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Coronavirus: Top tips of how to avoid disruption of the workday in a crisis

by Heat Recruitment

The UK has now been forced to enter the ‘delay’ phase in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus updates are dominating the news agenda and causing global concern and high levels of anxiety. There is great uncertainty about what will happen next, leaving many to wonder how to go about their workday during a time of ‘crisis’. While many businesses remain open at present and large public gatherings aren’t yet banned, healthcare experts remain unconvinced whether the measures being taken by the Government are strong enough – with some firms opting to make their own call on whether or not to stay open.

As an employee, what are you able to do during the COVID chaos? Here is some advice to see you through this difficult time.

School closures

As schools start to make their own decisions on whether to stay open or not, any closures means significant disruption for working parents. Here, preparation is key: if you have a young child and childcare could prove to be a challenge in the weeks ahead, talk to your employer about it now. Many office-based jobs will either have company laptops available, or methods to facilitate agile working via your own equipment, so if you are able to, now is the time to make arrangements to be able to take one with you if the need arises.

Work travel and commuting

The place where you will be most at risk is during any kind of travel for your work. With thousands of flights being cancelled, any travel abroad could be halted for the foreseeable future. If regular travel is integral to your role, proactively get in touch with anyone you are due to be meeting in the coming months and have an open discussion to look to find a virtual workaround; chances are, they will be looking to do the same with you. As the whole world starts to come to terms with the effects of Coronavirus, there will be mutual understanding. Face-to-face meetings can, and should, be replaced with video calls wherever possible for the time being.

If your place of work is still open and you do have to commute using public transport, you can reduce the risk of infection by carrying hand sanitiser for those times where you have to touch button or handles of any kind. In addition to this, it would be wise to try and distance yourself from other commuters while on your journey if you can, and as soon as you get to your workplace, thoroughly wash your hands – especially before eating.

Remote working

For many reasons, remote working is an ideal process for most companies to have in place.  Its importance becomes elevated in the midst of a crisis such as we are experiencing now. Remote working not only provides parents with the ability to be able to continue working while providing necessary childcare – it is also a helpful option for other colleagues who may opt to work remotely during this time to reduce the risk of infection through contact with others.

What we advise in this instance is that you make sure you have a space at home where you can solely focus on the task at hand – ideally a dedicated room, cut off from communal, family areas. Separating your working area from your general living area will also help your mental health when switching off and relaxing at the end of the day, creating a degree of separation at a time that could feel very isolating.

When remote working, make sure you regularly contact your colleagues, whether it be over the phone or via a communicating software on a device. You’ll find that even asking a simple question from a remote location isn’t always answered as quickly as you want it to be if you rely solely on email.

Job searching

Don’t let the coronavirus be the reason that you stop your job search – it is an uncertain situation, but daily life must continue as much as possible despite the crisis, and your future career remains important. Most companies will have special interviewing facilities in place whereby you and the interviewer will be separated from the workforce during your interview. A handy alternative to this comes in the form of the rising use of webcams for interviews. Video interviews were already on the rise prior to the crisis with more than six in 10 (63 per cent) of human resource managers having used video interviewing recently, and with everything going on, this is the ideal time to make use of this option.

Make sure you are prepared for further developments in the pandemic by keeping to a semi-normal work routine, as much as is possible. In the meantime, wash your hands often and thoroughly and, if you develop flu-like symptoms be sure to call 111 and completely self-isolate for a minimum of seven days to avoid further infection.

Are you looking for a new job and wondering how Coronavirus might impact your career plans? We’re still setting up video interviews for candidates looking to use this time to find their next opportunity. Check out our current vacancies and get in touch!

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