The world has come to a standstill and humans are adapting to newer ways of working during this unprecedented crisis; Coronavirus Pandemic. With offices, stores, malls, and industries shut, people have moved to technological innovations to be productive and monetize their accomplishments. The IT industry has become non-functional as gatherings of masses in skyscrapers, hi-rise buildings and air-conditioned malls have been banned. As a precautionary measure, the employees are being asked to work from home to stay safe and be productive at the same time.
If you are working from home and finding it difficult to adapt to this alternative work lifestyle, here are a few tried and tested tips to make remote working a breeze. Having a positive approach to this unfamiliar work environment can make adapting to it much simpler and effective. Let’s dig into the ways to handle this extraordinary situation and stay on top of our professional life.
1. Create a Workspace
A dedicated workspace will help change your mind about the remote working environment. If you keep carrying your laptop to different corners of the house, it may reduce your concentration and interest to complete tasks on time. And never use your bed as a workspace. It’s a strict no!
Here’s how a home workspace should be,
• Ventilated Rooms Work Better than Unlit Spaces: Choose an ideal workspace that is comfy and well-ventilated. Gloomy rooms can lead to tiredness, lethargy, and sleepiness because of the lesser circulation of oxygen. A window with ample sunlight can boost your mind, energy, and focus.
• Use an Ergonomic Chair and Desk: Choose an ergonomic chair and desk as your home office furniture to keep your spine well-supported throughout the day. Uncomfortable furniture can cause back, shoulder, and neck pain. The right chair and desk can make all the difference when working long hours at home.
• Clean Space is a Productive Space: Once you have set up a dedicated workspace at home, make sure you take care of it. Plenty of sticky notes, stationery, papers, and trash all over your desk can make you anxious, irritated, and unproductive. Clean your desk as the first thing in the morning and throw away unnecessary notes in the trash every day.
2. Stick to a Schedule
The home environment can make everybody lazy and procrastinate time. But when you must work from home, then creating a routine can help in managing time better and completing your tasks as per schedule. Make sure you create a simple schedule that fits all your daily activities and to-do-lists.
Here’s how to stick to a schedule while working from home,
• Know Your Work Plan: Communicate with your team every day to know your work plan. Write your tasks along with the submission date to keep track of your schedule. Have a notebook with a pen on your desk at all times to check the completed tasks.
• Work at Dedicated Hours: Having a dedicated working time will be good for your mind and body. If you want to be productive, then follow the same office hours. i.e. 9-5 or 10-7 am or pm according to your lifestyle. In this way, your body will adjust better to the new working environment and be productive. Wear nice clothes and makeup to be fresh and energetic throughout the day.
• Put To-Do-Lists at Eye Level: It’s a waste of time to write notes on bits and pieces of paper and search for it the next day. Use sticky notes to create to-do-lists and put it on a visible space. Therefore, whenever you look into the notes, you will know your tasks on hand. You can even break your tasks into categories and do color-codes to save time.
3. Take Effective Breaks
Working at home can be strenuous for newbies as they need time to adjust to the unfamiliar environment and schedule. Especially, moms with kids find it difficult to concentrate on their work because of confined spaces. There’s nothing wrong with taking breaks while working from home because it can keep your mind and body at ease.
Here’s how to take effective breaks while working from home,
• Use Pomodoro Timer: Pomodoro method can be a boon for people constantly looking at their laptops for hours. Taking a break after 25 mins of work can reduce stress on your eyes, brain, and body. Roll your eyes and do simple yoga every 25 mins to relax.
• Walk for 20 minutes: It is important to be active even if you are just working from home. Make sure you spend at least 20 mins every day strolling in the garden, terrace or outside your house. This will loosen your muscles and improve blood circulation in your body.
• Schedule Downtime: Many people forget to take breaks while sitting in front of their laptops immersed in work for hours. It is better to take a quick coffee break in the morning and evening to relax your mind. Scheduling downtime at a particular time of the day can help you work better.
4. Have a Work-Life Balance
When you are working in an office, you understand that home is where you can relax and be away from work pressure. But when your home itself becomes your office; you may find it difficult to maintain a work-life balance. The blending of work and home obligations can cause stress, anxiety, depression, and poor cognitive performance. Our body and brain must have routines of sleeping, eating, working, and relaxing to function properly.
Here’s how to have a work-life balance while working from home,
• Stay Away from Distractions: Keep your work and life activities separate at all times. Do not work when you are playing with your kids or feeding them. Stay away from phones, games, radio, and television when you are working at home.
• Have Dedicated Family Time: Make sure you spend quality time in the evenings or at bedtime with kids and family members. Play games, watch movies, cook, and dine together. Interact with family members and plan your day to ensure the needs of family and work are met at the same time.
• Call Friends and Loved Ones to Socialize: Maintaining good socializing time during work from home can improve your energy levels. Make video calls to co-workers, friends and loved ones to distract your mind from work stress.
In these testing times, be thankful for your employment. When you are grateful for your work, you can establish coping strategies to adapt and respond to newer circumstances better. Have a great work from home experience!