There is no denying that day-to-day life for many has significantly changed in the recent months. As education in classrooms has relocated to the home, some parents are now under pressure to educate their children and shift their usual office environment to home working.
During these uncertain times, we want to help promote some normality in your life and have constructed a list of tips to stay positive and productive in your new working and home environment.
Without the usual commute, you are saving yourself a fair amount of time in the morning and it is tempting to wake up and start work still wearing your pyjamas. Keeping to a routine can help with anxiety and establish control. As much as the elastic waistbands are comfortable we highly recommend a certain level of work attire; after all, who really would like a video call pyjama party?
In a matter of days, as a parent you may well have experienced a degree of home schooling panic. It is not every day you go from working in a clothes store or an office for example, to becoming a teacher overnight. It is extremely important to maintain a structured routine, especially for children.
- Think about what tech they will need. An IPad can be transformed into a learning device with online physical education lessons available daily. Always remember to keep touch screens clean. A universal screen cleaner such as Tech Wipes are ideal for quickly cleaning fingerprints on a day-to-day basis.
- Do you need a whiteboard? Think about what will familiarise your children with school. A whiteboard is a good solution to keep children engaged and utilise equipment that is familiar within school environments.
- Create routine - Home schooling is not to be confused with an extended holiday. Whilst you may feel a more flexible approach to teaching can be achieved during these unusual times, children are still expected to learn at home.
- It is important to differentiate your working area from a relaxing area. As tempting as it is to work from the comfort of your own sofa, of course you would not be sitting on a sofa working in the office. This could not only cause potential posture issues but working in a familiar ‘office style’ environment will increase productivity.
- Designate your own working space. This could be a hot desking area, such as a table in your kitchen if you have limited space or the ideal option would be to create your own home office room. Ultimately, this will avoid distraction and allow you to focus on your daily work and allow a better work-home life balance.
Your Tech Checklist
You will certainly find yourself taking more video meetings so a web cam is essential, if not already integrated in your laptop. Ensure that your colleagues can see you clearly by keeping your camera lenses clean with a handy AF Smartwipe. These dry wipes are ultra-strong and washable
Noise cancelling headphones are particularly helpful for working from home environments. If you are you are in a ‘kitchen office’ distractions are more likely, (and not just the biscuits), so be sure to shut off noise with some headphones when needed.
If you have been lucky enough to be supplied with your current desktop PC, you will be used to its position for ergonomic reasons and may find easing into home office life a breeze. Alternatively, you could have a brand new laptop, which can have flaws including initial teething problems and frustrations during set up. It is critical to establish a good cleaning regime to prevent the spread of bacteria. AF Anti-bac+ covers all areas of sanitising keyboards, screens, desk phones, mice and printers in the choice of sanitising screen wipes or sanitising surface wipes to kill up to 99.999% of tested bacteria and viruses.
When home schooling and working from home, obtaining a quick hit of vitamin D is essential for your daily well-being. Research shows that people who are exposed to natural light and natural surroundings can have reduced stress levels.
AF Tip! If you are home schooling, why not designate an hour of “school style lunch break” time to keep your days consistent.
Take A Break
It is a well-known fact that if employees take regular breaks they are more positive and refreshed, geared up for the next part of the working day. It is very easy to become lost in your work at home and before you know it, five hours have passed and you have not moved from your makeshift emergency desk chair.
We recommend working in bite-size 90 minute chunks of deep concentration to increase productivity and as reminder to take regular breaks.
Taking a break can also help with loneliness as you could catch up on a call, whilst taking regular breaks also adds structure to your day. As you may know, here at AF we encourage a coffee break clean up as a clean-up is much quicker than you might imagine. One of our firm favourite has to be blasting out crumbs from a keyboard. The satisfaction of blowing out the dust and crumbs is also a reminder that the snacking needs to be kept under control too!
It can be even more difficult to switch off from work life when your working life is now based in your own home. Remember to keep to your usual working hours where possible to prevent burning yourself out. Treat working from home just as you would if present in the office. For example, you may usually partake in an exercise class after work. There is nothing to stop you taking a brisk walk after the working day when working from home. Not only will it keep you healthy but also you will create some normality and structure to your day.
Alternatively, you may set aside one evening per week to deep clean certain areas of your house. Why not dedicate one evening a week to clean your new workstation? We truly believe that keeping up with a clean and organised routine will certainly help your change in working environment. An AF Essential Cleaning Kit covers all areas of anti-static surface cleaning, screen cleaning (even your delicate smart phone screen) and much more.
We would love to hear your opinions. Are you cleaning your workstation more now that you are working from home? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win a handy AF motivational to do pad.