Teleworking: 6 recommendations to make it work

Recently the Belgian government implemented strict measures to help combat the Coronavirus. Regarding the regulation of social distancing, employees are obliged to work from home, wherever possible. Teleworking has now become the norm.

Over the last few years, teleworking has become more commonplace and a growing number of people are already familiar with the phenomenon. For others, however, teleworking is a completely new concept and not everyone is comfortable with it. Some find it hard to regard their homes as their new place of work. They have difficulty in finding their usual work routines, or get distracted by others in the house, or are just missing the personal contact and camaraderie of their work colleagues. However, there are plenty of options to make teleworking a more pleasant and effective experience. Below are some of my recommendations:

Routine, routine and … routine

The conservation of a daily routine is important for many. It can be useful to mirror your working day at home to a normal day in the office. Set your alarm at a fixed time, plan your coffee and lunch breaks at their usual times, retain your daily working schedule as much as possible and try to take time-outs with short breaks. Doing so will give the feeling of an authentic working day and will help to preserve your usual working rhythm.   

‘Outfit of the day’

It is not unimaginable that many teleworkers start their workday in their pyjamas or in an old tracksuit. Let’s be honest, it is very comfortable and tempting in a ‘working from home situation’. The downside is that you risk losing your normal, professional work mindset. Try opting for an outfit that is more in line with what you would wear on a normal working day in the office. Try to preserve that normal work routine!

The ‘home office’

The space in which you work is crucial to getting through the working day productively. Look for a quiet room, with as little chance of distraction as possible, and make it your fixed home office space. For some people, it helps to base the layout design on their office space at work. Furnishing or creating such a personal home office can help to draw a clear line between work and private life.

Personal contact

The social distancing measures don’t make it easy to maintain personal contact with friends, family and colleagues. Nevertheless, today's technologies offer solace. Video calling applications such as FaceTime, Skype and Zoom make it easy to stay in touch with each other. It is recommended to maintain personal contact with colleagues on a daily basis in this way. These technologies are amazingly efficient for business communication, and you can quickly and easily exchange documents with each other via Zoom.

Knowing your boundaries

For those who work from home, the boundary between work and private life is often blurred. There is a chance that teleworking no longer has an end hour. It is not uncommon for some people to pop into their home office to check and answer emails throughout the evening. It is very important, however, to plan enough rest and provide yourself with relaxation time. Plan a fixed hour to end your work day and switch-off your laptop at the end of it.  

Do some sports

An ideal way to mentally relax is, of course, to do some sports. It is recommended to get a breath of fresh air on a daily basis. Plan a daily walk, go for a run, take a bike ride, ... There are also many online alternatives for closed gyms and fitness centers. For example, cyclists can take a virtual bicycle tour via Zwift and there are various fitness apps and YouTube videos that provide exercises for "home fitness". Many personal fitness coaches, such as willepersonaltraining, also post "home fitness" exercises on their Instagram page, so there are many options available for you to get out and keep fit and healthy during this period of quarantine.