Photo Credit | Elsa Noblet (on Unsplash)

By MWN Admin

As a country, the next few weeks are full of uncertainty and this can be particularly worrying for individuals, families and communities. On the 23rd of March, the Prime Minister announced stricter guidelines on social distancing and isolation to help curb the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which includes everyone working from home, if available.

The idea of working from home, for some, will bring about a whole new array of challenges but we are determined to help everyone, including our own staff, supporters, volunteers and members, to face the challenges head on. Recognising that we all have families, from children to elderly parents/in-laws/grandparents, means the idea of working from home will take some adjustment.

Below, are five points to hopefully make the process less intimidating and stressful:

1. Set up your workspace.

Separate your workspace from your home space to create a physical and mental gap between home and work. If you have a study or spare room, make the most of it and if you can set up near a window for fresh air even better! Try not to move around too much in terms of changing your workplace as routine is key, but you need to find somewhere that is comfortable for you. Try and decorate your workspace with plants and pictures to inspire you.

Remember that health and safety precautions still apply, so remember;

- To check your seating position, have a comfortable chair and whether your desk it at the right height.

- To tuck extension leads and cables for telephones, computers and printers away

- Your working space should have adequate lighting levels, ventilation and be the average room temperature.

2. Set ground rules for the family

Setting up ground rules for your family will keep the balance between work and home life.

Some possible ground rules;

- When I am in this room/space then it means I am working

- If you need anything from me, pass a note/knock lightly on the door

- Be patient. I will have breaks at this time (stipulate time) so if you can wait until then

3. Create a work plan

This could include a rota (either created by you or your management), scheduled breaks (go for a walk or exercise and spend time away from your desk) and do daily check-ins with your manager and co-workers.

4. Move and breathe

Working from home does not mean you have to stay cooped up indoors all day (unless you are self-isolating!) Even a 20-minute walk up and down your road is good for you so get out and enjoy the fresh air. It will also help undo mental blocks and give you a fresh pair of eyes for any tasks youa're struggling with. If you are self-isolating, don't forget to breath and try a bit of mindfulness and self-care.

5. Ask for help

If you are struggling emotionally, feeling isolated or the technology is frustrating you speak to someone.

We’d ask that you continue using a common sense approach and guidance says that the best way to prevent the spread ofcovid-19 is:

  • Wash your hands often with soap(or soap substitutes) and water for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice ).
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

As you may all know by now, the following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who hascovid-19 infection:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • Shortness of breath

If you are worried about symptoms, please call NHS 111or go to the NHS 111 coronavirus advice website.

The latest advice and developments on the COVID-19 situation can be found on the website.

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