Many of us are spending a lot more time at home right now, as the mandate to work from home continues to grow globally, as part of the governments’ efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus. During this time, we find ourselves on our couches, or at our dining tables, trying to power through our agendas for the day, without the built-in discipline at the office.
While the expectations are the same, the environment isn’t. In fact, working from home is sometimes more difficult. There can be days when you’re interrupted every 10 seconds by family members or housemates, or distracted by the need to complete household chores.
Switching from the office to the home is not always an easy transition.
The key to work-from-home success is to create an environment that you can associate with your job. Here are some tips to help you thrive in this #wfh situation
1- Location, Location, Location
Try to find yourself a dedicated and comfortable spot to work that you can associate with your job and leave when you’re off the clock. Avoid the urge to work in your bedroom at all. It’s a good idea to treat your bedroom as a sacred space - where you only go to sleep or relax.
p/s - Here’s our work from home situation! Our team struggled in the first few days but finally settled into a healthy #WFH routine.
2- Find Ways to Communicate with your Team - the daily huddle
One of the most challenging things about working from home is the lack of socialization. As distracting as the office environment can sometimes be, there’s nothing like having colleagues you enjoy working with and catching up with throughout the day. While working from home, it’s important to go beyond email and use other digital tools such as Zoom or Skype that can replicate the in-person office experience and provide for clear communication.
Tip: It can be motivating and encouraging to have a video call at the start of the day with your team, to share the day’s game plan; and to have one more at the end of the day to share what’s been completed.
3- Have a Plan to Maximize Productivity
The biggest piece of advice: “Go” to work.
Many people think working from home means sitting around in pajamas all day. Just like in an office setting, try to stick to some semblance of your routine before you started working from home - get ready as you would if you were going into the office! Set a morning ritual of getting dressed, having a cup of coffee and having some quiet time before diving into the day’s agenda. You may also want to jot down your to-do list for the day, which increases your chances of being productive.
4- Discourage Intrusions or Distractions
Interruptions and drop-ins can cause you to lose your focus, procrastinate or get behind on a deadline. It’s important to prevent intrusions into your work space by informing others that although the location of your job has changed, it is no different from any other profession requiring privacy and concentration. Notify others that during at-home work hours you’re unavailable and cannot be interrupted. And let them know the after hours when you’re available to connect.
5- Keep your attitude in check
Your greatest power is your perspective. It can victimize you or empower you. When you look for the upside in a downside situation and figure out what you can control and what you can’t, it’s easier to accept whatever is beyond your control. Your best ally is to find the opportunity in the difficulty during an uncontrollable situation instead of the difficulty in the opportunity.
6- Log off
One of the most important aspects of a healthy work-from-home routine is creating boundaries. Just because you have access to work anytime doesn’t mean you should be logged in 24/7. Allow yourself to have downtime to create a work-life balance—we all need it, no matter where we are working.
Our hearts go out to everyone who's battling this - and we hope that you and your loved ones are safe. Keep your spirits lifted and optimistic, believing that we will rise above these times.