The work-life routine of all of us have completely altered since the outbreak of COVID-19. We have so far witnessed a lot of startling observations; from people piling up toilet rolls, masks and; hand sanitisers being sold out, transportation halted and people laid off to name a few. Work-from-home has been the common route businesses have taken as an alternative to get things going and help the community contain the spread of this disease.
Not all professionals and businesses have the privilege of working from home but many of us are fortunate to make this work in this time of crisis. However, there are challenges that we need to overcome, particularly to those who are used to an office environment. To make working from home as productive as possible, here are some tips that will help you in this transition.
Ensuring your team can work productively at home is a challenge. Office environments are set up in a way that the level of distraction is low and productivity is high. You should therefore try to make your set up at home as similar to that of your office as much as possible. Keep distractions out of your way and set up your equipment somewhere comfortable and quiet.
Make sure you have your equipment such as laptops, headphones, power cords and access ready.
Necessary login access and contact details should be accessible along with your preferred video conferencing platform. Finally, try to make sure that your colleagues know you are working so that distractions will be kept low.
Plan Your Day
Wake up on time instead of rushing in the last minute. Putting a mindset of work by waking up and getting ready as you would during office hours.
Goal settings bot short and longer terms are essential for these times. What you may find is that we will work more efficiently without the travel time to work, but how this time may be used to your benefit will depend on organisation. Plan your day to perfection with a view of what the daily, weekly and monthly outcomes are.
Prioritise healthy eating habits starting from your breakfast and keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. As you do not have to commute at home, you might have a tendency to work for longer hours. Try to move every once in a while. The 20-minute rule of taking a small break every 20 minute would be beneficial to keep you active throughout the day. Getting out for a
breath of air or exercise is essential at this time. Try to take an hour for this daily, as being indoors for extended durations may take its toll in fatigue.
Check in your organizations and your tasks for the day. Discuss with your colleagues and start
the day. During lunch, take a break as you would do during your office hours. This will help you from getting overwhelmed. At the end of your work day, check in with your colleagues and summarize to keep everyone
positive and informed.
Communicate, But Don’t Overdo It
Communication is the key to working at home. Holding the team in contact keeps everyone’s morale up and continues normality, even when everyone is working remotely. Checking in with each other through conference calls or video conferencing to share a summary of everyone’s day or catching up in the morning to ensure everyone feels supported and ready to begin work.
Microsoft Teams is highly recommended when working remotely as it is a great way to feel included. It allows you to set up a group chat with the team, share files, video conferencing, recording meetings and much more. But keep in mind that communicating too much might give you the illusion of working. It is important to be mindful of that. We use Micorsoft Teams and Zoom quite effectively and there is lot to say for how efficient these meetings are. Observe conference calling etiquette by muting when others speaking to reduce feedback or background noise. You can also deactivate your video or blur your background if there are possibilities for distractions to others. Remember that this is professionalism whilst at home.
With what’s going around, changes in the routine can make you anxious and even without a pandemic it can overwhelm you. However, staying aware of the reality and being vigilant with hand washing and sanitising is something that could be considered the new normal. The only way to keep moving forward is staying calm and continuing with a sense of normalcy, wherever we can.
Working from home may be a massive change but the transition can be made smooth by
following these tips and keeping a level head. If you have any tips to work from home, leave us a comment and let us know!
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