Over the past month or so, the world has changed in ways we never thought would be possible. Economies have ground to a halt, industries have shut down overnight, jobs are being lost in their millions, and the UK government is paying employees up to 80% of their salaries – a truly unprecedented package of measures for a Conservative government. But with no end date in sight, many of us are beginning to return to work – albeit from home, rather than by going into the office. Below, we’ve put together some tips to help you out…
Get the right setup
First up, you should think about the sort of equipment you’ll need to successfully work from home. We’ve all got a laptop and a good internet connection, but not all of us have a home office or spare room where we can work peacefully and independently. We recommend that you look for a place in your home where you can work without distraction, and if that’s not possible, consider repurposing your current home setup to better suit these changing needs.
Put yourself into a routine
Although most of us are benefiting from the fact we don’t have to drop the kids off at school or sit in hours of traffic on the morning commute, it is vital that you keep to a morning routine when you’re working from home. We recommend setting a clear breakfast and lunchtime every day and include a break or two so you can stay focused outside of working hours. If you cannot distinguish between work and home, you’ll find it hard to switch off and unwind.
Keep in touch
As a contractor, it’s important that you stay in regular contact with your clients to ensure that they are happy with the work you’re doing. One of the challenges of working remotely is that you can feel like you’re being ignored or that you’ve lost touch with your team, so organize Zoom calls and consider sending them a daily or weekly email rounding up the work you’ve been doing and the progress you’ve made to date so that everyone’s on the same page.
Get the right support
Finally, make sure that you have the right support network during these challenging times – not only from your friends and family but professionally, too. If you’re self-employed, you might want to consider the benefits of working with one of the best umbrella companies in the UK, who can save you hours of administration and headaches. And when you’re feeling down or can’t get motivated, reach out to a colleague and chat about a project to get you back into the swing of things – we’re all in the same boat and need to support one another.
We cannot say for certain exactly how long the coronavirus pandemic will go on for, so in the meantime, it’s vital that we do what we can to make things more manageable. Whatever you are doing during the lockdown, we wish you the very best of luck. Stay positive, use work as a distraction from the drama outside, and remember that we’ll get through this together!