Work from home has become a reality for most of us right now- whether we like it or not. At first, we were under the impression that this way of living is excellent. We imagine we will have more time for ourselves, our families, and be able to balance our work and personal life. However, as the months go on, the stark reality is quite different.
Until we have a drastic change in our regular lives, we never really understand the value of ‘mundane’ existence.
Well, the coronavirus pandemic is a massive stir, and everything we know about the world and our lives is changing by the minute. Whether you enjoy going to your workplace every day, or you find yourself wishing that you can work from home, to be able to enjoy a slightly more relaxing pace, we are all living a very different life now. The way we work is changing and probably will remain this way for a long time to come.
Since we have to accept this reality for months to come, maybe even permanently, we need to understand a few essential things. We can work from home and be productive while still enjoying a healthy work-life balance. But for that to happen, we need to implement the right way to work from home. Here is what you should know about it:
Switch on your work mode when you work from home
Before the coronavirus pandemic hit us, we would all wake up in the morning, eat, freshen up, and go to work. It was our daily routine and our way of living.
Now, most people wake up, brush their teeth, and get to work. Maybe you bring your laptop to your bed, your sofa, or you have a separate working area, but don’t bother to change your pyjamas.
Although it seems like the perks of working from home allow us to indulge in these little luxuries, it is these little habits which are keeping us from being productive at work.
It would be best if you learned to switch into your ‘work-mode’ every morning. You can do something simple- take a walk around the block, practice some breathing or exercises in the morning, whatever makes you feel full of energy.
Make sure that you shower and change your clothes every morning before work. As far as possible, your morning routine when working from home should closely resemble your method when you would travel to work. Without this, you will find yourself lagging in your ‘relaxing mode’ and won’t be able to produce optimal work.
Call, whenever it is possible
One of the most significant shifts that you will experience when working from home will be the isolation and being cut off from all your social circles. Over time, this can harm your mind, body, and productivity.
When in work mode, if you need to communicate something with your colleagues or superiors, call them instead of sending an email or a text message. If the message you want to convey is not very important and can wait, then, of course, you can send a text message instead. But as far as it allows, you should try and communicate via voice or video calls.
Not only does this help you get your message faster and more efficiently, but it also maintains a connection between you and others. During this time, when all our socialization is done only virtually, keeping in touch with others outside is more important than you can imagine.
Eliminate or reduce distractions
If you are not living alone, then there is a fair chance that your family members will call for your attention every once in a while. Whether you have little kids at home, pets, or just your spouse, it is not possible to altogether avoid and ignore them if you are at home.
However, when you are working from home, you should try and reduce distractions as much as possible. This can be done in a few simple ways:
- Don’t indulge in social media, news, entertainment, etc. during your working hours.
- Try and work in a relaxed and relatively quiet space where others cannot constantly walk in and out.
- Eat your meals in a different room, away from your laptop or computer. Once you finish, get back to your working area without carrying any snacks or drinks back with you.
- Request your family members to respect your working hours and not disturb you during those hours.
Take breaks but don’t allow them to go on forever
When you work at an office, you take regular breaks at specific times. Tea breaks, lunch break, maybe even another one in the middle. However, when working from home, the urge to take more frequent and more prolonged breaks is evident.
You might want to hop on to your Instagram feed for just five minutes or watch a YouTube video. Before you know it, you are scrolling for 30 minutes. Of course, at home, you have no one watching over you, like you would at the office.
This is why you need to schedule your breaks and make sure you don’t do a distracting activity during it. You cannot fit in a small episode of a TV series, or scroll your social media during your break.
Instead, get out and take a little walk around. Have a snack, or spend a short time with your family, or your friends (via video calling or chatting). You can even read a few articles, or do some stretches for your neck and back.
The sole act of sitting all day in front of a screen is exhausting in itself. Without adequately using your breaks, you will end up exhausting yourself even further. Make sure to get some exercise, especially stretches, yoga, and maybe meditations.
These little tips will help you organize your hours during your working days so that you are productive. By slumping into a ‘home mode’ instead of a ‘work mode,’ you will eventually notice your work suffering. It is time we face the reality of working from home and take the right initiative to make the experience better for ourselves.
Continue Reading: The most simple, yet effective advice on working from home
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