Shifting to the ‘home office’ is the new normal for many of us while we try to flatten the coronavirus infections curve and keep us safe. For a day or two, you could choose to stay in your pajamas, watch movies or read those books you wanted to finish for a while, cook more meals than ever, and feed yourself with breaking news and coronavirus projections. Or, whether you are a newbie or a work-from-home veteran, you could find your way out and follow these steps in working productively from home:
1. Take it seriously. Keep the morning routine you had before. Take a shower and dress for work, like your manager and team members would join you in the living room.
2. Set a special workspace. Choose a place in your home that can mentally prepare you for work. Try not to mix the relaxing space, like your sofa or bedroom, with the workspace. For instance, working from bed could negatively affect your sleep.
3. Develop a work routine. Your brain needs to learn new habits to get in the work mode. For instance, you could start your work after your morning coffee, and end your tasks with some exercises. In this way, you set some psychological borders that let you easily connect or disconnect to or from job-related issues.
4. Share your work schedule with your spouse or life partner or your kids. They should learn when you are not available to them. If you share the same room, make sure you buy some noise-canceling headphones. These will also signal the others that you are not to be disturbed or lured into conversations.
5. Communicate frequently with your managers and colleagues. Ask for an everyday call with your manager to kick off the day and make the plans with your team. This will help you to stay motivated, fix the urgent things, clarify tasks, but most importantly you will never feel alone.
6. Avoid too much news consumption. Stay away from too much breaking news. This will constantly interrupt your workflow, and make you feel more anxious and probably even more isolated.
7. If you are a business owner, add the following steps on your list:
- Create a work-from-home policy;
- Make sure people have the proper tech at home;
- Train your employees on cybersecurity risks and use a reliable VPN network;
- Set up communication tools for your team, such as Slack, Zoom, Skype, etc.
- Trust your employees and keep the spirit of teamwork alive through online common lunch breaks or virtual “going out” moments.
Enjoy your work from home moments and stay safe!