Solutions For Working At Home And Staying Productive During The Quarantine Period
Businesses around the world have shifted to remote working while front-liners continue the battle to curb the spread of Covid-19. It is safe to say that working from home is now the new norm...at least for a little while more.
This has forced companies to rethink how they work as the office goes virtual. For most, this is an entirely unknown concept and hiccups are to be expected. But there are methods that be adapted to deliver optimum results. It all boils down to setting a proper plan and staying in touch with the team.
Communication is key
Even before a global pandemic, the golden rule for an employee is to know what is expected of you. As it is for management to be able to delegate tasks and keep everyone in check. For those unaccustomed to remote working, it can be daunting and isolating.
Last year, a study of 2,500 people by Buffer found that loneliness was a challenge for remote workers, it was experienced by 19% of respondents. Feeling isolated can make you less productive. That's why weekly or daily check ins are important to ensure that there isn't any communication breakdown and day-to-day expectations are set. There are so many paid and free options for teams to stay in touch like Google Hangouts, Slack, Zoom, Teamwork or a slew of other tools.
Keep to a routine
Although we now are able to work in our pyjamas or sweatpants, that doesn't mean that your productivity levels have to dip. Do have enough rest, wake up at the time you usually head to the office and create little triggers that would give you a sense of a normal work day. Remember to set a schedule for the day and keep track of daily tasks.
Goes without saying that if you are feeling sluggish, have a cuppa in the morning. Perhaps you can try to slot in some time for exercise. Getting a workout done can heighten energy levels and improve the ability to perform cognitive tasks. So get up, get moving and kick start your daily routine. It helps to also outline the next day's agenda each night before bed so you can begin the next day on the right foot forward. Be realistic as possible with your daily goals and weekly milestones.
Designate a work space
Not all us have a fully equipped home office set up which can make it tough to get anything done. As comfortable as it seems, working on your bed or couch is not ideal. Your work environment impacts your creativity, mental clarity and focus.
So if you don’t have a home office, do your best to define a space like your kitchen table or a separate room for your at home "office". It should be a sanctuary and help you get in to the mood of working. Remove any unnecessary clutter and align it with your personal work style to reap the benefits of a better output.
Take care of your mental health
These are stressful times, with negative headlines plaguing our news feeds and family group chats. It's hard to fight the urge to go out to stock up on supplies or to tend to the family. But make no mistake, work still has to go on. Resisting these temptations would be nearly impossible, but you must draw the line in the sand early on.
Let your family know that you need the space to work and ensure fair delegation of chores for everyone so you can focus on what's important. Do practice mindfulness of the content you consume as it may affect your well being. Don't be afraid to reach out to friends or colleagues if you're feeling isolated.
Stay positive and keep spirits up
Employees may feel disheartened or unable to cope without a semblance of a normal routine. When you don’t have an office to show up to, you miss out on opportunities for regular social interaction and connection with co-workers.
If you're feeling lonely without your team, a virtual coffee break with a co-worker might be what just what you need. Set aside some time for a chat to check up on each other and talk about what you're going through. A pinch of optimism and good humour can help ease the tension you're feeling.
Work on yourself
As we adjust to a difficult new normal, we should spare some time for self care. Being confined at home can take a toll on you. Instead of scrolling endlessly on social media or constantly checking for updates on the latest news, connect with yourself.
This is the perfect moment to pick up a new hobby or obtain a new skill. A lot of online learning portals are now giving away courses at discounted rates. A great time to brush up on your knowledge or learn something brand new. Find resources that work for you whether free or paid and just go with it. While it’s natural for stressful events to overwhelm us, we can come out this better mentally, physically and with a new talent to boot.
Celebrate the little things
The power of progress is fundamental to human nature, so it is normal to feel down when we are not at our best during the quarantine period. Know that you are not alone, as everyone is struggling to adjust to the present new norm.
The way in which you speak to yourself matters and negative talk will not help the situation. Perception and intuition is essential. Leverage the power of celebrating small wins. Keep a journal or notebook to document your milestones to keep you going.
This will all come to pass, so spend your time wisely and practice kindness not only to others but yourself.