"Work efficiency and effectiveness of an individual is determined by the psychological balance of the individual."
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of people around the world in several ways. Whether it is to put countries under lockdown, or force professionals to work from home.
Talking about the work-from-home situation, it was considered to be a pseudo-holiday by many in the past as it was practiced in rare conditions; maybe for a day or two. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, work-from-home has become the new office routine for millions.
A lot of companies and business setups have declared work from home for its employees in order to maintain the lockdown to follow social distancing (which is said to be the ONLY cure right now for the virus).
It is understandable that for many of you, working from home might not be a new thing. However, working from home because of coronavirus might feel like a whole new world.
You don’t know when all this is going to be over. It’s a sudden imposed work from home situation under a nationwide lockdown.
In such a situation, it is required to be mentally balanced and ensure that you don’t lack behind in your performance. So, we give you 5 effective work-from-home tips that you can use to manage your work and maintain your efficiency during the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the first and biggest challenges that one might face during work from home is having an ideal workspace. You don’t really buy a house or construct one while keeping ‘work-from-home’ in mind. So, naturally, most of the space and rooms are designed and have furniture that is ideal for living and relaxing.
However, making the best use of whatever you have in situations like this is what is required to ensure your work doesn’t get hampered. Even if it’s a small apartment that you live in, you can always figure out a perfect space to set up your ‘home office’.
Try to make your workspace comfortable with a chair you can sit in for eight hours a day and a few decorations. Find an area with good natural lighting if at all possible.
A proper desk and comfortable work chair are better than a backache triggered by working on the sofa with your laptop. Keep your desk clean and tidy. Make sure you have a wall or background that suits a Skype or video call with colleagues.
Also, try to be as organized as possible in order to stay undistracted. Get your laptop, diary, cell phone in place.
The key to success during work from home lies in prioritizing communication. Your team and manager need to know that you are available and taking your tasks seriously. Therefore, it is essential to call your colleagues on video or chat with them for routine queries instead of sending an email.
Come up with a plan that lays out expectations for how often you should check-in and how you’ll convey any changes or new assignments to one another. Do the same with anyone you usually work collaboratively with throughout the day.
If you have a team that reports to you as their manager then share more information than usual with your team. Provide them with the technology they need, organize social interactions, and discuss how they are coping with the situation.
Remember that this is a new situation for everyone. So make sure to circle back and change the plan if problems come up.
Another very significant challenge that one could face while working from home during the coronavirus pandemic is to properly align the working hours and planning the day.
Just as you designate and separate your physical workspace, you should be clear about when you’re working and when you’re not. You’ll get your best work done and be most ready to transition back to the office if you stick with your regular hours.
Plan your work before you start the day. Have a task list or target sheet in front of you. Prioritize your projects and schedule time slots including extra time in between to cater for contingencies like unforeseen work calls and new tasks received from your manager.
Just because you have nowhere else to go in the evening, doesn’t mean that you extend your working hours. That’s not going to help you with your assignment. Rather, tell yourself it’s time to put work away, recharge, and start tomorrow with a fresh mind. The work will be there in the morning.
Distraction is another very ubiquitous challenge that one may encounter during the work-from-home days.
Whatever you’d plan to do after returning home from office during the usual working days is now right in front of you the entire day. It is only human to get distracted hence. And, therefore, you need to be very strict with how much you want yourself to get distracted.
You probably already were taking a few small breaks during your regular office working hours, and that’s ok to continue while working from home. But, avoid using that break to lock yourself with other household activities that may eat up more time of yours than recommended.
Block out distractions from people by agreeing on ground rules with them. Pretend you are not at home while following rigid work hours. Do not get involved in conversations, personal calls or housework. Use headphones, a hoodie or even tinted glasses to create boundaries.
If you are married and have kids, figure out who will take care of the children and keep them from disturbing you. If your spouse is on work from home too, share time slots and children related chores.
Organize routines and rules for other disturbances like the maid and doorbell.
Now, before anything else, let’s make it very clear that by saying ‘socialize’, we don’t mean that you start going out to cafes or clubs, or parks to hang out with your friends.
Now that your entire office has been forced to work from home due to the coronavirus breakout, you’re cutting off a lot of the casual social interactions you’re used to having throughout the day. These casual talks helped you break the monotony of work. But, now that you are working from home, you don’t have that.
Combat this by talking with your coworkers throughout the day through Slack, calls, text, Zoom, or however, your company communicates. If you usually ask your coworkers about their weekends, keep that up. If you’d usually comment to them about a specific topic, reach out. These little interactions go a long way.
The way we used to cope with our daily work routine, and plan our entire day around it, is not the same anymore. Adapting your usual daily routines to a home environment because of the coronavirus comes with quite a few challenges. However, it’s important to stay productive, healthy, and social even when working from home