ve compiled our top tips and advice on working remotely, how to be flexible but remain reactive and to boost productivity for those feeling a little less confident at this time.

1. Structure Your Day

Routine is just as important now as ever. When working from home, you are your own boss. Without forward planning and structure, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out. Set your alarm, make a coffee, get fully ready, outline your tasks for the day and pretend you are actually heading out to work. When you get into the ‘work’ frame of mind it makes you more productive, and there’s no reason this should be lost when working remotely.

2. Set Up a Comfortable Workspace

You need to feel just as comfortable at home as you would sat at your desk. A fully function workspace is important for maintaining productivity levels. The first step is to designate an area of your home with minimal distractions. You might have a spare room to convert, a desk you can set up or a table to sit at – that means no slouching on the sofa! Being comfortable will not only be beneficial for your posture but also your focus and to keep you engaged. Wherever you choose to work, commit to working in that space every day.

3. Set-ups, Systems & Software

It might seem obvious but ensuring you have all the software and systems set up in advance and easily accessible at home could save you a lot of wasted time. Imagine sitting down to work to find you can’t connect to the wifi or don’t have access to the right files – nightmare! Cloud-based file storage such as OneDrive or Google Drive means your files are accessible wherever you are, at home or even on the go. Many of your email clients, communication software and project management tools can be downloaded as apps to your mobile phone making it easier than ever to stay on track.

4. Keep up with Communication

As they always say, communication is key! Take the time to have regular check-ins with your colleagues to stay in the loop and make sure everyone is on the same page. Group conference calls every morning, with an active agenda involving the whole team allows everyone the opportunity to communicate their workflow for the day. The office chat doesn’t have to stop just because you’re not in the office and working remotely can be isolating so ensure you are maintaining conversation throughout your day.

5. Give Yourself a Break

Just because you are at home doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to the same breaks you would have at work. Stretch those legs, make a coffee and step away from your workspace every so often. Breaks can seem counterproductive and it can be easy to get too heavily involved with what you’re doing but this isn’t good for your productivity and creativity levels, or your mental wellbeing. Why not listen to some music, a podcast or an audiobook? Make yourself some lunch or go for a short walk – sunlight and fresh air is just what you need to refresh and refocus. Along with regular breaks outline your working hours and set a definite start and finish time, it’s important to keep work and personal time separate.

We hope we’ve helped you find your rhythm with working remotely as the world around us adjusts to the new circumstances. The above tips work well for the team at VPS and we hope they will help you to streamline your routine too. To keep up to date with the latest information and guidance head over to nhs.uk.

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