As the coronavirus outbreak grows, thousands of people are likely to be working from home for the first time due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In the midst of the new coronavirus pandemic, many companies are implementing voluntary or mandatory work-from-home policies. That means lots of us are dealing with an unusual challenge: working from home for the first time, full-time.
Even if you’ve done it before, working from home because of coronavirus might feel like a whole new world: It’s probably sudden. It might be for an extended period of time rather than a day here and there (and you’re not at all sure how long it’ll last). Your whole company is involved. And you can’t necessarily socialize in person outside of work.
So if you're not self-isolating, but have been told to work remotely, what's the best way to stay efficient and keep your spirits up?
1. Implement a Work Routine
Working from home presents a different set of challenges than working in an office. Distractions seem to be everywhere, and the lack of socialising with coworkers can make some people restless. Establish a routine — and importantly, stick to it.
2. Create a Workplace
One of the big challenges when it comes to working remotely is keeping your work and home lives separate. If you never fully disconnect from work, your work productivity will suffer and your home life can take a hit as well. Designate a workspace in your home. When you’re in it, you’re in work mode — and not tempted to grab a snack or walk the dog when you feel fidgety.
3. Maintain a Work Connection
If you don’t usually work from home, chances are there will be some bumps in the road if you have to suddenly go fully remote. The key to steering through these bumps is communication—especially with your manager and direct reports. Do the same with anyone you usually work collaboratively with throughout the day. Maintain a connection to the office by choosing to make calls rather than sending emails, and keep in contact with your department members via video conferencing.
4. Establish Work-life Boundaries
If you're employed by a company, you'll probably have set hours of work, and it's important to stick to these when you're working from home. Be ready to start your day at the same time as you would normally arrive in your office or workplace, and finish your day at the same time.
Agreeing to every work assignment because you aren’t sure when your workday ends is a sure recipe for stress and frustration. Allow yourself to reflect on what’s on your plate at home and at work, and negotiate with your partner, family and co-workers when you feel overstretched.
5. Take Regular Breaks
You shouldn't stay glued to your screen all day. It's important to take regular screen breaks and get up from your desk and move around just as you would in an office.
Research has also found that short breaks throughout the day are more beneficial than less frequent, longer breaks.