There is a lot happening in the world right now. It’s unlike anything most of us have ever seen. The COVID-19 outbreak is changing the lives of thousands of, if not millions of people every day.
For some its worse than others. For those that have been affected the most, our heart and thoughts go out to you. For others, we need to continue to work together to stop the spread, keep the world going and our jobs safe.
In some countries, workers are being forced to stay and work from home, and in other countries workers are bracing for the same eventuality.
Have you ever worked from home for a few weeks at a time before? Many of us haven’t. We aren’t quite sure what it’s going to be like.
Here are some tips to make it a little easier. Follow these and you should be able to adjust well enough to your new working environment.
Have a dedicated workspace.
It could be a room, part of a room or even just a table and chair. Having a dedicated space helps condition your mind to thinking that it is a space for being productive.
Make sure not to use this space for doing anything but working. No scrolling on social media or watching videos within this space, even when taking a break.
Additional Tip: Choose a quiet space to reduce distractions. If it’s not as quiet as you’d like it to be, get a white noise machine. It can help you move past the distraction and focus.
Most of us work in teams or require a support system (managers and colleagues) around to maximise productivity. Get your organisation to invest in the technology to be able to effectively stay in touch and work with your team.
This includes a phone line you can depend on, fast internet connection, a virtual meeting software like Skype or Zoom, a messaging app like Slack or Microsoft Teams and an LMS like Tempus.
Additional Tip: As important as the above are, also ensure you have the basics for a productive work experience. A mouse and keyboard you are familiar with, a charging point nearby and a comfortable chair.
Follow the same schedule when working from home, especially when it’s temporary. That way the disruption caused by changing where you work will have a relatively lower impact on your productivity.
Don’t be late to work and don’t finish up 20 minutes early just because you can. Stay consistent.
Additional Tip: Live with other people? Let them know of your home working hours. Ask them to not disturb you during those hours.
Get some sun.
Working from home can make your life very monotonous as you could literally stay at home all day. Don’t let that happen.
Spend some time outside the house everyday outside your working hours.
If you aren’t able to leave the house, spend some time in the balcony or on the footsteps in front of your house. Get some sun and fresh air.
Additional Tip: Use your time outside the house to get some exercise whenever possible. It will activate both your mind and body.
Interact with team members as much as possible.
You have to limit interactions with family during working hours for ultimate productivity. But that doesn’t mean you can’t interact with anyone.
Regularly check in with colleagues and managers. Put in a little extra effort staying in touch with people you otherwise work closely with. Jump on video conferences and continue to work as a team.
No social media.
Find ways of restricting the use of social media when working from home. When in the office, most of us restrict our time on social media due to the fear of being caught out. At home, there is no one to stop us from doing it. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of spending time scrolling Facebook and Instagram instead of getting your work done.
Additional Tip: Have a blanket rule – no social media when in your dedicated workspace at home.
Finally, Good Luck!
For some working from home will be hard and others will see an increase in productivity.
If you find yourself struggling, follow the tips mentioned above and you will do fine.
If your productivity and output increases, use the tips to create a routine that works best for you.