Many team members have been lobbying to work from home for years. Studies have even cited the benefits to allowing employees to work remotely on select weekdays. And now, working remotely has been imposed – and it feels a lot different.
Posts on social media had people sharing updates on their experiences of the first few days of being in self-isolation. Some were humorous, ranging from facial regimens whilst working, to only wearing professional attire from the top up, for video conferencing calls. Others shared their struggles, to try and find their flow in a seemingly unusual set up.
The good news is, there are many tips and strategies that people can use, to work from home successfully. Here are the ones we recommend:
- Set your alarm as though you are going to the office. Make your coffee and keep your morning routine the same.
- Plan your day. With set work times and scheduled meetings, planning your day was a simple feat. Today, the lack of structure requires a bit more detailed planning and discipline. We recommend to wake up at the same time and start your workday at the same time. Some have a tendency to extend their workday, well beyond normal hours. Try to practice being efficient within your allocated work time, to give yourself a break in the evenings.
- Home office essentials. Home offices do not need to be elaborate setups. Instead, find comfort in your home office by setting up a desk and a chair in a well lit room. Make sure it is quiet too! You can even choose a part of your bedroom to dedicate to work from – just make sure you do not opt to work from your bed (for psychological and posture reasons). Find pieces of furniture that are not used at home, to start bringing the home office to life. If you are hopping on video conferencing calls while working from home, make sure you have a proper backdrop that looks professional. If in doubt, seat yourself in front of a plain white wall to take a call.
- To do lists. Working from home does not mean work stops. It means that you will have to be more diligent to stay on top of matters. Update your to-do lists daily and set goals for the coming week.
- Communicate with your team. Team members need to understand their roles and responsibilities even more than before. Keep the team synergy intact with regular communication.
- Internet connectivity. Internet connectivity is vital, to ensure efficiency during your workday. Upgrade your home package if needed, and switch to your mobile data plan, when faster internet speeds are required (just keep track of your phone bill and data consumption!) Use Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype to stay connected with your peers.
- Set boundaries. Communicate with whoever is at home, about your current arrangements and ask them not to disturb you throughout the workday. This ensures that you have uninterrupted hours to be productive.
- Get off social media. When working from home, you may be more inclined to be on social media platforms – which can end up wasting a lot of precious time. Try to limit the number of hours you spend on online platforms and channel that time into something productive.
- Work out. If you had a gym, yoga or fitness regimen, your new work setup is no reason to stop. If you were never really fit, but had it as a New Year resolution for the past decade, now is the time to start. There are hundreds of fitness Apps that provide guided routines, and thousands of videos and articles online, based on your interests. Some local gyms are even sharing workout plans on social media. Factor in 30 minutes to an hour dedicated to fitness during your day. No excuses…
- Eat healthy. The impacts of the lockdown may have adverse effects on our mental health and body, if we are not careful. Staying confined at home may entice us to eat more, and not move around much. However, being at home, with a limited number of dietary choices may actually be a good thing. Schedule your meals during the day and make sure they are healthy!
- Attire is crucial. What you wear during the day can have an impact on your performance. Of course, choosing comfortable clothing is recommended. But make sure you hop out of your pajamas, to be able to integrate with humans again, once the lockdown is lifted.
- Human interactions. Just because you cannot see colleagues or friends that is no reason to lose touch. Video chat with them throughout the day, to maintain close ties. After all, we need human interactions to survive.
Just remember, we are all in this together. Do not lose sight of your goals, aspirations or routines just because of a lockdown.