Almost 5 months down the line at the time of writing, the world doesn’t seem to be anywhere near defeating the novel COVID-19 pandemic of 2019/20. Spreading like wildfire, coronavirus has managed to infect over 4 million people (just the tested and confirmed cases) around the world, with more than 270,000 people succumbing to this respiratory disease as of 9th May 2020. Statistics aside, the China-born global pandemic has wreaked havoc across the 4 corners of the planet, causing a giant disruption in people’s personal, social, and professional lives. From small to large, businesses have received a huge hit, with many being forced to cut budgets, send employees on unpaid leaves, or even resort to layoffs. On the brighter side, many companies have adopted a work-from-home formula as well.
If you’re reading things, there’s a big chance that you’re working from home to stay safe and comply with your government’s plea for people to observe social distancing and work from home where possible. But unless you’ve been a freelancer for quite some time, working from home is not everyone’s cup of tea. It comes with its fair share of challenges, especially if you’re forced to stay home by COVID lockdowns and curfews. But life has to go on and work has to be done. So how exactly can you adapt to the current situation where you have and need to work from home? Here are some tips for you.
Prepare for Being Out of Office
For starters, working from home most probably means that you’ll be working remotely, whether you’re employed or self-employed. You will be out of your regular office if you run a business, which makes it important to let your clients know. In this case, you’ll want to let them know the easiest way to contact you to keep things running smoothly. It’s also advisable to set up call-forwarding on your office phone to a number you will be reached on when WFH.
Create Your Workspace
When working from home, you’ll also need a dedicated office space that is comfortable and well equipped to facilitate various workplace activities. This means gathering basic equipment such as a laptop/PC, printer, and Wi-Fi accessories, and dedicating a quiet space in your house with a spacious table and a comfortable chair that will recreate your ideal office environment. As far as comfort and ergonomics are concerned, replicas at bybespoek.com/eames-lounge-chair have an incredible reputation from consumers who use them as office chairs. They are highly reputed for comfort, aesthetic appeal, durability, and flexibility, making them an amazing choice for home offices, even though they were originally designed as lounge room chairs. The goal is to try and make your big or tiny home office as comfortable and fun to work from as possible.
You should also ensure you have access to high-speed internet for smooth work sessions. Also, a webcam and a comfortable headset will come in handy for video conferencing because you will probably have to hold office meetings from home over video. While at home, you might experience distractions so make sure your television is off, stay off social media, and separate your workspace from social space.
Develop a Routine
Whether you choose to wake up at your usual time or a little bit later, just make sure you start working at the exact time you normally do at the office. It is important to stay disciplined, set working hours, and dress appropriately. To maximize productivity, set targets along with timelines within which you should accomplish certain goals or complete tasks. It’s also important to keep a daily checklist that will help you keep track of your daily tasks while accommodating time for short breaks to break work monotony.
Effective communication is essential in any professional organization. If you belong to one, you will need to be in constant communication with your teammates despite being miles apart. If there’s someone above you, you may have to deal with constant check-ins and meetings with your superiors and team members where you may be needed to provide progress updates or reports. All this is supposed to ensure that the organization is running smoothly and not just scrutinize your progress or achievement on various tasks, targets, and projects.
Remote working can be a bit boring, so at times, you can have social interactions with other team members over breaks just to keep it lively where you get to use an emoji to lighten up conversations. Thankfully, there are many communication and project management tools out there, including Asana, Slack, Basecamp, Trello, and Zoom, among others.
As researchers and medical experts work hard to contain the pandemic and develop a cure/vaccine, it’s important to stay at home and stay safe while staying productive to support the economy that supports their work. It’s a health crisis affecting everyone around the globe and the best thing we can do is fight it together even from miles apart. The above are just a few tips to help you work from home. Create a conducive work environment, avoid distractions, manage your time well, use remote working tools, set a routine, and most importantly, take care of yourself!