Some people have taken to working from home like fish take to water. Others don’t seem to cozy up to the idea at all. Whichever category you fall into, it’s likely that you are spending more time at home, right now, than ever before. Before the pandemic, several people worked from the confines of their homes. Since the year 2005, as many as 4.7 million people have been working from home, and this number is touted to rise.
Tips to Keep you Ticking
Working at home under regular circumstances (without COVID-19 hanging overhead) was fine enough, but the pandemic exerts additional strain. This is so for the person who is prone to working from home, as well as the one who is new to it. As such, leaders should consider what this means for some people and adjust expectations. Leaders themselves may be under immense pressure in this new situation. Advice is quick to come from many sources but may not suit everyone. Nonetheless, the following pointers may help, and modification is welcome.
Make a Schedule
Adhering to a routine can make many of us feel as near-normal as we can under the current circumstances. It doesn’t matter if you slip up sometimes, but consistently maintaining a schedule fairly well helps. Since there’s less accountability, as no one is clocking you when you start and end, this may be difficult. Stick to start and end times as much as you can.
Many a working person is making pajamas the staple workplace fashion. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean you have to look grungy. Even if you’re just having your dog look at you, there’s no harm in dressing up. Psychologically, being in something other than sweats, may make you feel more energetic in the day. When you’re at home, workplace tips like this can get your adrenalin going.
Keep Connections Alive
People who find themselves at home can feel a sense of loneliness, especially with no family around and friends they can’t easily mingle with. The main thing to keep alive is your attitude of optimism and not get dejected. This kind of feeling can affect productivity adversely. Working from home does not mean keeping in touch with colleagues only. You need to keep connections with friends and family alive too. You may have had strong bonds with colleagues that you forged near the pantry or water cooler. Keep these contacts going.
Walk in Between
Suddenly making the shift from a physical office to working from home may be jarring. You may find yourself leading a more sedentary lifestyle. There’s no harm in stretching yourself in the middle of work. Taking a brief walk, around your neighborhood, or just down your apartment stairwell, is a stress buster.
Fix a Designated Workspace
When you are working remotely, you need to eliminate all the signs of sloppiness you may potentially experience because you are at home. It isn’t a good idea to wake up and reach for your laptop while still in bed. An atmosphere of a semblance of the office needs to be created.
Don’t get Distracted
Being at home makes you particularly vulnerable to distractions that wouldn’t have otherwise bothered you at work. Having a fixed schedule and workstation can limit distractions.
Missing the Buzz
Working from home can pose a silence that is deafening for some. People miss the office buzz. Perhaps, playing light and relaxing music would help.
If you are arranging meetings with team members, consider their schedules too. You can set some norms and have input from team members so everyone is happy with schedules.
Working from home may mean that your partner is physically going to work, and you aren’t. They may expect you to engage in housework while they are away. Small tasks may be manageable, but larger ones may have to be shared over the weekend.
Patience is a Virtue
Easier said than done; this is an uncertain period for most of us. Feeling stressed out, having outbursts of depression, and becoming angry are normal. As much as is possible, it’s important to keep your cool. Do some deep breathing – it’s a wonderful way to beat the blues. Cultivate positive behaviors like helping people and showing gratitude.