The COVID 19 pandemic in 2020 sees nearly everyone working from home, as countries start to go into lockdown. Many people find themselves suddenly having to telecommunicate, sitting through multiple meetings in front of their computers.
Many have express difficulties adapting to the sudden change in their routines; they no longer have to be out of bed at 7 am, out of the house by 8.30 am, and commute to work. Work is only a few steps down the hallway, with a cup of hot coffee in one hand, ham and cheese toast in the other. The best part is you can be wearing your sexiest bottoms the entire day and no one will find out, well, as long as you don’t leave your chair while your camera is still on.
As convenient and tempting as it sounds, some employees soon find themselves unable to be as productive as they used to be. Snacks can be retrieved as and when they like, they can be chilling out in their beds, which does not help improve the mood to work. Many people are not used to having regular routines, which leave them feeling lost and distressed as they become incompetent.
There are also a large group of people who find that working from home is more suitable for them.
An increasing number of companies found that they can retain employees better when they are working from home. Opening up to working from home options also enables these companies to source great talents outside the region, thus increasing the company’s productivity. Some of the benefits of working from home include:
- flexible schedule
- costs saving
- be in comfortable clothes
- no office distractions
- no need for commuting
- more family time
- feels happier
Like many others, you are loving the idea of working in your comfortable nest, without having to squeeze your way through the crowded subway and risk someone stepping on your toes.
You can now plan the time to have your morning run, fetch the kids to school, and have that hot cup of coffee before your meeting starts. Then you realized that the laundry is piling out of the basket, your boss is flooding your email inbox with lots of to-do lists, yet now is the chance to catch that Netflix show you have been wanting to binge-watch! You are stuck in a battle of internal conflict.
Does that sound like one of your workings from home days?
Here are 5 tricks just for you!
You need to learn how to manage your space and time, so you can stay productive while working from home.
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Setting Up Your Work Desk
Whether or not you’re counting your calories, a small snack bar wouldn’t hurt that waist, would it? Even if it’s a few trips to the kitchen in one afternoon. Soon, you realize it’s 30 minutes to 5 pm and you are only halfway through the report.
Dedicate a space for your work area away from the noise and other distractions that can keep you from completing your work. The ideal place will be quiet and comfortable, one that resembles your office so your mind will go into work mode. Try not to clutter your table, be as simple as you can with just your laptop, notebook, and any other tools you will need for work. Avoid working in your bedroom or on the couch to avoid losing focus. Be at your desk, ready to work at the same time daily, and leave the ‘office’ at the same time on your workdays, similar to those days when you still go to work.
One of the biggest advantages of working from home is you get to decide the time to start work. Start work at the same time every day, Monday to Friday. Having a regular set of routines helps you be able to plan and stay calm as you already know the tasks ahead for the day.
Another method to help you with time management is to use the Pomodoro Technique. You will need a timer to do this, and set it to ring every 25 minutes. You get to take breaks in between each completed task to give your mind a break so it doesn’t burn out by the end of the day.
A planner will help you plan out your daily schedule more clearly. Working alone can get tougher because of the change in your normal schedules. The lack of influences from others might cause a reduction in the motivation to work. Having a planner to remind you of your tasks will keep you on track.
Distractions when working from home can come in many forms – texting, social media, phone calls, ice cream, chips, Netflix, laundry and the list goes on. Have your work zone a stress-free place to elevate your focus. It can be difficult to avoid having distractions throughout the day, especially for parents with kids. Discover your most productive time of the day, everyone works differently, so no need for comparing with your colleagues.
Before you start working, silence your phone and avoid checking emails while you are working. Another advantage of using the Pomodoro technique is during the 25 minutes of work, you are forcing yourself to fully focus on the task at hand before taking a short break when the timer rings.
Working from home can soon become lonely, especially when you have outgoing or goofy colleagues to keep everyone entertained. All is not lost with video telecommunications such as Zoom or Google Meet. Keep regularly in touch with your colleagues and have these meetings weekly to keep your mind off work from time to time.
If you have been wanting to work out but couldn’t find the time to do so, now is the time for you! You don’t have to be at the gym to be exercising. Strolling around the neighborhood, or in places with total lockdown, workouts such as yoga, pilates, kickboxing, or simple stretches can be easily carried out at home. If you have a garden, grow some flowers, mow the lawn, all these are also part of exercising. It is crucial to let the mind relax from all those work stressors to stay productive.
A healthy diet also plays a crucial role in staying productive. When you have nutritious meals and exercise regularly, you will feel that your mind stops wandering and is clear of the tasks ahead. You will feel motivated to work and you can make decisions faster and better.
Although you might feel more stressed out working from home as compared to working at the office, there are many ways for you to still be happy and productive.
When you’re off the clock, make sure you make the most out of it. Binge-watch Netflix as much as you want, be in your PJs with the bowl of caramel popcorn, and idle around the house as much as you want. Do not let the circumstances of being confined affect you negatively. Your friends and family will still be there for you through Skype, Zoom, Face Time, so you will never be isolated and alone.
Having positive mental health will help you take advantage of this period, and you might even be motivated to pick up a new skill or do the thing that you have been neglecting for the longest time ever. Always remember that when you are feeling happy, you will be able to look at the positive side of work and life. You will have better work relationships which will increase your productivity levels. Life wouldn’t seem so helpless anymore when you can turn the negativity into something beneficial!
How did you motivate yourself to be in your best performance while you are working from home? I would love to hear your stories and experience, just drop your comments below!
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Till next time then, stay cool and positive! ✌