How to cope with working from home if that is not your usual work pattern?

By Lone Konradsen, Head of Customer Programme Optimisation

As we face the unprecedented challenges resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of people working from home in the travel and MICE industries is set to increase. Our Head of Customer Programme Optimisation has collated some top tips from across our Customer Partnership Team who work from home on a regular basis so you can remain productive and safe whilst working from home over the coming weeks.

Try to stick to your usual work routine

It is important to start you day by waking up at your usual time to maintain a regular sleep routine. There has been much research undertaken that demonstrates the link between sleep and mood, with evidence to show that people who have different sleep routines, like insomnia, are 10 times more likely to develop depression or anxiety*.

Mentally prepare yourself with your clothes

As tempting as it is to stay in your PJs, you will not be mentally prepared to face the day to day work challenges. By getting ‘dressed for work’ you will be more prepared to face the day and will help you stick to your routine. You might want to skip the heels and ties, but you can still be comfortable and smart.

Create your ‘workspace’

Where possible, create a ‘work area’ that is clearly defined. Whether this is a specific area on your dining room table, using a specific chair, moving a table into a spare room or using the shed.

Remaining focused

If you are easily distracted when in your home environment, the best thing to keep you focused is to switch off the radio, TV and music and keep your phone on silent – mirroring your typical office environment that keeps you focused and productive. Alternatively, if you are used to an office humdrum, then having some low background noise can help. Either way, it is important to you’re your work environment as consistent as possible.

Keeping motivated

Without the usual humdrum of the office, it can be tough to stay motivated – especially in the afternoon. So, set yourselves specific tasks you want to accomplish to remain motivated through the day.

Take your breaks

Do you typically have a quick 11am coffee break? Or do you look forward to your lunch-time walks? One thing is for sure, you need to continue to take your breaks like you would in the office. Even better, why not get outside/get fresh air during your lunch break so you not only have the break away from your screen and work set-up, but you also have the opportunity to refresh.

Healthy food = healthy mind

It’s all too easy to raid the cupboards for those naught-but-nice biscuits, crisps or last night’s dessert! To avoid the temptation to ‘snack’ during the day, try and prepare healthy snacks as best as you can and bring them to your ‘workspace’. Whilst not everything may be stocked, planning your food shopping/online delivery is key.

By fuelling yourself with nutritious meals, you also encourage better brain efficiency.

Stay Connected

It’s important that you should stay in contact with the same people you would normally during your working day. Do you have lunch with the same group each day? If so, why not organise a ‘virtual lunch date’ or video chat so you can all catch up, or reach out for a chat about the latest TV series you are following? At NYS Meetings and Events, we are utilising Microsoft Teams to set up a morning ‘coffee break’ – a dedicated time and space for people to have a general chat – as well as a ‘virtual pub’, open on Friday evening for teams to connect.

Finishing off your day

At the end of the day, make sure you close down your workspace by putting any equipment and notes away so it returns back to your home environment and you switch off.