It is not even three months into 2020 and our life, economy and workplace is reeling from the shock of the Corona epidemic. As people are being asked to stay indoors, work from home is what we are shifting to.
However, work from home is not easy at all. It has its shortcomings and requires discipline. On the bright side, it does give you the comfort of working in your pyjamas and avoiding the rush of commute.
Here are tips and advice we all need to work from home correctly. Avoid these mistakes that most people make and make it a rewarding experience.
How to work from home in the right way
#1 Maintain a working hour routine
As we are not bound by the strict timing of the office, we tend to slack off. Do not fall for this. Get up in the morning, get your breakfast or exercise. Then sit at your laptop or desktop at a regular time.
Make a list every morning of the projects or tasks that are to be done. This will help you get things accomplished on time.
Take small breaks as you would in your office. Be right back at your desk after that. This requires some practice and focus.
If you are a team leader who is running the team online now, set a time for everyone. Many companies have opting virtual login software if they already have employees working from home or remote locations.
#2 Arrange your workspace
You may be working at home on your office laptop or by using your own desktop. Whatever it may be, make sure to keep a workspace arranged for yourself.
You may choose to do your work sitting on your bed or sofa, there is nothing wrong with that. But it is our tendency to have too much of a relaxed air about it. Slowly one finds himself in the softness of the pillows and getting into too much comfort. That is why it is better to use a desk and chair.
Work from home facilitates working in your casuals. If you need to video chat with your boss or team members, remember to look professional. Keep your location and desk decluttered and clean as much possible. Remember that after the crisis is over, your organization would also review how you professionally performed your job by working from your home.
#3 Avoid social media
Keep a tab on that time you spend in social media and watching videos. Social media is the greatest distractor and so is online video streaming. We open our social media account for a few seconds and lo! Fifteen minutes have been wasted.
While we work in office, it is easy to avoid checking your notifications from time to time. On the contrary, it is a great temptation at home.
While you work from home, you will get more time than usual after your work is done for the day. Do it then. Avoid glancing into Netflix or YouTube during your working time.
#4 Stay motivated
One pitfall of working from home is that people get bored and lonely as they miss the talk and interactions of the office. They miss that spontaneity of putting themselves to work. This leads to lack of motivation.
There are many ways to keep that energy going. Build up a group chat. Go for group video calls. Talk to your team members regarding projects and also how they are managing it at their house.
Ask them how they are running their time, personal life and professional work. Discuss what they do after work, how they are keeping their body and mind fit for it. Talk to them about how they are keeping their kids engaged. Talking to your team members daily and learning from each other will keep you from feeling lonely and unmotivated.
You can listen to good music while you work. It keeps you in a rhythm. If you have family or roommates around, music can keep you from getting distracted towards them. Make sure you have good quality headphones so that you take care of your cochlea as well as theirs.
#5 Make notice of technological requirements
As you work from home, so may your spouse. Both would require not only well functioning laptops or desktops but also a speedy internet. As your family members and you will be spending more time online, you may require more bandwidth. Make sure your internet connection is suitable for all your present requirements. Upgrade to a better plan if needed.
Make sure you have the latest software updated for your work. Get a copy from your office and whatever else you may need like an external hard drive for backup of your work.
Make sure you install or have access to programs that allow you easy access to video calls and chats with your team members. Think it out beforehand.
#6 Treat working at home like your office
The more you can do so, the more you will stay focussed. The more you stay focussed, the easier it will be for others to follow suit.
As you will be will be working from home with your family members that may include children, it is important that you talk to your children about it. When children see their parents at home, it is a ‘holiday’ for their brains. Tell them how work from home works and how it is the same as working at office. Tell them for how long you will work and if they need to talk to you when you are on a voice or video call, how they should approach you. Once children understand this and see your own discipline, they will follow you.
#7 Plan and list it ahead
Most people who fail to work from home is because they do it without a plan. They just sit it out and see where it goes. While it may work short-time, it is a sure way to lose your motivation.
For many people, work from home feels something like being self-employed. It is your time, your decision, your project. That is why it is very important to have it clear in your mind what you want to get accomplished.
List all your activities for the day along with your working hour and lunch break. Make a plan as to when you would arise, do your chores, work out, relax and do other stuff. Working from home does not give you the liberty to stay up all night watching movies. As with office days, it will affect you the same way. In fact without the morning rush, it can slow you down and make you sleepy during your working hours.
So, make a list now and see for yourself how well it works out. Work from home can be a great opportunity to spend time with yourself and see how organized you are on your own.
Working from your home gives more time to relax and spend time with your family and pets. It may perhaps give you the time to take up that hobby or game you have been wanting to. Take time to exercise, do gardening and mindful breathing. Utilize your time well.