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Top tips for working from home

At Eiffage Kier, most of our people are now embracing new ways of working due to the coronavirus outbreak. In line with the rest of the country, our team is now working from home where possible meaning we can work together to slow down the spread of the virus. As anyone who has tried it before will know, working from home requires certain strategies to help successfully manage work and your personal life.

It’s important to create an atmosphere that makes working from home manageable and effective, and here are a few things you can do to try to effectively work from home without blurring the boundaries between work and leisure...

1. Wake up at the same time every morning, ideally more than five minutes before your workday starts. You need time to prepare for the day, both mentally and physically. 

2. Get yourself washed and changed out of your pyjamas every morning. It will help get you in the right headspace for work and allow you to take video calls on the fly. 

3. Don’t work from the bed or sofa. Create a separation between ‘work time’ and ‘chill time’ by doing them in completely different areas in the house. Try to keep your bedroom as a sacred space for sleeping and relaxing where work is banned. It will help make the work-life divide a little clearer. 

4. Instead pick one or more dedicated workspaces, ideally with a decent chair that will support your back. 

5. Plan your day out, with a clear idea of what you’d like to achieve by the end of it.

6. Have defined lunch breaks where you don’t look at anything work-related. 

7. Also, take frequent breaks so you don’t burn out. You’re probably not actually working 100% of the time when you’re in an office anyway. 

8. Don’t do household chores randomly throughout the day, since it can get distracting. Instead, schedule a specific time for them. 

9. Communicate to people you live with that you’re working, like if you have a video call with your co-workers and need everyone to be quiet.

10. Use headphones and mute your microphone during conference calls (unless you're speaking) to minimise the amount of audio feedback and times that random sounds interrupt the conversation. 

11. If you participate in any video calls, ensure you are actually wearing clothes and there is nothing inappropriate in the background.

12. Aside from break times, stay away from social media. It will eat into your day without you even noticing until the clock strikes five and all you’ve done is laugh at memes for the last three hours.

13. Be in regular contact with your team, at least daily, in part to make sure that you are all coping with the new ways of working.

14. Overworking can be a real issue, so clearly define what hours you will be working and stick to it. 

15. Sign out and turn off notifications for work-related email and instant messaging when the day is over — especially if you’re signed in on your personal devices. 

16. Be sure to socialise after work, even if it’s just a video call, to keep the loneliness at bay. 

17. Go outside! Even if it’s just a quick walk around your block, the fresh air will do wonders. 

18. Finally, stay active. If you can’t go to an IRL fitness class or to the gym, there are plenty of effective workouts you can do at home  

And remember to stay safe and make the right choices.

19. Finally, remember to stay safe and make the right choices!

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