The novel coronavirus pandemic has bought tougher measures for all of us. Widespread lockdowns implemented across the world has led to uncertainties and stress. Work from home has become the new normal. Almost all the companies (with an exception of emergency services) world-wide have implemented voluntary or mandatory work from home policies. Work from home means most of us are dealing (for the first time) with an unusual challenge of full-time work from home (WFH).
Even if you have taken Work from Home Even earlier, the current work from home may feel like a whole new experience it is sudden, and you cannot go out or socialise in person. With no domestic support available Work from Home amidst COVID-19 may sound like a new challenge, where the work-life balance may go in for a toss.
Late sitting, irregular eating times, and family and household demands push the work-life balance to a standstill. Sounds Familiar?
To make these tough COVID-19 work from home experience a bit easier, here is a list of tips you can try out to achieve a healthy work-life balance working from home.
- Leave those PJs (Jammies)
First things first! While working from home we all like to be in comfortable wear, and for most of us, those spell pyjamas or PJs. Well just because we are working from home, doesn’t mean we don’t have to attend status calls or team calls. And that maybe video calls with superiors too. It is essential to be presentable while you are working from home, ensure that you take a shower and wear presentable clothing before you start working.
- Designate a Workspace or Home Office
Your workspace cannot be your bean bag or your bed. Designate a specific place as a workstation, make it comfortable where you can work for 8 hours. A well-ventilated place with good lightning if possible, will make you more cheerful with natural light coming in.
After you have signed off from the office work pack up each evening make sure to save your work and switch off your laptop as soon as you are done for the day.
- Organise your Day
As schools are also closed, chances are you may have to re-organise your time and include children playtime in your schedule. To have a work-life balance, the key is to organise. Get all your chargers, headphones and laptop essentials like the mouse in one place. If you have children at home and your spouse is working from home too, share children related chores and timings.
- Technical Support
Make a list of all the technical support you need to WFH. Install Skype, Google hangouts for team video calls and Slack for team messaging. Install Asana for Project management which will track your and your team’s daily work tasks and installing Trello can help you track and organise your day.
- Set clear timings
WFH does not mean you need to take office calls or respond to e-mails after a designated timing. Consider having a no-phone rule in your dining/ bedroom and switch off the phone internet during family time. The same applies while you are working, try not to take up house chores like washing or cleaning during the work hours.
- Plan your Work
In lockdown times, it good to plan your work including household and office work before you begin your day. before Prioritise work that needs urgency and includes some extra time for catering to children’s needs, urgent meetings or even taking a break. Try not to switch from tasks or multi-task which may take up more time and energy and be a productivity killer.
- Restrict watching News
In times of uncertainty, it is difficult to ignore the current news. But too much of news watching or checking on COVID-19 updates will only add to distractions and add to work stress. Designate a specific timing during the day may be during dinner time when you can get all the updates and discuss with your family. Do not hamper your work schedule to watch the news.
- Put off Distractions
In a lockdown, WFH can be difficult, especially if you live with other people. Coronavirus has led the world to follow social distancing, which means the family/ or flatmates at home. There may be times when you will be called to join the family/ flatmates for a movie or any other activity. It is important to communicate all and put off the distractions during the workday.
- Never fail to Communicate
Report the status of your work to your manager before you log off for the day. Stick to status emails this practice will let your reporting authority know on what you have been working and additionally break up some the social isolation that may come while working from home
- Patience is the Key
Don’t expect to be super productive in the first week of your WFH. It takes time to settle down. Practice the Pomodoro technique, break your work into small tasks and work in time slots of small intervals, for instance, 25 minutes. Take a 5 min break to listen to music and get back to work again.
Gigadocs wishes You a Safe Stay at Home and productive Work from Home