With the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, many employees have had to navigate working from home for the first time. Although this may seem like an ideal situation, working from home can present its own unique challenges. Distractions such as kids or pets can make it difficult to maintain a productive work schedule.
The Ultimate Working from Home Toolkit aims to support employers and their teams to adapt to this changing environment.
Covering everything from health and safety, to staying connected, to setting up the perfect space for productivity, this interactive toolkit provides advice and worksheets to help your team stay at the top of your game when working from home.
About The Ultimate Work from Home Toolkit
Gallagher Basset’s Ultimate Work from Home Toolkit provides you with a step-by-step approach to maximize your work from home success. We are one of the largest providers of workers' compensation claims management services in the world, so we have expertise in healthy and safe working practices. We've used this expertise to develop a guide to help employers tackle this new challenge.
In this article, we will explore some of the tips contained in the Toolkit. We begin with advice on how to set up your workspace and set yourself up for productivity. But we also cover how to stay connected and healthy while you’re in quarantine.
The Ultimate Work from Home Toolkit provides you with worksheets to ensure your employees stay on track. From office hours signs to printable schedules, we make sure you have the tools you need to succeed. This guide is essential for anyone sheltering in place during the COVID crisis.
Creating the Perfect Space
One of the first things the toolkit covers is how to create the perfect space to work in. As an employer you should highlight to your employees the importance of a dedicated workspace. Having your own space away from family and housemates will help you stay organized and focused.
The Toolkit advises choosing a space that’s close to the centre of your home while also being a completely separate space. We recommend clearing the space of distractions and purchasing a desk, if you don’t have one already. You should also try to keep everything you need within arm’s length to prevent interruptions and distractions while you’re working.
Setting Up for Productivity
The key to productivity success at home is to set up a schedule that sets you up for success. Creating a schedule (and sticking to it) is a great way to make sure everything gets completed on time.
Begin your schedule by laying out which ours you will work during and let others know about those hours. Ensure that you are getting out of your pyjamas and into your day-to-day clothes and make time for a lunch break and daily exercise. Try to reduce distractions that could throw you off your schedule, and focus on sticking to that schedule each and every day.
Humans are social creatures, and it’s essential for both your productivity and your mental health to stay connected. You need to be able to coordinate with co-workers on projects and to communicate with friends and family to fill your social needs. The Ultimate Work from Home Toolkit has you covered here, too.
Our Toolkit suggests creating new team rituals and keeping your meetings and chats with photos of pets or costume parties. You can play interactive games and team playlists (the Toolkit has tools to help you with this, too). We even suggest some productivity and connectivity apps, including Slack, Trello, Momentum, ToDoist, and more.
Staying Healthy, Body and Mind
When you’re out of your normal routine, it’s crucial that you make extra efforts to take care of your mental and physical health. In isolation, issues like depression and anxiety may begin to arise.
According to the Black Dog Institute, the below actions can be helpful to support your mental health during COVID-19.
- Doing activities you enjoy
- Exercising, getting a good night’s sleep and eating well
- Staying connected with social supports
- Thinking in helpful ways
- Managing stress through problem solving, relaxation or meditation
The Toolkit recommends setting up healthy workplace practices, including limiting snacking and making time for exercise. We also recommend scheduling some time for human interaction, even if virtual, and meditating to help care for your mental health. We have guided yoga, meditation, and mindfulness routines to help you get started
Home Office Health and Safety
When you’re working in an office, it’s important to observe certain health and safety measures to make sure your working conditions are up to standard. It’s just as important to maintain these health and safety measures in your home. The Toolkit has some advice on how to set up a safe and healthy home office.
It’s a good idea to invest in a good quality office chair and some power strips for your office space. Try to set up a bigger work screen if you can, and consider increasing your home security. It’s also a good idea to take breaks on the same schedule as you would at the office to give your mind a rest.
Distributing the Toolkit
The Ultimate Work from Home Toolkit is a powerful aid for your staff as you transition to working from home. Not only will the toolkit will help employees stay healthy during this crisis, but it may also help to keep productivity levels closer to normal.
Learn More About Working from Home
If you’d like to get access to more resources for working from home, check out the rest of our site at Gallagher Basset. We have information about how to best manage the COVID-19 quarantine, as well as protection to keep your employees safe and healthy after the crisis has ended. Check out our accident and health insurance offerings to make sure your employees are getting the best protection.
Follow this link to download the free, interactive toolkit.