Working From Home Due to COVID-19? Here is What You Can Do to Help
The ongoing COVID-19 health crisis has left many workers telecommuting as offices remain closed around the globe. For those employees not used to this type of work environment, the learning curve may be challenging at first. Telecommuting is often more difficult than it looks, especially when faced with the understandable anxiety and uncertainty that comes with this pandemic. Here are five ways that you can make your telecommuting experience as successful as possible while navigating these unchartered waters.
Organize Your Space
The first step on the road to success with making this new arrangement work is creating an office space that encourages productivity. If you do not have a set office space in your home, you may have to get creative to make this work. Maybe you have a spare bedroom or even a large walk-in closet that you can turn into a makeshift office? The key is to find an area with as few distractions as possible. By emulating a true work environment in your home office space, you will be able to replicate a normal workday as closely as possible.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is finding ways to minimize distractions. Do not underestimate the difficulty of resisting the temptation of your couch or the refrigerator. It can be especially difficult to work at home during the COVID-19 crisis if you have school-aged children that are no longer attending class. This is why it is important to find a dedicated office space so that you can separate yourself from these potential distractions.
Stick to a Schedule
In order to replicate an office experience, you need to create a work schedule that you can continue to adhere to through this time period. Planning dedicated office hours will go a long way in keeping you on task. This is especially important if you live with other people who may find it difficult to understand the importance of your work. In addition to planning a set work schedule for your day, you also need to know when it is time to step away from your desk. Part of sticking to a schedule also means knowing how to remove yourself from your work persona so that you can enjoy a full personal life as well. While it may be challenging to find this work and personal life balance in the beginning, you will be happier once you achieve this objective.
Be Tech Savvy
Now more than ever, it is vital that you remain connected. Today's modern workplace leans heavily on technology to make it work. As you strive to remain connected with your colleagues, you are going to need to make sure that you understand the technology needed to make this happen. Spend some time learning how to best leverage technology such as video conferencing and group messaging so that you can still maintain your usual level of productivity. If you are able to swing it financially and logistically, it is recommended to make sure that you have a modern computer, a printer, and a fast internet connection that enables video conferencing. Now is not the time to skimp on technology for your home. Technology will also allow you to stay connected socially with your coworkers, boosting overall company morale during this difficult time.
Just because you cannot go out to lunch with coworkers or hit up the office gym, it does not mean that you are not deserving of breaks when working at home. Just like in a regular office setting, it is important to take regular breaks so that you can recharge your batteries. You will most likely find that you are more productive overall if you are intentional about taking breaks. Perhaps this means a quick walk around the block or lunch with your kids? However this works for you, it is important to take those breaks so that you can return energized and ready to face the rest of your workday.
It is important to remember that this change in your work schedule is likely not permanent. However, taking the right steps of action now can ensure that you emerge from this work at home experience without missing a beat.