Things to consider while working from home during the coronavirus outbreak


With the Federal Government having announced that schools would be closed from next week, and churches with congregations larger than 50 people asked not to hold services this Sunday, not to mention several companies already encouraging their staff to work from home, now is as good a time as any to start gearing up for the call for complete social distancing that is sure to follow. But what if you’ve never had to work from home before? What exactly are you going to need to have in place, and what other things might you need to keep in mind to stay as effective as you can while doing so? Here are 8 things to get you started.

1. Stock up on groceries

A woman in a mask doing some grocery shopping

There is no telling how long the current coronavirus pandemic is going to last for, which is why it is best to minimize the number of times you have to go out to get groceries and toiletries. One way to do that would be to buy enough of the two to last you a longer period of time than you normally would shop for. This doesn’t mean you should go out and buy 6 months’ worth of toilet paper of course, so be considerate of others as you prepare to hunker down for the long haul. You can of course also order for your groceries online, meaning that you don’t even have to leave the four walls of your house.

2. Set up your personal workspace

A man working in a home corner office

If the nature of your job allows you to get some work done from home, then it is worth setting up a space for this, if you don’t already have one. A spare bedroom with all your work tools readily available is the ideal set up you should go for, or you could dedicate a corner of your room if you don’t have that much extra space to work with. Just make sure your chair is comfortable enough if you’ll be spending long hours in it, and that the room itself is presentable, should you need to hop on a video call. And remember to keep the doors locked while you work to minimize distractions, especially during those video calls. Don’t be like this guy.

3. Keep the kiddies distracted engaged

Three kids staring at a tablet

If you have kids and need to get some work done while you are all stuck at home, then it is mandatory that you give them things to do, and not just allow them run around as they please. But rather than just have them watch their favorite cartoons, you should also consider stimulating their brains in other ways, especially since they won’t be getting any stimulation from school for a while. So throw some educational videos into the mix.

4. Only go out during emergencies

Man standing in middle of empty street

And by emergencies, we mean only when you absolute have to, not when you can no longer stand being cooped up at home and are in desperate need of a change of scenery. So in other words, going to get a drink with your friends at the neighborhood bar is not an emergency. Try to limit how far you have to go when you do have to go out in any case, and avoid staying out for long stretches of time. If you have to take an Uber, consider leaving the windows open a crack. This would ensure that you and your driver have a steady inflow of fresh air to breathe. And if you have to take a bus…? Then just cross your fingers and hope for the best.

5. Wash your hands obsessively

Man washing his hand

The fact that you are at home and isolated doesn’t mean you should suddenly throw all the coronavirus preventine measures out the window. This includes washing your hands as often as you can, especially before meals and after you get back from the great outdoors. Also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer afterwards, if you have one available, and avoid using any unconventional sanitizer substitutes. It also doesn’t hurt to stop touching your face with your fingertips, since most viruses tend to get into a person’s system through their eyes, mouth or nose.

6. Keep your home and workspace clean

Cleaning tools

Still on the topic of washing and cleaning, this should extend to your entire house, with special emphasis placed on your workspace, since this is where you’ll be spending most of your time while working. You don’t want it to quickly turn into a pigsty for the mere fact that you are too lazy to do some routine cleaning. Be sure to also wipe those surfaces you touch most frequently with a suitable disinfectant, since all that accumulated dirt could be the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of germs and whatnot.

7. Stay updated

A man in a protective suit reading the newspaper

The coronavirus situation is constantly evolving, and one of the most important things you can do right now is to stay up-to-date with the latest information. Luckily, there are several places you could visit for that information. You should of course start by finding out everything you need to know about the virus. You should also ensure that you are subscribed to our newsletter if you’d like to be notified of posts like this one as soon as they go up. Lastly, be sure to check out the WHO’s website for any new developments you’ll need to know about during the current pandemic.

8. Don’t be afraid to have some fun

A man watching TV with a bucket of popcorn

It might seem like a rather dark time right now, but you must not forget to have a little fun in-between your work sessions. So don’t hesitate to take breaks whenever you need them. You can spend that time watching a movie, reading a book, or getting caught up on your favorite Netflix shows, all in the comfort of your undies. The important thing is to get your work done at the end of the day, so how you do it and what you do during your downtime is entirely up to you. That’s the beauty of working from home, so enjoy it while you can.

A man working from home in his boxer shorts

Is there anything else you can think of or plan on doing while working from home? Let us know in the comments section below. And be sure to visit our Stay Safe store for everything you need to keep yourself and your family protected from all sorts of germs and viruses.