With the spread of coronavirus across the globe, governments have issued international travel bans and restricted public commute and gatherings to encourage social distancing. In line with these policies companies including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook etc. are recommending their employees to work from home until the foreseeable future to mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19.
Although flexible work arrangements in the corporate sector have been on the rise in the recent past, for many teams working from home is a first. If you are not used to working from home, the current situation throws several challenges at you from prioritising work versus household chores to staying alone versus going out for a cocktail party with colleagues after work. Inadvertently, you are forced to change your routine and lifestyle.
Tips to work from home
To help you deal with the new situation, read these tips to work from home that will stand you in good stead in near future:
Stick to your routine: Get up at the same time you normally would if you were going to the office and follow your daily routine. Get out of your pajamas and dress nice to get yourself into work mode. You may have the tendency to sleep in an extra 30 minutes that you are saving from your usual office commute. Instead, we suggest you use that time to prepare a good breakfast and eat together with your family, to meditate for mindfulness or listen to your favourite podcast. It will keep you in a calm and rational state of mind and prepare you for the rest of the day.
Set up your workspace: Never work from your bed. About 80% of young professionals are guilty of working from bed. It is a bad idea because you are training your brain to believe that bed is your workspace and not for sleep. It will reduce the quality of your sleep. Set up your laptop or desktop in a well-ventilated area with natural light and get a decent chair that supports your back. Make sure to set the aircon temperature to ideal level so it’s neither too cold nor too humid. If you find your aircon not cold enough, it could be due to clogged and dirty filters that result in poor airflow and allowing for contaminants and airborne allergens to spread. We advise you to perform a thorough aircon maintenance service to keep your space conducive to work from. Sendhelper offers aircon services including chemical overhaul and gas top-up on a contract basis at competitive price.
Create ‘focus zones’ and ‘operational hours’: Depending on your personal preference, create ‘focus zones’ of 15-20 minutes where you focus on a single task instead of multitasking even if your manager insists. You will be surprised at the progress you make when you invest your complete focus on a single task for that period of time. Also, define your 'working' or ‘operational’ hours. Take breaks for lunch, coffee, a power nap, a short walk, or exercise etc in between to stay fresh and ready to go.
Communicate with family: Work from home maybe new to you as well as your family. So, it is important to communicate with your partner and kids how your days will be spent at home. Tell them home office is the same as your regular office. Tell them when they can or cannot barge into your workspace because you require privacy especially during instances like video conferencing with your team. Also, it would be challenging to focus on your work when your family is around. However, make time for them after work. This is also a great opportunity for you to spend quality time with your kids which you otherwise wouldn’t have. Scholastic is currently offering free resources to help your kids engage in exciting learning experiences through stories and videos in light of school closures. Not a bad idea to check them out!
Additional tip: How about organising a virtual pizza party with your colleagues on Fridays? Simply order pizza at the same time and turn on video conferencing and start socialising as you would in real. Online food delivery services are still operational, so you need not worry. Have fun and support each other.
If you know of other tips to work from home, let us know.
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