4 ways to effectively work from home during the Coronavirus pandemic
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is ravaging the globe and causing panic amongst nations. Many industries and businesses are already feeling its impact and the tourism industry is devastatingly hit the hardest. The extent of this impact would depend on how long the pandemic lasts, and while it is human to feel anxious and fearful, it is important to take the measures set out by the government and health officials.
Due to the spread of the virus, most businesses are forced to change their strategy and adapt quickly to what seems like the new norm – working from home. There is no doubt working from home can be challenging, however, research from a Harvard Business review article suggests that people who work their same office schedule from home get more done per day.
Here are four points to consider if/when you are working from home:
1. Start your day early
Waking up and immediately switching your laptop on to start your working day is not only an unhealthy habit, but you will find yourself burning out quite quickly as the day peters out. Start your day as if you are preparing to go to work.
Doing this consistently creates a good habit and puts you in the right frame of mind to kickstart the day. Get out of your PJs and dress the part, spend some quiet time in meditation, exercise, listening to music or your favourite podcast, have a cup of coffee and even spend some time with your family before you do decide to switch on your screen.
2. Establish your workspace
It is important to note that whilst it’s a dream come true to work from home, if you’re not cautious you could quickly find yourself working on the kitchen counter, in the lounge and the bedroom. Working in these environments at home will most certainly take a toll on you physically and psychologically, therefore you need to be intentional when setting up your workspace.
Make a clear distinction in your mind when considering this, and that is, the kitchen is for mealtimes, the lounge is for rest and entertainment, and the bedroom is for sleep. Your workspace should be away from all distractions, you can call it your “in-house office”, make it clear to your family and pets that when you’re in your office you must not be disturbed unless it’s an emergency.
Now that you’ve identified your “in-house office”, some important things to remember are:
- Ensure your workspace is well-lit.
- Set up a sturdy desk that’s clean and clutter-free.
- A comfy chair that supports your back.
- A good pair of headphones/earphones comes in handy if music helps with your productivity.
- Make sure everything you need is within easy reach.
- A bottle/jar of water and some snacks to ensure you don’t visit the kitchen too often.
3. Shift your mind to a strong mental state
Mind over matter, right? Absolutely! However, by now we know that working from home comes with a host of distractions, which can cause you to lose productivity and your focus.
So how can you beat distractions and help push your mind in the right direction? Here are a few pointers:
- Stay motivated – Listen to motivational podcasts to stay mentally sharp. Set clear goals for the day and perhaps have a checklist nearby to help you stay focused on all your tasks.
- Avoid distractions – There’s a lot going on in the world right now and the temptation to watch TV and scroll your social media feed is highly tempting. Whilst it’s important to know what’s going on as far as the pandemic is concerned, the negativity can shift your mind to a state of panic and fear. Set specific times in the day to check your notifications or watch the news, whilst also making time to ensure your motivation levels are high.
- Manage your time – Hours at your workstation will most likely get you fatigued, so take 5-minute breaks for every hour you’re in front of your screen.
4. Improve communication with your team
As you know, we at ResRequest love technology and are big advocates for digital transformation. With most countries now in lockdown, businesses are forced to adopt work from home strategies which include having a good communication platform such as Skype, Google Hangouts, Slack or Microsoft Teams to name a few. This may be a new way of communication for you, but if utilised correctly it can help you and your team reach your goals, even if you’re not in the same building.
Find appropriate times in the day/week to check-in with your manager/ team leader, as far as your KPA’s are concerned, and be sure to nott just disappear for days and weeks without communication. This goes a long way to ensure that you remain motivated and focused on accomplishing your goals.
We hope that this separation from each other does not go on for a long period of time, but we also understand that in order to get back to the office and pre-covid life we have to self-isolate. We have witnessed how self-isolation / self-quarantine can help flatten the curve in China (here’s why this helps), and now it’s our turn to play our part.
Our team met last week to plan on how we can continue to build product and help our customers while being in lockdown. We have implemented an extended work from home policy and although we’re isolated from each other and in different locations, we’re ready and available to take your Skypes, emails, and calls. Our development team is also feverishly busy building product, in order for us to continue giving you what you need when we get back to a (new) normal.
This extended work from home called for some additions to our existing work from home policies, which we’d like to share with you for you to glean some tips. (Take a look at our work from home policy).
Take a look at some of our heroes working in the comfort of their homes. Follow us on Instagram to see what we’ve been up to.