Guidelines on Working from Home during COVID Lockdown
Blog Contributed by:
Management Consultant | Highly Keen Management Institute
I believe most of you out there have never had to work from home and are finding it difficult to cope with the challenges of working from home. For me the biggest challenge I face is the home is your sanctuary which gives you a feeling of relaxation and unwinding yourself so in such a place the mood does not strike and I struggle getting into the work zone. See …. You are not the only one facing that challenge!!
There’s that additional challenge that many organizations are having to implement work from home initiatives abruptly without any detailed warning or preparation and that too with a potential “quarantine” situation. As a result, intensity of the idea of working from home has been magnified. So here I just wanted be helpful and provide you with some of the tips to help you get through this vary situation whilst working from home and keeping your sanity intact;
1) Have a To Do List
Define your day while breaking down your hours with the to-do tasks. This structuring of your day, while you are working from home will especially improve your productivity and of those in your team if you are managing others.
At the end of each day, write your to do list and goals for the next day so that you have clarity/ focus and you do not have to waste time in the morning. Also this will be helpful if you send the to-do tasks of your teammates to them (if you are a manager), so that they also have a clear sense of purpose for their next work day.
Give yourself breaks as you do in office so that you are able to keep focused and avoid being burnout. Plan your lunch break as a time with family and kids so you can enjoy warmth of family during break, while being your best productive self during work hours.
2) Prepare & Act as you are going to your office
You are forced to stay at home and work has to be done. Its an obligation. Do not confuse your being at home with the relaxation seeking side of your brain. You do not have to drive to work, doesn’t mean you need to break your usual office going routine. Yes you might have some more time in bed as a result of a reduction in your commute (I suggest use the free time for morning exercise). But it is important to get up, get ready for work. Yes … You heard me…. Change out of pajamas into your neat set of work clothes, brush your hair, and set up a space that you can work from comfortably and hopefully ergonomically. That means, do not take your laptop to your bed neither start working sitting in a sofa, but actually set up a table and chair to ensure you have good posture.
This will give you perspective, serious isolated environment and sharpen your senses to work. Get seated at your desk and ready to go at the start of your working day, with a clearly defined purpose!
3) Think like your employer
Since the Corona Virus pandemic has affected the global economy, I believe it is the responsibility of everyone to focus on how we can add value to our organizations, tasks, or teams.
Think about what can you do to identify problems and devise appropriate solutions to help your company avoid going under water. It is a responsibility on on all of us to decide and go over and above our usual, to put in our sincerest efforts in helping business survives.
Thinking with an entrepreneurial mindset means you consider your job or project if it is your own business. Think with an owner’s mind, that what would you do to help, how would you add value – if your job was on the line how would you approach each problem. This pandemic emergency situation for businesses requires for more than just ‘thinking outside of the box’, it needs us us to actually throw away the box!
4) Communicate Virtually – Isolation doesn’t mean Shut Down
In this time and age of technology, working remotely or working from home does not have to mean working in isolation. It means, instead of having typical weekly team meetings, you can have Virtual meetings via lots of different technology (eg. Zoom). If you don’t usually have a team meeting, well it is time to start having one. because working from home, you seriously need to have a work environment and a team spirit going by scheduling calls and meetings as normal. More than that it gives you a liberty to feel normal and also check in with your colleagues to see if they are coping well with the quarantine or if they need your assistance or support or motivation.
5) Know that there will be distractions – Accept them
Well, since you are at home so there will be a multitude of distractions that you have to deal with:
• The Doorbell
• The Washing / Cleaning
• The Kids
• The TV
• Social Media
• The Spouse
• Routine Family Drama
Lets accept that though the distractions are a reality but all of them cannot be prevented or avoided – so as long as they do not eat up your whole working day, Let them distract you for a while and bask in the moment. Having said so – You need your to do list to bring you back to focus. Try to adapt and explain to your children as much as possible what your working time means – but children will be children, so let them be.
With that said try not to get absorbed into the TV or social media, it isn’t productive and really you want to prove to your organization that post Corona Virus you can be trusted to continue to work from home on occasion 😉.
6) Get Some Exercise
I cannot emphasize enough on Exercise…and fresh air (if you can find it), Just don’t go outside, your home garden or terrace will be able to provide you some fresh air to breathe, some morning sun to soak up Vitamin D, and follow an exercise routine.
I wish you all to stay safe, stay productive and enjoy working from home during COVID threats. Keep on reaching out to people virtually and do not feel isolated.