Published at 2020, March 12th
Has your organization just asked you to work from home because of the new coronavirus? Are you being cautious or are you in quarantine? What are the best strategies to work from home efficiently? What are the dos and don’ts of working from home?
The spread of the new coronavirus is keeping more people at home. Following the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), governments are forcing lockdowns across all sectors of activity. Large and small conferences and shows are being canceled to avoid the gathering of people and the possible dissemination of the coronavirus.
Many companies are also proactively taking measures and telling employees to work from home. Either because they have a case of a positively infected employee or some suspicion. But working from home has its own challenges.
The hurdles associated with working from home differ according to the industry, sector of activity, job tasks and the type of person. There are, however, general tips that can be followed by anyone used to do “office work”. Here are 8 tips on how you can adopt productive habits and routines in order to work from home effectively.
1 – Work Effectively From Home: Create Morning And Evening Routines
Creating a routine is key to succeeding in working from home. In the morning, you will get some extra time in bed thanks to not commuting but once you get up, there are some tricks to get you started and to keep you going.
Try to start working at the same time every day if you can and schedule some breaks too – this will help you stay consistent and focused. Try also to get some outdoor time to recharge with sunlight and fresh air – be it with a morning run or an end of the day walk. During these coronavirus times, remember to keep some social distance when you go out.
2 – Make Sure Your Family Or Flatmates Understand You Are Working From Home
This is highly important. If you share your home with your parents, grandparents, grown-up children or flatmates, let them know you are that you are working, you need to get focused and sometimes you’ll have meetings you won’t be able to interrupt.
Establishing a line that separates work time from leisure time is challenging both for you and for your dear ones – but very necessary. That’s why having those breaks we spoke above planned to check on these people is useful. Noise-canceling headphones can be of great use too. Just like having or temporarily creating a dedicated workspace.
3 – Have A Dedicated Workspace At Home
The benefits are multiple. You can close a door and avoid getting distracted or interrupted. It will help establish these work-leisure limits – being inside this dedicated workspace means work, not fun.
You will also have a proper place to set up video-calls without minding the noise others might make; plus, you will be able to have what you need around you: be it your laptop, mouse, headphones, book notes… It will save you the hurdle and time of looking up for things as you can keep them tidy.
4 – How To Work From Home Effectively? Mind Your Clothes
One of the perks commonly outlined by digital nomads and remote workers is the chance of dressing with whatever one enjoys and feels comfortable with. Though a pair of pajama pants for an entire day might look and feel comfy, there is the downside that it will probably leave you too relaxed.
As we’ve been going over, the work-leisure borders need to be carefully managed to keep high productivity levels. Rather than activating one’s need to focus on getting work done, leaving your body too comfortable can work as an unconscious sign that you can take it easy and chill. Perhaps some nice comfy slippers are neither too much, nor too little.
5 – Mind Your Posture While Working From Home
At the office, larger screens that make your neck bend less and allow your eyes to get less tired are often common. You might also be used to sitting a comfortable, adjustable chair – which you have not perhaps appreciated enough up until this point.
The truth is working from home and losing some of the perks above challenges you to keep a good posture. Having your neck straight, your eyes in line with your screen, your shoulders aligned with your body and your elbows close to 90º are guidelines we often forget, even at the office. Do your best with what you have available and keep a good posture.
6 – Overcomunicating Is Key When Working Remotely From Home
When working remotely from home, overcommunicating becomes very important. Share your schedule with your team and colleagues, tell them how you are making progress or finishing your tasks to make sure you are all on the same page.
It’s not about telling your manager about every move you make Rather, it’s about communicating the important things more than once, to make sure they are truly heard and registered. Having face-time is also nice in order to have a more “personal” visual contact and get information via sound and facial expressions.
From the management side, a balance between worrying and making sure work is being successfully done and micromanaging also needs to be kept. For this, communication tools and platforms (with free and paid versions) like Asana, Microsoft Teams, Slack or Trello – some of which were made available at lower prices to help teams work efficiently from home – can be quite helpful.
7 – Working From Home Because Of Coronavirus? Get Some Sunlight And Exercise
Remember to go out and get some sunlight to boost your energy and vitamin D levels. A run at the park or a walk will keep you active and neither requires touching many things in the streets.
At the same time, doing some pushups and sit-ups at home, or even watching some youtube videos with tips on other kinds of exercises one can do at home can also be interesting.
8 – Coronavirus And Working From Home: Stay Positive
Enjoy some of the perks of working from home such as not wasting time commuting, spending breaks with your dear ones or dressing more casual. These are not happy times but not all is bad and we can surely find some joy in the middle of all the economic and social disruptions. Having a positive attitude will help keep you strong and overcome this crisis.