Long before Covid-19 loomed over the horizon, the concept of working from home had begun to attract companies that understood that a lot of people do not need supervision to do their best work.
Working from home gives people the flexibility to choose their own working hours, helping them work at the times when they are most productive: as we’ve all learned, all of us are not productive at the same time of day. Some are most prolific in the early morning, others find their productivity increasing as the day wears on.
However, with Covid-19 rampant and rampaging, even the ways in which we can work from home are changing. For example, a lot of people used to go to their favorite cafes to sit for what they chose as their working hours, where they could even hold meetings with various groups.
With restaurants and coffee shops closed due to the lockdown in most parts of the world, that is impossible now. Working from a coffee shop gave structure to the day. It made you get up, get dressed, and drive somewhere, with the biggest difference from the office being that you were your own boss. With that facility gone, you have no choice but to really stay at home. For the whole day.
Plan Your Day
But wait a minute – you can still beat the sleepy, drowsy feeling that sometimes comes with staying at home. So first of all, plan your day. Plan what will be your working hours. Even if it’s a rough, loose estimate, it will give you free time to spend with your children, your significant other, your pets. It’ll give you time to switch off and relax.
Learn Online Applications
First and foremost, if somehow you missed out in the past on learning online software like Skype, Google Meet, and the like because you didn’t work online, this is the time to learn them. Don’t worry, they’re easy – they were all designed with the users’ comfort in mind, so there is literally nothing in them that you can’t do. You just have to learn to listen to the instructions your computer is giving you – if you can do this, you can do it all. Learning the software will give you a sense of achievement like no other: it will be a great way to start your work at home.
Get Up Early
Get up reasonably early, whatever that might mean to you. Get dressed. Walk the dog. Go for a run. Since most of us are allowed to get out enough to go round the block, take advantage of it. It will freshen you up and ready you for the day.
Organize Your Workspace
Next step, give your working space some structure. Have a dedicated spot to work where you won’t be disturbed: you won’t hear the kids screaming, no one willpeek around the door to announce that you’re out of onions and, most importantly, the cat won’t sneak in to sit on your computer keyboard. And make sure you have a comfortable chair with a straight back to sit on: the more your body slouches, the more your brain will slouch.
Get a Good Internet Connection
Get a good internet connection. Whether WiFi or something else doesn’t matter, it just has to be a strong connection that won’t suddenly disappear when you’re searching the internet or – horrors! In the middle of a meeting.
Be even more organized in your work than you were at the office. Working from home, you might find yourself thinking, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll do that later.’ But later you’ll forget, as it has been found that with the household to also think about, you might not fare as well at remembering office things as you did at the office. Make daily deadlines for yourself, and make sure you keep them.
At the office, you don’t sit for 8 hours a day. You get up, go to the boss’s office, say hello to colleagues and friends. You walk about to stretch your legs, and in the process, you refresh your mind and it works better. You can’t do that at home. Or can you? Assign yourself regular exercise breaks, walk inside the house, do some stretching exercises. They will serve the same purpose. You can even go and check on the kids to see if they’re doing their schoolwork.
The only thing is, don’t make the breaks too long, or you’ll wind down and find yourself having to gear up again!
Meet With Your Coworkers Online
Have at least one online meeting with your team a day. Whether it’s early in the day or late, it will give everyone a chance to see each other’s faces, hear each other’s voices: in essence, we are human beings after all, with an intrinsic need for social interaction.
Choose a Quiet Workplace
Don’t work at a desk facing a window. An empty warehouse yard is one thing, but at home, you’re going to have birds chirping, neighbors talking, children playing cops and robbers. Here a window can be extremely distracting and make it completely impossible to concentrate on work. According to most people, a blank wall with a green board where you’ve put up your schedules or a white board where you’ve written all your important things to do is the best thing to face.
When it’s time for you to sign out but your daily deadline has not been met, take a little extra time, but after that, sign out. End the workday. Working from home, you might have the temptation to go on and on, but resist it! If you don’t, you find yourself ending up a workaholic and negate the greatest benefit of working from home: being relaxed enough to let the productivity flow. Which remains the same, even considering Covid 19.
This debilitating disease may die out in a month, or stay around for years. We just don’t know. Keeping the given tips in mind, none of us who can work from home should fare too badly. And as time goes on and you gain more experience in working from home, you’ll find many other ways of making yourself more comfortable and productive. Bon, voyage!