COVID-19: A Personal Guide to Self-Isolating and Remote Working

It’s now day 3 since UK PM Boris Johnson instructed the nation to stay at home and begin self-isolating and remote working to limit the spread of Covid-19. We’re all starting to realise life may not be going back to ‘normal’ anytime soon. Aside from our nation’s unsung heroes (the NHS, Supermarket Staff, Teachers, Postal Workers, Waste Collectors, the list goes on – thank you!), many are now turning to remote working. 

To help we’ve created this personal guide to being productive, staying healthy and keeping happy in the weeks and months to come.

Be a Person With a Plan

Make sure you physically outline a list of things you need to/want to do each day. Make goals attainable and realistic so you feel productive and like you have achieved something. Basic recommended goals include; get washed and dressed, clean up, get some fresh air and do some exercise. If you are working at home, set work goals that will motivate you. Consider giving a daily report to inform your team of your progress.

Check-in with your work colleagues at the start of the day. At RapidSpike we like to jump on a Google Hangout. This is a great opportunity to get on the same page and voice any worries or concerns. Communication is key for remote working so try to make this a daily occurrence. If you’d like to know more about our working from home plan, see our recent blog – COVID-19: Helping our People Work from Home.

An accurate depiction of RapidSpike daily hangouts.

Actually Useful Tools

For companies or small businesses who do not regularly work from home, it seems there are a thousand tools out there that every company ‘must-have’ to successfully work remotely. Here are some of our favourite tools to get through daily tasks: 

  1. Google Docs, Sheets and Presentation – Google products are great for collaborating in real-time with co-workers and being able to auto-save everything in Google Drive = no more worries about lost work!
  2. Slack – For communicating with work colleagues throughout the day and sending memes to keep spirits up.
  3. Google Hangouts – The future of face-to-face meetings?
  4. Trello – The Development team loves this – great for tracking progress on group projects.
  5. RapidSpike – Hear us out – if you have a website, now more than ever you need to make sure it is performing well with multi-layered cybersecurity.

Mental health

Being quarantined can be disruptive for your mental health. Very often people who have a set-schedule can feel knocked off balance, not to mention lonely. You might become more anxious because of the uncertainty or feel more depression symptoms. There are some things you can do to encourage positive mental health. 

Firstly, if you are anxious right now, know this is temporary. Most likely this anxiety is caused by a lot of unknowns, this feeling will leave as life settles down. Secondly, make a habit of checking in with yourself daily. A gratitude diary is a great option – reminding yourself what is positive in life can help ground you and minimise panicking. 

Know you are not alone in this, and take advantage of free resources and support. There are lots of companies currently ‘doing their bit’ offering their products for reduced costs or for free. Some great online/app resources for mental health include:

Continuously reading scaremongering news is a big no-go for positive mental health. To feel in control, make sure you stay informed by reading a reputable source on the latest guidelines – but keep this to a minimum. Schedule in some positive news time. The Good News Network posts daily good news stories to brighten your day. Another great source for positivity is The Happy Broadcast.

Finally, fill your space with lots of praise. This may be a bit sappy, but positivity breeds positivity. Praise your work colleagues, family, key workers, and yourself! 

All the praise.

Disclaimer: These are just suggestions with advice from the Mental Health Foundation, if you are struggling with your mental health, please speak with your GP. 

Keep things fun whilst Self-Isolating and Remote Working

Keeping things fun and lighthearted can be useful for helping to beat cabin-fever and boredom. Play games with work colleagues remotely. One great option is a ‘Through the Keyhole’ style game where everyone picks an object in their house and the team guesses whose object is whose. Other options could be a trivia-based game or ‘Photo of the day’ style game.

If you have animals, involve them! Studies show pets can massively help improve the state of someone’s mental health. At RapidSpike we make sure to welcome dogs on the daily hangout.

When people get anxious or fearful, we resort back to our basic human needs – hence the toilet roll crisis! Don’t panic buy, supermarkets have made it clear that there will be enough for everyone if households shop normally. However, this time also gives a fun opportunity to be creative and discover some alternative recipes, crafts, and DIY projects. Take advantage of this time to try something you’ve always wanted to – read books, take an online class or start cooking. 

Prioritise keeping connected to people. Self-isolating and remote working can cause loneliness or tension between family members. Get in touch with vulnerable people and also make time for those who look like they are doing fine too. Video call your friends – virtual wine and cheese night anyone? 

These girls have it cracked.

Keeping things fun also includes entertainment! Many people find doomsday movies, real crime documentaries and horror books thrilling and fascinating, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in negative thoughts. Light comedic TV programmes, podcasts, and books can give some comic relief in difficult times – The Office US has 9 seasons available on Amazon Prime! 

RapidSpike’s Top Tips for Self-Isolating and Remote Working

Here’s some advice from some of the RapidSpike team members: 

“If you have your washing drying your office, ensure your family’s pants aren’t visible on video calls” – Gav

“Mute your social media (unless you’re in marketing!)” – Bryn

“Keep a routine and keep up your normal personal hygiene and care” – Tyler

“Vacuuming, whilst necessary can be off-putting for the other conference call users” – Sam

“Find something good to laugh at least once a day” – Georgina

“I find the best place for the full team conference call is in bed” – Callum

RapidSpike Callum on Google Hangout.

We hope you found this blog helpful for self-isolating and remote working (or at least a distraction). We will continue to post content to our blog, so be sure to follow us on social media to catch up with the latest news.