The outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 has made the entire world go topsy turvy. After being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), millions are quarantined to fight the disease from spreading further. The entire world has come to a standstill. Many businesses whether global, large or small, are either shutting down or urging their employees to work from home. Global giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter among many, have even encouraged their employees to work from home to prevent, and reduce, the exposure to the contagious virus.
Millions of people are riding on the new normality of self-isolation or social distancing while working remotely from their home. And the introverts could not be happier. Social distancing through work from home can be a dream come true for many employees, but in the time of Corona, it has become a new reality. While many will acknowledge that working remotely improves their productivity, others will be testing whole new waters with this approach. Normally, employees leave their workload and stress at the office to prefer some ‘me-time’ at home. But now with this paradigm shift along with the current financial year ending, the shift to work from home can be stressful.
Here are some tips which can help you manoeuvre through working from home effectively:
Remember to freshen up, even while working from home
Working remotely grants you an opportunity of working from your home without having to go over the daily household rituals. Unfortunately, it is not a vacation. So to keep away from lethargy or a distracted mind, remember it is still your working day even if it is from home.
Set your wi-fi technology in order
Before you begin to set-up your office at home, you need to check your wi-fi connections and it's speed. Since you will be connected to your team and colleagues through the Internet, and the number of people relying on the Internet shooting up, service providers are likely to be laden with pressure. So as a precautionary measure, choose a strong and fast Internet service provider. Check if your wi-fi router gadgets are up-to-date, get the newest model of routers to get faster speed. And safeguard it against hackers.
Do not leave the other gadgets behind
Employees who are accustomed to working from the office need to pay extra attention to all the gadgets required for working remotely. Check if all your gadgets like webcam, mouse, headset, pen drives, USB docks are in their working condition. If not, then it's time to buy new ones. Also remember to clean them up frequently.
Keep the couch for Netflix
Set your workstation in order after checking all your digital gadgets. Employees who are well-versed in working remotely keep a designated place as their workstation at home. For beginners, choose the most comfortable spot in your house and turn it into your work area. Keep the couch for Netflix, weekend, and relaxation. Stay away from your bed, too. As the working hours are generally eight, your back will suffer a serious blow if you stay put in your bed and work. Working from the couch or for that matter from your bed dissolves the line between work and leisure. It diminishes the seriousness of your work and creates a distraction.
Communication is the key
People working remotely might end up feeling lost and isolated. Due to this, the exchange of information tends to get less and employees might find it overwhelming. Establish a proper communication pathway through several softwares available for uninterrupted conference calls. As everybody will be working on their laptops or computers , you can also opt for video calling to bring the normalcy of office. Give a heads up to your co-workers or your boss if you are taking a break even if it is a loo break. Using proper tools to establish strong communication will make the workflow easy and reduce the feeling of isolation.
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Chalk out your daily to-dos
With your boss being away, your assignments or your deliverable might take time to reach you. Hence, when you begin your work, chalk out a list of your to-dos for that day to avoid feeling lost in the sea of work.
Fix your log out time
Working remotely might at times stretch your working hours. But if it happens daily, it might take a toll on your health as well as on the equilibrium of your family. Fix up a time to turn that lid of your laptop down.
Avoid binging on junk while working
Home is the place where you hoard your favorite food and snacks. Working in isolation can make you want to munch away to glory. As millions of people are in self-isolation like you, do not stock-pile food which you won't even eat. Limit your snack intake (to avoid post isolation bulge) or shift to a healthier version of a snack.
Fix up a schedule with your boss daily to discuss your deliverables. The workflow and meeting the deliverables becomes easy when the expectations are set clearly. Speak up when you think the workload is too much. Keep the transparency intact to avoid any type of confusion. From following-up on projects to coordinating between your co-workers or attending meetings, keep the transparency in communication as well as in expectations. All this is important even while you are working from home.
Children in the house?
With even the schools closed due to COVID-19 and the parents working from home too, things might turn a bit tricky. If your children are around, it might become the reason for your distraction. Have a chat with them explaining that you are not on a vacation, but simply working from home. Fix up a transparent boundary explaining in detail that they might pursue their interest in playing, drawing or reading while you work. Take turns with your partner to look after them. Divide and rule!
Inform your boss early when you have a conference or video call that your children might be spotted around, in case there's an emergency as per them, to avoid any awkwardness.
Take a break
Working in isolation can take a toll on your mind with the most common being the imposter syndrome. In order to prove your productivity, you tend to stretch your work hours and skip meals without taking any breaks. Do not pressurize yourself needlessly. Your work won't get lost. Take breaks to reset and rejuvenate yourself. Opt for a mini-meditation session, have a cup of warm herbal tea or even go for a shower. Do whatever soothes your mind.
For beginners, working from home might be quite stressful at first. But do not get into the panic mode. With the correct approach and tips, you will surely meet your deliverables. Times might look tough now, but this too shall pass! Till then happy working from home!
It is best to meditate along with the entire family before lunch so that your afternoon work hours are not boring. You can also meditate after winding up work for the day as it will freshen you up for the remaining hours to be spent with your family and loved ones.
Written By: Jaya Singh
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