With the increased concerns and fear over COVID-19, governments have ordered citizens to self-quarantine themselves. The current unanticipated situation has drastically impacted the revenue and sales of the businesses. Remote working has become a compulsion for the employees. But working from home comes with its fair share of benefits and disadvantages, as homes neither have a ‘professional zone’ nor any executives and managers scrambling madly to put together.
Fortunately, there are solutions for efficient planning so that you have productive days while working from ‘home-office.’ Listed below are some proven productivity tips that’ll help you to ensure a win-win situation for you as well as for your family while working from home or remotely.
6 Tips to Work From Home During Coronavirus
1. Create an Office Environment by Dedicating a Space of Your Home to Work
The best solution is to replicating your office environment at home. Daily office goers are in the habit of working in a formal space. To ensure optimal productivity while working from home, take time to assemble ‘home-office space.’ For example, you may set-up your laptop/desktop, office files, and other items in the manner as they were positioned on your office desk.
A dedicated space of your home to work. The office area will trigger the ‘work mode’ as soon as you sit down for work. Keep this area organized and clean. Plus, make sure none of your family members (or you yourself) use this space for any other purpose. Don’t be hesitant to ask your project manager for the hardware, tools, and other resources needed to complete the allotted tasks.
2. Stay Connected With Your Colleagues through Video Calling
Loss of social life is one of the major cons of working remotely. Even a simple conversation with colleagues or connecting at work can be mind-refreshing. Just productivity tips won’t help here. The sense of isolation will likely affect your mindset and overall work efficiency.
Video calling with your co-workers (or your family members if they stay afar) can be an excellent source to fill this gap. Schedule time for online conversations with your colleagues. Casual conversations like asking about your-co-workers favorite series or taking suggestions for managing personal/professional tasks will be helpful.
3. Don’t Forgo Professional Etiquette
If you hold online meetings, make sure it’s according to the comfort/time zones of the participants. Just because the team members are remote working doesn’t mean they are available at all times. Keep track of the time zones and confirm with all the participants before you schedule the meeting.
You may confirm their availability via a phone call or chat. Alternatively, you may inform them about your availability and set-up the working hours accordingly. This will eliminate the possibilities of confusion among the team members, and online meetings can be quickly scheduled within the working hours.
None of the productivity tips will help if you fail to develop a habit of working within the set timing. Work flexibility is one of the most significant advantages of working from home. So it depends on you to set the standards according to your ease. Avoid making yourself available round the clock, or else it will be tough to manage both personal and professional life. Plus, it will affect your overall productivity.
4. Follow Your Schedule Strictly
COVID-19 is compelling people to make contingency plans, and most of the professionals are freaking out just because they believe that they may fail to produce optimal results. This is entirely a myth. Here is an easy solution: make yourself feel like you are working from the office and not from home.
If you get easily distracted, simply fake it. Get up early, dress up for work ready for work as you have to go to the office in the ‘time-bound period.’ Fake it and live the fact that you are actually at your office. You’ll be in the work-mode instantly without any extra efforts. Maintain regular working hours. Leave for your ‘home-office’ at the usual office timing.
5. Cheer-up Your Mood by Appreciating the Positives of Working Remotely
We can’t ignore the fact that we are progressing towards a state of crisis (though together we can combat it efficiently until the situation demands). It’s obvious to feel depressed or panicked over this tough situation.
The rule of thumb is to focus on your goals and immerse yourself into work as you would do if you had been working from the office. At the same time, acknowledge the benefits of working from home, such as you won’t have to deal with the heavy traffic, you’ll have the opportunity to prepare your breakfast/lunch and have better control over your daily schedule.
6. Maintain Work-life Balance
Closure of schools and recreational centers has placed the parents in a challenging situation to handle their kids all day long. The situation becomes even tougher for the parents who are left with the option of working remotely. So you’ll need to plan out entertainment, education, and other things for your kids as well so that you can be productive at work.
Get creative to organize daycare for your kids. Working from home offers the opportunity to spend more time with family. So be realistic about your situation when measuring the amount of work you can do while balancing family life. When you work from home, there are high chances to receive chat and email notifications beyond your ‘official working hours.’
What’s the Next Step?
It’s easy to slip into the overthinking mode during this period of crisis. Scheduling some ‘me-time’ is crucial, while managing your professional and personal tasks. Plot out a schedule for the next day/week beforehand so that you are saved from messy situations, which may crop up otherwise. While we are not sure for how long we have to deal with COVID-19, it is better to stay positive and board on long-term planning.
However, you may save a lot of time working remotely, so why not utilize this period to upskill yourself. Fortunately, we have the advantage of online learning, so leverage it to enrich your portfolio and enhance your capabilities. Sign up for the courses and learning programs related to your area of interest, and gain that extra nudge while you can.