At UBL UK, protecting our staff and our customers is our number one concern. That’s why we have instructed a significant majority of our employees to work from home where possible, to continue to serve our customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We also know that many of our customers are in the same boat. Although working from home is not a new concept, it can be challenging to adapt to. Especially when you have to balance other responsibilities like childcare, and overcome new challenges like working in isolation. 

From our experiences so far, we have pulled together some of the helpful tips we have received from our colleagues. To help you make the most of working from home and remain productive in your professional life, whilst the country bands together to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. 

1. Have a mock travel to work

The government’s new rules and guidance allow a single piece of exercise outdoors, alone or in a small family group (living in the same residence). You can use this slot to walk round the local park or on a quiet route around the block, as a ‘mock-commute’ to help you get in a working mindset.

It is important that you go straight to your workstation when you return. 

2. Employ regular video communications with your colleagues

Isolation can often lead to feelings of loneliness, particularly if you live alone or have had to self-isolate. However, there are a number of great free and low-cost video conferencing tools out there, including StarLeaf, Zoom or even Facebook Video, that can be utilised to keep regular virtual face-to-face contact. 

Consider setting up a support group of colleagues and friends who are working from home. Making plans to meet digitally on a regular basis will not only help you share creative ways you have each adjusted, but will also aid good mental health.

3. Adopt a single workstation

It is important that you use the same designated workstation on a regular basis, to help you focus and stay productive. When you’re at home, it can be very tempting to do chores or finish tasks around the house during work hours. However, by treating the work day as you would in a traditional office setting, you can set boundaries and help yourself to avoid distractions. 

4. Work in short intervals and take breaks

In a normal office setting, our days are usually broken up into small intervals by meetings, colleagues, coffee breaks and ad hoc tasks. However, when you are in one place with no face-face interaction, it can be easy to work for long unbroken periods. This can lead to burnout. 

Imposing structure on yourself, by working in 45-60-minute chunks and taking short breaks, can be a great way to break up your day and maintain your concentration levels. 

5. Avoid cabin fever

As you will be spending a disproportionate amount of time at home, it’s important to take regular breaks away from your workstation, whilst observing the government’s social distancing guidelines. Research has shown that spending time in nature can help lower stress levels and generate ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain. 

Likewise, in your after work hours, try to get away from work by watching a great film, playing board games with your family, or cooking a good healthy meal. Social distancing does not have to mean your social life has to suffer, so take advantage of all the tech’ that is available today to stay connected with friends and family. 

6. Stick to your normal work schedule

It can be very tempting to get an extra hour of sleep in the morning and ignore your normal working schedule. However, getting up at a decent hour to eat breakfast is a great way to gather your thoughts for the day ahead. Another psychological trick is to dress as you would at the workplace – anything to help you get into that normal working mindset. 

7. Remember: your greatest assets are your mind and attitude

In times of despair, try to look for the positives, no matter how small they are. When you figure out what you can control and what you can’t, it is easier to accept things beyond your control. 

For example, while you can’t control being stuck in your home, you can control what you do with your time. Do some gardening, declutter the living room, catch up on neglected hobbies, or start that box set you’ve always wanted to try. Finding opportunity in the difficulty can really help you to stay positive. 

We’d love to hear some of the tips and tricks that you may have used to help you stay productive, motivated and connected through these challenging times. You can do this by tweeting to us, commenting, or messaging us on Facebook.

Stay safe, and stay home where possible.

UBL UK.

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Twitter: @UnitedBankUK

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UBL UK.

Posted on 14/04/2020 - By UBL

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