Croydon BID Team’s Top Tips for Working from Home

  • working from home
A week ago, like many of the business members with whom we represent and work with, we would never have imagined that we would all be working from home, every day, until further notice from the government.

Fortunately, thanks to Octavo, our external IT support providers, we were able to immediately implement Microsoft Teams and remote desktop. With broadband in place for many homes already, our virtual offices, from kitchen tables to cubby holes, were ready to go. Working from home has its own challenges, so we’ve put together our top 5 tips to share:

  1. Make yourself comfortable. Leaning over a laptop can cause extra neck and shoulder strain, so give yourself your own ‘desktop assessment’. Perhaps invest in a separate keyboard and mouse so you can raise the laptop screen on books. Maybe get a stand up desk solution. Ensure your feet are flat on the ground and your elbows are at right angles. Allocate your own ‘work space’ whatever that might be.
  2. Set a time to begin and end the day, and a time for lunch. Our regular office hours, like many, are 9am to 5.30pm with a break for lunch. Why not use the extra time that you would have to commit to travelling for health and well-being, or family time, if possible. Get ‘ready for work’, whether getting dressed, or going through the routine. Psychologically, this helps to get into the work mind-set. Try to turn off at a certain time; it’s really important to try and find time to relax in these anxious times. Work-life balance has never been so important.
  3. Be ‘APPY. There are some great FREE apps to help with wellness at work; for example, there are APPS to remind you to drink more water (such as aptly called ‘Drink Water’, or cutesy ‘Plant Nanny’), take breaks and do some stretches (such as ‘stretchly’ or ‘smart break’), reduce eye strain (such as ‘F.lux’ and ‘Awareness’) and provide mindfulness and yogic help (try ‘Asana Rebel’ or ‘Headspace’). On another note, Slack is a great tool for communications amongst any group and helps to keep people connected.
  4. Have team meetings. Face to face. We have Microsoft Teams but you might have Google hangouts, or you can sign up to Zoom, which is free up to 40 minutes and 100 participants. Video conferencing is hugely important as it brings the team together and helps maintain productivity and mental well-being. Pick up the phone instead of always emailing. Yes, emails are great, but it helps to have human conversations, not just with your colleagues but also suppliers, or clients, or whomever.
  5. Get outdoors. We all know that staring at a screen all day isn’t great for anyone’s eyes. Getting outside and looking at the sky, having a walk, breathing in fresh air or simply finding some green places (woods, rivers, canals) is all really helpful to our well-being. Just make sure you keep your distance from anyone else! 

In these uncertain times, we appreciate the challenges that many of our business community are facing and understand that not everyone can transfer their work to home.

We want to reassure you that Croydon BID are working closely with our partners, offering you the support that you need in these challenging times. This includes working strategically, representing your needs pan London and more locally with the local authority. We will get through this together.  


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