The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown have a lot of people trying to make working from home a success.
It has its perks like missing the traffic and having a more relaxed timeframe, but make no mistake there are quite a few hurdles and pitfalls when it comes to working from home successfully.
But have no fear; The Mindspa Institute’s 7 tips will help you:
1. Have a Dedicated Working Space Set Up.
You have to set boundaries. A home can be very crowded during lockdown because the entire family is there. It is very important to have a dedicated space where you set up your work area. Almost like an office where you can keep all your work things organised.
If you are expected to engage in Skype calls or participate in Zoom meetings, it is advisable to set up in a quiet room with a door that can close so as to minimalize disruptions. If you have space you can set up that does not form part of the living room, dining room or where the family is often present, then that is ideal.
You also need to have ‘work-free-zones’ in order for you to ‘switch off’ from work when the workday is done. Otherwise, you will never stop working, and whilst home, you must still keep a balanced lifestyle.
2. Set Office Hours.
Working from home can mix up your daily routine. This might make you feel unproductive and disorganised. You might think it’s okay to sleep in and start work later, but before you realise it, your entire day is upside down and you find yourself trying to get your work done later in the evening. It is extremely important that you still maintain office hours.
Get your work done early in the morning while you are still fresh and leave the housework for ‘after office hours’.
3. Get Organised and Plan your Day.
Now is the time to practice self-discipline and manage your time to the tee. Plan your day with To-Do lists and set up various communication or technology to help you manage your time and run your day smoothly. Set deadlines for yourself and give regular feedback to your manager.
Your employer needs to know they can trust you with getting the job done. It can be very difficult to work with a house full of demanding kids, but you need to set out the rules and stick to them.
4. Dress for the Office.
Yes, PJs are very comfortable, but you might forget to shower for a few days. Sure, people won’t necessarily see you, but showering and dressing properly for a day at the office is the ‘productivity-switch-on-button’. If you look presentable, although not necessarily in high heels and a suit, you will be more productive and will be able to focus better.
5. Limit distractions like social media and emails.
Because no one is looking over your shoulder all the time, or walking past your desk, things like social media, watching YouTube and frequently checking emails etc. might become huge time consumers and distractions. Before you know it you would have spent two hours checking out what others are doing, whilst not getting anything done.
Force yourself to focus when you have to be productive. Limit your social media activities to the afternoons and be very strict with yourself.
6. Exercise. Get Out. Take Dedicated Breaks.
Being in a lockdown can hamper quite a bit of our daily lives’ activities. A lot of people go to the gym before going to work. Exercising is key to combat some of the stresses and irritations of being stuck inside your house for days. Make sure to build regular workouts (there are some great ones online which you can do in front of your TV or laptop) into your daily wake up routine.
Working from home does not mean you are not allowed to take breaks and get out a bit. Make sure that during the lockdown, you still make time for some fresh air and dedicated break times like tea and lunch.
7. Learn New Skills in Off Times.
When your work is done and you’ve sent it off for approval or feedback, take the spare time to learn something new which is work-related. Buff up on your leadership skills or develop some critical soft skills. The Mindspa Institute offers various short courses online. If you have a team working under you, this might be the ideal time for all of them to join an online training programme.
View the courses on the website or contact us on 010 110 0226 or email [email protected] for further information.
Although you technically never leave the ‘office’ now while working at home, you still have to keep to a routine. Have a ‘switch off’ time and spend some time with your family to relax. Lines can be easily blurred which might lead to you and your family developing some bad habits or get you frustrated with one another.
Not following a good routine will have a bad influence on your family life. We all still need routines to make us feel safe and structured.