Tips On How To Work From Home During Covid-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing life as we know it… from handshakes to home working. For many of us, working from home is unchartered territory in this new COVID-19 world, that we’ll need to settle into and adapt to.
A survival map through a day of working from home might be of some help to us, so let’s create one to make for a productive time away from the regular office.
This is about setting routine, far more than it is about rising early. With the suddenness of not having anyone to check what time you clocked in – or if you’ve even clocked in at all – a steady waking routine will keep you motivated to work.
The average UK citizen spends an estimated 45 minutes on travel to or from work. Yours might be more, or it might be less, but you’ve now got some extra time in the mornings. Let’s be honest – the temptation to lie in and let your sleep break whenever it pleases is great.
It will benefit your productivity levels far more, however, to stick to a daily rising schedule, even if it does squeeze in the few minutes not used for travelling.
PREPARING YOURSELF FOR WORK
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, you had a series of events during the week that geared your mindset towards work. Ranging from your alarm to breakfast, through to your commute.
Working from home might feel like you’ve had no time at all to create that buildup to a good workday. You might feel like you’ve hopped straight out of bed and into your job. Bypass this feeling by doing some of the little things that bridge that gap between bed and work.
Getting dressed is a good start. Ditch the daytime pyjamas for something neat, even if it isn’t your uniform. Eat breakfast as usual. Take a few minutes to remind yourself of the tasks to be done for the day. Again, the aim is to prevent leaping between home and work too quickly.
Conversely, once you’ve finished your home workday, you’ll also need to take a bit of time to wind down. Perhaps pack up your workspace or take a few minutes to stretch.
Perhaps one of the most essential parts of working from home is to create a separate workspace. Not everyone has access to studies, home offices, or desks. Also, not everyone likes to work in silence, or with other people around, or have a potentially distracting window view. How you create your home workspace is entirely up to you. Whether it’s the kitchen table or your garden furniture, make it comfortable and work-conducive for you.
STAYING CONNECTED DURING THE DAY
So, you’ve risen on time, gotten into the correct mindset, and sat down at your own workspace… what next?
It might feel strange for those of us who are usually cocooned in the hubbub of office activity to be suddenly alone. Or it might be difficult not to have all members of your team project present in the same boardroom. We are lucky, however, to be living in a time where connecting with each other is still possible.
If you are working from home during COVID-19, consider using platforms that can connect you to your colleagues digitally. There is an abundance of platforms to choose from – perhaps Slack, a messaging system that allows collaboration on shared tasks; or Telegram, an instant messenger that can also be used to create contact groups.
When it’s not work-related, try and stay connected with your friends and family via social media. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has got us all in lockdown, it doesn’t mean that we can’t still interact with anyone. Staying connected with our loved ones will avoid us feeling isolated as well as preserving our mental health.
THE END OF THE WORKDAY
It’s a different dynamic, working from home. How do you really know when to clock out? The answer depends on the kind of work you do.
A lot of places suggest setting designated working hours. You might get ready and make sure you are at your workspace by 8 am every day, then finish off at 4 pm. This works well if you are in a dynamic industry where new information constantly comes in and gets processed… think supply chain management or someone who handles queries for a business.
If you are in a task-based business – such as freelancing, or property management – you could also choose to set goals and specific tasks for each day and finish off only when you have completed your work objectives for the day.
In both cases, it is important to remember that when working from home you are primarily responsible for your own performance during the day, and that you’re accountable for your levels of productivity.
With that being said, however, working from home allows you the rare chance to work to your pace and limitations. You will know when you need to stop and pick it up again the next day, and there is nothing wrong with this.
A NEW OPPORTUNITY
With that simple walk-through of a productive day working from home, we now have a foundation to build on. See this as a small opportunity to create your own enjoyable, rewarding workspace while working remotely during the COVID-19 epidemic.