Home working guidance

Read our guidance for PCS members working from home due to the Coronavirus outbreak

Many departments and employers have pledged to put procedures in place to enable staff to work from home during the coronavirus outbreak. While some members may look forward to time out of the office, for others working from home can be hard and some people can suffer from feelings of isolation and a lack of support.

The following advice should help members deal with the change in their working circumstances, especially if they are working from home for the first time. You should:

  1. Aim to stick to the routine of setting an alarm at your normal time and getting up and dressed for work, even if you don’t dress as formally as you might in the office.
  2. Try to set up a workstation, preferably somewhere where you won’t be too distracted by other things that might be going on at home. Working at a desk or table is better than sitting on the sofa, in terms of a designated area and also for your posture.
  3. Maintain your regular hours. You may feel tempted to log on to your computer earlier than usual because you won’t be travelling to work, and also may be tempted to check your emails after you would normally have finished for the day. It is very important to maintain your work life balance and to differentiate between work time and your own time, even when your workplace is your home.
  4. Make sure you know what work you are expected to do, especially if it differs from what you would usually be doing in the office. Tell your manager if you need any extra support or training.
  5. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment needed to do your job, such as laptop, wifi and a printer.
  6. If you have children at home, or another adult also working from home, you need to set ground rules so that they understand what you can and cannot do when you are working.
  7. Schedule breaks. Make sure you get up and get away from your screen regularly and make sure you take a proper lunch break. If you normally take an hour’s lunchbreak, it’s OK to still do that, and to do other things or go for a walk and get some fresh air.
  8. Make sure that you stay hydrated and eat proper meals during the day.
  9. If you have a work phone, switch if off at the end of the working day. Don’t use your personal phone for work calls.
  10. Try to stay in touch with your team and colleagues maybe via Skype or online chat. If you are feeling isolated talk to your line manager or colleagues.
  11. If you feel unwell you should report it to your line manager and take a sick day.

Check the website and our social media channels for regular updates relating to the response to the Coronavirus.

Read the Cabinet Office working from home guidance.

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