Social connection and a healthy routine are the keys to working from home, experts say.
“Take your normal coffee breaks and keep in social contact with your colleagues online or on the phone,” says Business NZ’s Paul Mackay.
Mackay, Business NZ’s Manager of Employment Relations Policy, was giving his tips on working from home during New Zealand’s lockdown via a Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Covid-19 webinar.
“It’s very important to follow the pattern of work and breaks that you would normally, for a sense of structure,” he said.
Ergonomics is a common downfall of working from home and Mackay said the worst thing someone could do was slump into their couch with their laptop for the next five or six weeks.
“Find a permanent workspace that is ergonomically friendly and promotes good posture,” he said.
Chief Medical Officer for the Canterbury District Health Board Dr. Ramon Pink says that social connection during this time of isolation is vital too, despite physical distancing.
“Keep talking to your neighbours across the fence and keep in contact with your family and colleagues,” he said.
“Develop a daily schedule and set times of the day to do certain things so that you get into a rhythm while at home.
“Structure your day, eat well and exercise.
“It might seem obvious, but it’s necessary,” Dr. Pink said during the webinar, which was sponsored by Westpac.
Dr. Pink also emphasised that it’s still critical to keep up hand hygiene with hot water or alcohol gel while at home.
Mackay echoed the sentiment that maintaining social contact with work colleagues was important.
“That could include social calls to talk about the things you would at the water cooler or doing daily quizzes together online,” Mackay said.
“For some people, work is their life, so they’re going to feel very isolated,” he said.
Top tips while working from home:
- Maintain hand hygiene at home with soap and hot water or alcohol gel
- Develop a daily schedule to stick to
- Take coffee breaks and lunch breaks as you usually would
- Eat well and exercise
- Prioritise the ergonomics of your chair and workspace in front of the computer
- Find a permanent workspace at home to be ‘your office’
- Keep social contact with friends and colleagues via phone or online
- Keep up the ‘water-cooler conversations’ with colleagues
- Do daily quizzes online with colleagues to keep up morale