COVID-19 has forced everyone to work from home in one way or another with except for essential services like healthcare personnel who have been in the frontline treating patients.
This new norm has forced people to stay closer with their families and this comes with opportunities and challenges. For instance, being at home with children could see them demand your attention despite you having deadlines and deliverables to surmount.
For some people, the transition can be smooth, especially those who were partly working from home but for the majority, the experience has been completely new. One of the things with this new experience has been the need for reliable internet since updates with colleagues, meetings, and trainings all moved online.
Here are some tips to guide you:
- Create a regular schedule
It is important to create a schedule and stick to it to the greatest extent possible. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps maintain a work-life balance. That said, one of the benefits of remote work is flexibility, and sometimes you need to extend your day or start early to accommodate someone else’s time zone. When you do, be sure to wrap up earlier than usual or sleep in a bit the next morning to make up for it.
- Set ground rules at home
Set ground rules at home or who shares your space for when you work is critical to reducing frictions. If you have children who come home from school while you’re still working, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time. Additionally, just because you are home and can let A service person into the house or take care of the pets does not mean other family members should assume you will always do it. Ground rules are critical to ensuring productivity is maintained.
- Schedule breaks
It is equally important to be taking breaks to re-energize. The frequency of the breaks and duration should be guided by your company’s policy and the agreement reached on how and when to complete tasks.
- Create a proper office setting
There are practices like working from your laptop on your lap while in the bed that should not be encouraged. Such practices should be occasional and when used, proper support structures used. Laptops have been known to cause health problems to people due to radiation. It is therefore important to create a space, even within the sitting room on the dining table, or buying a desk and chair to work with. Proper chairs are equally underrated, yet you could be damaging your back.
- Think of your diet
Working from home is very tempting. Food is very near you and you can end up eating anything and everything, every time you feel hungry. The repercussions can be dire in later months as you may need to embark on a weight loss program. Being on a healthy diet is very essential when you are a working person. Therefore, you must eat food that helps you function better instead of draining your energy.
- Have an exercise schedule
One way to increase your performance at work is to be proactive with regular exercises. Adopting the habit of doing exercise is beneficial for both your personal and professional life. You increase blood flow to the brain while you work out, which further helps to sharpen your mind and keep you alert. Since the majority of the time movements are limited, exercises also help you be fitter and healthier, burning cholesterol and keeping bones in good mobility conditions.
- Communication is golden
It is critical to maintain communication with your colleagues. They will be expecting assignments to be delivered at certain hours yet you are held up with some personal issues. Working from home is also new to most people and constant communication helps in tracking progress as well as unlocking roadblocks and bumps you may face, considering you are not a walking distance from colleagues who would otherwise be the ones to help.
- Don’t Forget to Socialize
When the whole office suddenly starts working from home, you are cutting off a lot of the casual social interactions you’re used to having throughout the day that helps you feel less lonely and break up the monotony of work. “People forget they need to be around others because it’s the small talk and random fire alarms that keep your days feeling unique and prevent that hamster-wheel feeling. When you work from home, you don’t have that,” Yurovsky says.
Combat this by talking with your coworkers throughout the day through Slack, WhatsApp, calls, text, Zoom, or however your company communicates. If you usually ask your coworkers about their weekends, keep that up. If you’d usually comment to them about a specific topic, reach out. These little interactions go a long way.
- Have a plan
You will be working alone, potentially, but you need to track your work and hours. You better be more structured than usual on what you need to accomplish. This also helps map out that you need to make the task successfull and you can engage them in good time to avoid late deliveries. It generally improves productivity and maximizes the task at hand.