Your Guide to Working From Home
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a huge concern for everyone, especially as its momentum continues to gather pace globally, affecting our daily routines at home and at work, across our family, friend and colleague circles. Companies such as Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Apple, Amazon and Spotify, amongst others have, as a consequence, rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak, with working from home is an important component of the social distancing strategy.
As many transitions to working remotely, be it as business owners or employees, we have come up with the following tips to help you adapt to the new normal while remaining productive and managing the associated fears of COVID-19;
1. Have a Plan
Establish a set of goals – professional and personal, and prioritise your most important tasks early in the day when your brain is still fresh and you are still energetic. Setting to-do lists and keeping to your routines are critical to successfully working from home, given that flexible work hours can morph into overtime for some who aim to get through their deliverables, in the same way, that they can become too-few working hours for others who do not grasp that they are still “on the job”. Therefore is important to structure your day and prior to going to bed, go through your log of activities and identify where you need to be more productive, in order to tackle those tasks the following day.
2. Designate a Workspace within your Home
Create a psychological boundary that allows you to treat your home workspace with the same seriousness as you would your regular office. Ideally, an area with little to no traffic flow and noise from the other members of the house. In that light, strive to discourage distractions by focusing on professional tasks within that space and within timeframes allocated to those tasks and only carry out personal tasks out of that set boundary. Establish an ergonomic atmosphere that allows you to be mindful and follow through with your daily schedule.
3. Review your Communication Strategy
Bearing in mind that out of sight can equate to out of mind, it is important to update your superior(s) and colleagues regularly on projects and tasks assigned to you. With the use of tools such as email or Teams, create a daily check-in system that will encourage overall productivity and accountability. Additionally, employ digital communication tools such as Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom, so you are more readily in touch with your teammates. Also, strive to provide clear communication to your team by ensuring that your document sharing tool is effective within your region and for your line of business, in order to be organised and secure as you share data.
4. Evaluate your Attitude Often
Perspective is very important during this outbreak. As an employee, picture how you would evaluate your work and efforts when you return to normal working life. Are you indispensable to your organisation? Identify what you need to improve on immediately and attach good habits to your daily routine. As a business owner, imagine the positioning of your business post-crisis. Is your business implementing processes that are considered unique and memorable to its clients? Take effective measures that curtail lagging in the achievement of corporate objectives. Overall, you have to remind yourself often to keep your productivity levels up and that personal accountability is key.
5. Stay Curious
In order to curtail the effect of this interruption to your regular schedule, endeavour to use this time away from the office to work on projects that you had previously set aside, renew your skillset by registering for online courses, workshops and webinars. Furthermore, you could host webinars or engage in online learning facilities as your way of staying mentally active. We have to invent the future and this requires taking stock of our goals as business owners and employees, identifying gaps in our markets and strategising in a way that allows us to be prepared for recovery when better days arrive.
Are you working from home and have you found these tips practical and applicable to your routine? If so, please share your thoughts, tips and challenges with us. We will continue to share helpful advice on ways to lower stress, stay productive and mentally healthy as the world responds to the outbreak of COVID-19, so please keep an eye on our platforms –Follow us