COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in British Columbia, Canada
On March 16, 2020, the provincial health officer of British Columbia, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced aggressive measures in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, a growing number of business across British Columbia and the country of Canada are opting for working from home to help control the spread of the virus. Dr. Henry also said there were three deaths in BC (from an outbreak at a care home in North Vancouver), bringing the total number of nationwide deaths from the coronavirus to four. More alarmingly, Canada’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Theresa Tam said the total number of novel coronavirus cases in Canada stands at 407, up from 324 reported earlier in the day. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada is closing its borders until further notice to most national with the exception of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to return home. The Prime Minister said that the country would be taking “increasingly aggressive steps” to keep everyone safe.
Provinces and territories have canceled classes while major cities have shut down public areas such as libraries and recreational areas. All levels of government are encouraging social distancing, avoiding large crowds and gatherings over 50. The theory behind social distancing will ease the burden on the health care system and the spread of the virus known as “flattening the curve.”
Employees Are Recommended to Work From Home
Employers in British Columbia must ensure the workplace is safe and to take responsible measures to keep employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. As remote work or working from home is becoming more mainstream given the unfortunate circumstances, companies need to transition quickly to help their workforce setup that they have the right tools to work from home.
SafetyLine Lone Worker, a product that has provided lone worker check-in and worker safety features for two decades will cover tips and advice on this blog article on how to navigate the challenges of working remotely so companies can continue to stay connected, productive and still maintain a strong work culture.
Best Practices for Work From Home Tips
For many people, the idea of working from home maybe seem foreign at first. There are some habits and routines that you would need to implement to develop to maintain the same output of work as you would be providing in a regular office environment. Being a lone worker or working from home may be a necessary new reality for many, so it is important to address the potential pitfalls and pay attention to lessons from other’s experiences to be successful. Here are some best practices to follow for working from home.
Continue working regular hours
Maintaining a well balanced work-life is important for lone workers or remote workers who are new to working from home. It’s important to set a schedule and to stick to the same working hours as you would in the office. The advantage of working remotely or working from home is that your commute to the office has been eliminated and down to 10 seconds.
Develop a morning routine
How we start, our day affects our performance and happiness throughout it. Try to establish a morning routine that you find relaxing. The time you would have spent on your commute, you can now spend it on reading a book, meditation, journalist spending more time with family, exercise, or catch up on tasks that you have been putting off. For some people who have been working from home regularly getting dressed like they would come to an office environment helps with starting their day.
Set Rules While Working from Home
While some of you may share your home environment with family members, kids, or roommates, it’s important to set ground rules with other people around you who share your space. Setting clear rules with what you can or cannot do will help your productivity.
Create a dedicated office space
If space permits, set up a dedicated office in your home that will create an environment free from distractions. A dedicated workspace ideally with a close door is a great way to keep work life and personal life separate. This separation will allow you to take breaks without being constantly reminded of deadlines and tasks. Visit the section below to view more on setting up a comfortable and productive work-from-home station
Remember to Take a Break
Check with your manager about your company’s policy on break times and when you are allowed to take them. Being in isolation can take a psychological effect in a remote worker’s mental health; walking away and taking a break from the computer screen and even your smart devices such as your phone or tablet can help with your mental health.
Take advantage of the outdoors
Just like in an office setting, make sure you take a lunch break away from your desk. Take a walk in your nearby park, beach, or boardwalk. It’s important to get some outside time. If you do so, please practice social distancing.
Checking in with your team and managers
While working from home, it is important to establish a check-in procedure, making sure that regular contact is kept with all workers and managers. Checking in can simply include a planned phone call, an email, a text, or with the use of apps to provide automated check-in services that enable the worker to proactively check in regularly to report that they are safe. This sets a timer which will count down to the next scheduled check-in.
Visit Our Other Blogs in This Working From Home Series:
- Government of Canada – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
- BC Business – Creating a Working From Home Policy: https://www.bcbusiness.ca/creating-a-working-from-home-policy
- Emergency Preparedness For Working at Home: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/careers-myhr/all-employees/work-arrangements/flexible-workplaces/emergency-preparedness
- Covid-19 (Coronavirus) BC Self-Assessment Tool: https://covid19.thrive.health/