Amidst all the disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, a considerable percentage of the world’s population… more than ever before, have been asked to work from home (WFH) by their employers. While this might have sounded like a bonus a while ago, the reality is quite challenging and TBH, not so enjoyable. Agreed some of us may already be used to working remotely, but this setup is new for a lot of people and they can’t help but feel lost in the process. If you’re also dealing with this for the first time, here are a few expert tips on how you can make the most of your WFH situation:
1. Stick to your normal routine
While it might feel good to catch on some extra ZZZs since you don’t have to commute to your office anymore, it is still important to maintain your normal working day schedule. Get up on time, shower and be ready for work at the start of the day (even dress up if you have video calls scheduled). Lazing on the bed in your pyjamas with a laidback approach will only negatively impact your productivity.
2. Set up a dedicated workspace
For operating in a business-like manner, you must create an ad-hoc office space at home from where you can work comfortably. Try to sit at a table or desk and an ergonomic chair, if possible, as this will not only help you focus but also ensure you have a good posture; working from your bed or couch is going to give you a backache. Keeping the desk clean and organised can also help you stay focused.
3. Structure a healthy workflow
Since you’re your own manager at home, it is upon you to manage your productivity throughout the day. And for structuring your day, you need to have a clearly defined purpose. So start with creating a to-do list – segment your tasks on priority basis and plan your time accordingly. Don’t forget to set some time aside for breaks and any unforeseen work calls or new tasks that might come your way.
4. Stay in touch using technology
Working from home doesn’t mean that you have to work in isolation; in fact, it’s just the opposite – the key to success at WFH is communication. So, learn to use the best technology to be connected with your team during working hours. Use video-conferencing tools like Google Hangouts, Zoom or Slack for calls and team meetings. Seek the help of your IT team for setting up a VPN, if required.
5. Steer clear of all distractions
Well, it can be a challenging task to manage distractions in a WFH routine but it’s not impossible. Set down some ground rules for family and friends – don’t get involved in chores, personal calls or living room discussions during work hours. Use noise-cancelling headphones or work from your own room, if that helps. Also, steer clear of social media distractions as you might end up wasting a lot of time.
To summarise, it is essential that you STAY COMMITTED – to your job, your work timings and to your deliverables. Remember you’re earning the same salary even in your WFH situation so don’t abuse it by being unavailable or unresponsive. Being at home does not mean it’s your personal time; you can schedule small breaks during work hours, if something needs your attention. Failure to meet what’s expected out of you can end up compromising your respect in office or in worst cases, loss of job, if your company decides to cut costs on account of the economic slowdown caused by Coronavirus.
TIP: As the line between work and home blurs, make sure you maintain your physical and emotional health by setting boundaries for when your workday starts and ends. Don’t skip meals and make it a point to log off at the end of the day. When you’re happy and healthy, you can enjoy WFH better!