Work in the time of COVID-19

Work in the time of COVID-19

As the COVID-19 outbreak is unfortunately spreading and with our government announcing extra measures of shutting the operation of schools and many retail and catering businesses until the end of April, more and more businesses prioritise the protection of their people’s health whilst attempting to minimise disruption of operations.  Maintaining an agile approach and with the help of technology many businesses (office-based work) are able to accommodate remote working.  Assisting their employees to work from home maintains the general guidelines of staying safe by self-isolating during this critical time of global health crisis.

One thing’s for sure. Planning ahead pays off. Companies which already have a teleworking set-up available and who have a business continuity plan in place will come on top. 

If you are one of the people whose company has provided for them to telework, here are a few tips on how to continue collaborating with your colleagues and with clients or partners whilst avoiding travel and face to face interactions:

  • Find a quiet area in your home where you can work from.
  • Stick to your work routine, including your lunch break.  This will help keep some normalcy.
  • If other family members are also confined at home (spouse, children, parents) explain to them the need for you to work undisturbed during your usual working hours.
  • Stay connected with your teams via Skype, telephone, email, etc. Check-in with each other regularly.
  • Have more virtual meetings where possible. Establish regular virtual 1-2-1 and team meetings to provide support, keep on top of workload and project deadlines.
  • Contact your business partners and most valued clients to explain your company’s business continuity plan and how you can continue working with / for them without office presence.

Most importantly, don’t forget your mental health and general wellbeing at this difficult time.  With no daily work commute and general avoidance of social gatherings life in the next few weeks is bound to get lonely and boring. Some tips to stay sane during the isolation are:

•             If you are feeling anxious, worried or stressed about the general situation talk it out. Reach out to your colleagues, friends and family and support each other to stay calm. Try meditating as a form of relaxation. Keep in mind these preventative measures are for our own good and this period will pass.

•             Take good care of yourself. Drink plenty of water and hot beverages. Eat as many fruit and vegetables as you can, eat healthily, sleep well and try to do some form of exercise at home.

•             Clean your hands with soap regularly and disinfect your home work areas wearing plastic gloves whilst cleaning your keyboard and mouse.

•             Take a walk on a beach or in the mountains.  Being in nature is not going to be crowded and it can act as a form of meditation that will help put your thoughts into perspective and lift your spirits.

•             If being stuck at home makes you feel bored and/or lonely take advantage of this time to bring out your inner creativity.  Find a creative outlet like reading a book you wanted, listening to your favourite music, writing a diary/ blog, painting or cooking; indulge in your favourite hobby. 

Kiki Kallis

HR Consultant/HR Practitioner