At the time of writing this, Boris Johnson announced that everyone should be working from home wherever possible to minimise the spread of Covid-19. Countries around the world are either in lockdown or strongly advising that everyone avoids social contact wherever possible.
We at Green Element are fortunate enough to be able to work from home. This article provides you with information to allow you to work from home safely, comfortably and sustainably. There will be many people in each our local communities who are unable to work from home. In this time of great uncertainty and fear, it is important that we reach out to people who need help.
Over the recent days, hundreds of Mutual Aid groups have been set up around the UK. These groups aim to support vulnerable people living in their areas whilst taking precautions to minimise the spread of the virus. Find your local group or register a local group here.
Social distancing and working from home will play a key role in reducing the spread of the virus. To ensure that our homes our safe and free from the virus we must take precautions if we have to leave the house. When you return to you house, make sure to disinfect your phone, wallet and keys and any other objects you use when you are our and about. Once you have disinfected your items, wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. This may sound overly cautious, however, most spread of the virus happens within homes. Therefore, it is incredibly important to minimise the risk of the virus entering your home.
Washing your hands is the best method to get rid of the virus, but hand sanitiser is useful if you have children or are out and about. Most shops have run out of hand sanitiser so here is a recipe to make your own:
Make your own hand sanitiser
- 2/3 of a cup of 99% isopropyl alcohol (this is often called rubbing alcohol)
- 1/3 of a cup of aloe vera gel
- Optional drops of essential oil such as clove oil, which is antimicrobial, or lavender which is soothing
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl, and pour into a clean empty soap dispenser.
Working from home comfortable
Make sure to up a dedicated workspace if possible. Ideally, set up a comfortable table and chair ensuring that the laptop and keyboard are at the appropriate height to maintain good posture.
Make sure to get dressed for the day. Working from home can be difficult, so finding methods to separate you working hours from you relaxing hours it important. Clothing can be a good psychological trick to get you in the right mindset for work.
Working from home can get lonely. Make sure that you take care of yourself and your colleagues. This means, reaching out to both ask for and provide help and support. At Green Element, we make sure to video one another at least once every two days. We recommend having guidelines to keep this communication consistent.
Meals play an important part in giving structure to your day. Eating good, nutritious food at mealtimes will make sure that you are healthy and give you variety throughout the day. Make sure that you switch your computer into hibernate mode during lunch time to give your brain and your eyes a rest from screens.
It’s not just about looking after yourself and your team members ensuring that you all are able to work business as usual, almost more importantly it is about making sure you are keeping safe mentally. Look after each other as a team by contacting each other once every 2 days. This is really important as we are vulnerable and at risk at feeling lonely and isolated at any time in there coming weeks. Remember to have a laugh, don’t allow conversations to be all about the current situation and be very aware of everyone around your predicament. Be it that they live with someone vulnerable, on their own or with their family in a small flat with children. This will affect everyone in many different ways.
Set up a routine
One of the things we have done as a family unit is set up a structure, I am at work by 0900 but have been for a 30-40 minute cycle before that, my partner is able to leave and do her own thing between 1300 and 1400 every day and I will finish work at 1700. We are already thinking that every Tuesday and Thursday she has 2 hours off during the day and I will work some evenings. Remember this is flexible working. We should also be taking advantage of this time, if you don’t normally work from home then, how lovely is it to be with your children at this moment in time. Maybe this will completely change? Who knows but we are trying to instigate a structure that works for us in this new norm.
Simply by working remotely you will have a reduced environmental impact. This is because, commuting is reduced, often printing is reduced, and less energy is required to heat/cool and provide electricity for office spaces.
If you would like more advice on how to work from home sustainably, download our Virtual Office Policy by filling out you name and email address.