Jessica Robert is a Digital Marketing Executive at Cyber Security firm.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is causing many companies to ask their employees to work from home. Apple, Twitter, and Facebook are some high-profile names that have closed their offices in an effort to protect their workers and curb the spread of the deadly disease.
As a result, the number of telecommuters has skyrocketed worldwide
– most of which have never worked remotely for an extensive time period! That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t as easy as you may think either.
The good news is, you’re likely to be more productive working at your home than at the office. However, the transition can be challenging at first. Not to mention, the social isolation, coupled with the distractions at home, makes things even more difficult.
Fret not, though. In this article, we’ll go over some effective ways to make remote work easier during these testing times.
1. Have a dedicated workspace
First of all, you need to make sure that your workspace is in a suitable environment to get your work done. This means having a dedicated area because working from your kitchen table or couch makes it impossible to concentrate. You’ll also find it hard to detach when the day comes to an end.
Therefore, a spare guest room or bedroom with a desk is essential. When you separate yourself from the day-to-day chaos in your house, you’re going to find it easier to focus on the tasks you’ve been assigned.
2. Get the necessary tools and equipment
Work from home can be made easy and efficient if you have the right tools in your arsenal. Chances are that you’ve been supplied a laptop by your company. If you’re dealing with confidential information and need to access your office network, you’ll need an IPSec or SSL-based VPN.
To connect and collaborate with your colleagues on tasks, you must install teleconferencing software such as Skype or Zoom. Furthermore, it’d help if you had a quality printer for your printing needs and a headset so you can hear and be heard clearly during those conference calls.
3. Don’t forget to socialize
Undoubtedly, social isolation is one of the most common concerns for individuals who aren’t accustomed to working from home. It’s a legitimate and understandable fear, but one that can be overcome quite easily.
Tools such as Slack, for example, not only streamline workflow but also allow you to socialize with teammates. You can also make calls or use teleconferencing if you feel the need to talk to another human being.
4. Establish boundaries
Do you have roommates or family at home with you? If so, they’re probably used to conversing with you whenever you’re present. Similarly, your friends might call you to chit chat, knowing that your superior isn’t hovering around.
However, the rules must change if you want to be productive while working from home. Make it clear to them that you’re not to be disturbed during work hours, and you’d be happy to talk or take out the trash after you’re done with the day’s work.
5. Avoid over-snacking
Being able to a snack whenever you want is far more tempting when you’re working from home. At work, you can counter boredom by talking to a coworker. At home, you’re usually alone so that chocolate bar in the refrigerator can be particularly enticing.
That’s not only bad for your overall health but also negatively impacts your energy levels, making you less productive as soon as the clock strikes the afternoon.
6. Dressing up is important
Don’t pay attention to what others say – telecommuters do dress up in workplace attire! Just like you shower and get ready prior to going into office, you should do the same before you begin your workday from your home’s confines. It allows you to mentally shift from home to work mode, which means you’ll be prepared to tackle the day’s tasks from the get-go.
7. Maintain work/life balance
A proper work/life balance is crucial when you’re telecommuting. It’s also one of the most difficult things to do. The best way to ensure your workday doesn’t stretch into your personal life is by setting strict start and finish times. Moreover, don’t forget to take short breaks away from your desk. The time you spend away will make you more productive when you sit back down in front of your laptop again.
Wrapping Things Up
The sudden shift to working from home is stressful and frustrating, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. However, by following the guidelines discussed above, you can make your remote working sessions less chaotic and more productive.
Let us know how remote working has been for you so far in the comments below!