Working from home – how to stay sane

March 13, 2020

An increasing number of businesses are recommending that their staff work from home if at all possible to reduce the risks of the coronavirus spreading.

ILM staff (all four of us!) have been permanently home-based for two years so we hope are well placed to offer advice to charities that are faced with the very real possibility of having a full workforce based at their homes.

While being uprooted from your usual desk in the office to your own home might mean some upheaval, and will be a cultural shift for both companies and their employees, there are a range of benefits beyond the immediate need for companies to keep their workforce fit and healthy. There are also a range of steps you can take to make sure that working from home is productive and beneficial to everyone.

  • Make sure the technology works

This is probably one of the most important steps to take before you can start considering working at home. If the tech doesn’t work, then you can’t! for larger charities, you might want to speak with your IT people to find out exactly what you might need to get set up at home, and for smaller charities you might want to check that you can log in to all the systems you need on a day-to-day basis.

  • Be contactable

Whether on the phone or via email, Skype and so on, make sure all the usual ways that colleagues and clients might contact you are fully operational. Forward your office landline to your mobile if you don’t have a work mobile and make sure you have passwords for all the other communications tools you might need.

  • Get dressed and go out!

Although working from home is a great excuse to sit in your pyjamas all day, this might lose its appeal after a few days. Try and treat your day as if you are going to the office – get dressed and try and avoid sitting in bed with your laptop all day! You should also make sure you get out for some fresh air at some point during the day to stretch your legs and take a break from your screen.

  • Make regular contact with colleagues

Just because you are no longer in the office, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t regularly check in with your colleagues. Schedule a regular phone or video call to catch up with others in your team.

  • Try and avoid distractions

It can be tempting to put the TV on or check your social media, but try to keep distractions to a minimum and keep away from anything that might lure you away from your laptop!

Further reading

This article from NCVO contains a great deal of useful information for charities that and the steps they might need to take in the light of coronavirus.

Share your top working from home tips with other members on our forum here.


Post in the forum (members only)
Mention on Twitter