With the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, remote and flexible working has become more commonplace within logistics companies across the UK. Meanwhile, driver hours legislation has been temporarily relaxed to allow for more deliveries.
So how can you best adapt to the new working landscape in our sector?
Those working within the supply chain are on the ‘front line’ and are crucial to keeping the country running. So, during what is a very stressful and demanding time for workers within the logistics sector, employers should ensure that the health, safety and wellbeing of their staff is maintained.
And this is about more than just taking measures to limit the spread of coronavirus. It is about ensuring that safe working practices are upheld, even during busy times. For instance, that those on the road are not driving tired and those in the warehouse are not operating equipment they are not trained to use.
The mental health of employees must also be looked after too as they may be more susceptible than ever to workplace stress or anxiety. Homeworking presents particular challenges around mental health, employee satisfaction and engagement.
How to be a happy, healthy home worker
Just a few years back, studies suggested that half of the UK workforce would be working from home to some degree by 2020. However, the global pandemic means that many workers don’t currently have a choice when it comes to their working environment and those who would rather be in the field, on the shop floor or in the office are now working from home.
If you’re now unexpectedly working from home, this may be a big change to your working life, so it may take some time to adapt. However, here are 5 things that you can do to make the transition to working from home easier.
1. Stick to a routine
When you’re at home, you’re within an environment usually used for relaxing and unwinding after a long day, so it can be easy to fall into bad habits.
From working in pyjamas to failing to prioritise your daily workload as there is no manager over your shoulder, what may seem like an insignificant change can have a real impact on your day. This can in turn affect your week, and so on, to the point where before you know it, it can feel like you can’t cope.
On the other hand, with your work at your fingertips, it can be incredibly tempting to continue working long after you’d have usually left the office. What begins as ‘just getting this finished’ soon turns into it feeling like you haven’t actually had any time away from a screen!
When working from home, be strict with yourself from the get-go. Start the day as you mean to go on by having a routine…and sticking to it!
Get up when you usually would, have a shower, even go for a walk to ensure that you get some fresh air and be sure to stop for lunch everyday instead of snacking here and there. You’ll find that this can make the world of difference and helps to break the day up into smaller, more manageable sections.
2. Take regular breaks
If your job involves long periods of time on the computer, be sure to take regular breaks from staring at a screen. No matter what you’re doing, breaks are important for your well-being and your productivity, so its okay to make a cup of tea or coffee, step outside for a brief bit of fresh air or simply stretch your legs as you would in the office environment.
It might seem simple but this can be easily forgotten, especially when you’re already surrounded by your everyday home comforts.
3. Interaction is key!
How often do you find that you just go and speak to someone in the workplace because it’s easier than pinging them an email?
You’re probably used to spending more time with your colleagues than your family, so one way to help manage the change to home working is to make sure that you don’t lose contact with your co-workers.
Tools such as Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams have proved in recent times how invaluable they are, allowing users to stay in touch, even if it’s just to say hello and ask how someone is getting on.
At the moment, many people will feel isolated due to reduced social contact with not only colleagues, but friends and family members. Mental health is particularly important at this time and interaction can really help.
Employers should continue to take care of the mental health of their employees while they are working remotely, and workers should ensure they speak to a manager if they are encountering mental health concerns due to the change in their working life.
4. Minimise all distraction
Just as you would in the normal office environment, try and avoid having anything around you that might steal your attention. This might be extremely difficult if you have children at home too!
To begin with, it can be easy to assume that as you’re at home, you’ll be able to have a TV on in the background or even get some of the washing done during the day. However, that shouldn’t be the case.
Ensure that those who are in the house with you are aware that even though you’re home, you’re in ‘work mode’ during your regular working hours. If you’re able to, create a working space where you can set up each morning, completely focus and also easily walk away from at the end of the day.
5. Remember you’re not alone
You might be working from home alone, but you’re not truly alone.
During these challenging times, it’s vital that you remember that the majority of the country is experiencing the same feelings as you are, the same hiccups, even the same internet problems!
Thank You to the Heroes in Logistics!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the unsung heroes on the front line of the supply chain – such as drivers and warehouse operatives. We appreciate your efforts during this tough time and thank you for keeping our shops, hospitals and fuel stations stocked.
Join us in recognise and celebrating the amazing people working in the sector through our #ilovelogistics social media campaign. If you work in logistics, share your pictures and stories on social media of why you’re proud to work on the front line. If you appreciate the logistics workforce, share your pictures and stories and tell us why you’re grateful to our country’s amazing logistics key workers. Let’s get #ilovelogistics trending!