The new coronavirus outbreak is consuming headlines. As this pandemic is on the rise, most of the companies including Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc. have mandated work from home policy for all their employees. Now, whether this is a new concept to some or are veteran in working remotely, here are a few tips which could certainly help all the employees while they continue to work from their so called new work place, home.
1.) Schedule your day: Working from home can be quite challenging since we’re so accustomed to the whole office atmosphere and routine. It comes along with distractions, lack of socialism, major change in daily routine, etc. Hence, it is absolutely necessary to schedule your day right, more importantly, stick to it. Specific hours should be set aside for client calls, team e-meetings, answering emails, lunch, etc. Everyone working from home must be clearly informed and aware of their tasks and should be able to wisely separate working hours from non-working hours.
2.) Designate work space at home: One of the biggest differences between working from office and working from your home is that in the latter you are in-charge of the environment while being accountable for the deliverables being an employee. Hence, it is essential that workspace at home should feel separate from rest of the home to create the physical distinction between office and home. At home, you can create your own little space with a desk and a chair wherein you can comfortably work at least 8 hours a day. A few decorations on the desk can add element to the workspace. It is important to be seated in natural light as it is said to do wonders to your mood and enable to remain active for longer duration. And, it is wise to keep the workspace corner away from distractions like TV, food, family lounge areas, etc.
One of the biggest differences between working from office and working from your home is that in the latter you are in-charge of the environment while being accountable for the deliverables being an employee. Hence, it is essential that workspace at home should feel separate from rest of the home to create the physical distinction between office and home.
3.) Dress up: The whole act of changing clothes serves as a signal to the mind that it’s time to get in motion to get things done. Hence, the power of dressing up suitable for public viewing should not be underestimated. One does not need to dress as formally as they would while working from office. However, comfortable clothing that is presentable from video calling perspective should work. Dressing up also includes other appearance-based activities such shower, brushing, makeup, etc. that make you ready for taking on the world virtually.
4.) Communication is the key: Most of the people while working from office spend time with their bosses, managers and teams in proximity making the whole communication aspect effortless and easy. Not everyone is used to working / managing teams remotely and in this situation communication no longer feels as natural as in the former case. Hence, it is important to keep communicating with your managers, bosses, teams about every single thing because out of sight can lead to out of mind impacting overall productivity. Clear and constant communication will help in understanding expectations, feedbacks, changes in the strategy, updates, etc.via variety of tools available.
5.) WFH tool kit: It is essential to be equipped with variety of tools that are going to be essential while working from home. For instance, Wi-Fi enabled home / Wi-Fi dongle, range extenders will help to function from home with proper connectivity to the Internet. Access to texting / project management apps like slack, zoom / Skype for video conferencing, VPN system, headphones, will be much helpful for better overall communication. If the nature of works demand certain gadgets like printer, scanner, etc. then one must ensure to get them equipped before working from home.
6.) Keep up the spirits: Sudden change of working environment from office to home, negative news everywhere, social isolation, etc. can tend to make things difficult for people. However, this is also an opportunity to spend quality time with family pre and post working hours. Face to face communication over video calls / conferencing with colleagues and friends will help to get over the feeling of isolation and will enable you to stay happy and in positive frame of mind. One could also try their hand to learn a skill, which can be achieved while being at home.