Working from home seems like a wonderful thing. The comfort of being on one’s own space, the flexibility of time, and avoiding the morning rush are just some of the many reasons why this set-up appeals to many. While telecommuting has become mainstream in the recent years, it seems that many are still at a loss on how to remain productive when working at home- especially for long periods of time.
Today, in the midst of a global pandemic, companies big and small are scrambling trying to figure out how to get everyone to work from home. While we understand that working from home set-ups can’t be perfect and it may not be possible for some jobs. However, for those who are trying, here are some tips to make sure you don’t lose your focus.
1.Have a dedicated work space
Working from home doesn’t mean you can just plop on your bed, grab your laptop, and assume you’ll be productive. Aside from the obvious equipment you’ll need (laptop, internet, etc), you’ll need to find space in your home that is for work only. This doesn’t mean a fancy work desk, high-end office chair, and building a Pinterest copy of what an ideal workplace should be. Any table and chair will do as long as, from 9-5, that space is for being productive.
Don’t forget to make sure that the space you choose has adequate lighting!
2.Set a schedule or a routine
Some people think that just because they no longer have to do their daily commute means that they suddenly have a lot more free time. Suddenly, they wake up later, binge watch a few episodes, and before they know it, the day is gone!
While we understand life isn’t back to normal and a lot of movements these days are restricted, it helps to keep a schedule and follow it. Wake up by a certain time, go work out, prepare breakfast, get ready for work. If it’s lunchtime, close the laptop, prepare your meal, and maybe call a colleague or a friend so you can catch-up while eating. Schedules will not only keep you accountable on the work and personal tasks that need to be done, it will keep you sane.
3.Update your team
It’s important to keep track on how everyone is doing- both on their state of being and how they are at work. Find a way to create a progress report or “check-in” of sorts that works for you and your team. Do weekly conference calls work in order to align on what needs to be accomplished for the week, as well as catch up on how’s everyone doing? Or a shared document that can act as a progress report? Or will a simple email do?
It’s also important to check-in with your team because not everyone may have a conducive work at home environment. While some may live alone and have the peace and quiet to focus, others may have kids running around who constantly need their attention. Being aware of these scenarios can help you or the team make decisions that can be fair and supportive to all employees. This also goes to employees: don’t wait for your boss to make these decisions. Be proactive, be transparent, and offer suggestions that can be a win-win situation for all.