As the Coronavirus case count rises, more and more people are staying home and isolating themselves from the world outside.
By Smiti Bhatt Deorah
Coronavirus pandemic: With the recent outbreak of Covid-19 in India and the government announcing a 21-day lockdown throughout the country, start-ups all across the nation have adopted the “work from home” solution. As the Coronavirus case count rises, more and more people are staying home and isolating themselves from the world outside. While there are many who work remotely or in the comfort of their home, for others working from home is a once in a while luxury.
Work from home has its share of pros and cons, just like working in an office. They both have distractions, social benefits and obligations that loom over them and the individual involved. For someone new to working from home, there can be a lot of challenges. Your family can be as distracting as your co-workers or even more, it can get a bit lonely, especially if you live alone, and managing the home- related chores while getting your office work done can be demanding and leave you gasping for breath.
So how do you successfully manage work from home without hampering your productivity, and finish the day with a sense of fulfilment? Here are some tips that will help you master the art of working from home:
Set your working hours
Flexible working hours are a boon, but it’s important that you fix your working hours that reflect your daily schedule at the office. You can fix hours that work the best for you but make sure that you stick with them. If you like working in the morning, then get an early start. If you’re one of those nocturnal creatures, you can work late into the night. Knowing when you’re at your peak and most comfortable is crucial for getting the most out of your time. Having a fixed timetable is helpful, but you should adhere to it. Don’t overwork yourself because you have free time tonight and want to finish the next day’s work or skip work because you binge-watched Netflix the night before.
You may have limited time for breaks when working in an office, but all that changes when you work from home. It is important that you take a break every now and then, but the key is to have a fixed routine of work and rest. Taking a 5-10 minute break every two or three is a good way to keep yourself energized and give your body some relief. Find a pattern that works best for you.
Having a plan for your day ahead will go a long way. Figuring out what you want to accomplish beforehand will lead to an efficient day, with the least amount of time spent wondering what to do next. You can always change your schedule if you really need to, but it’s good to have a plan and commit to it.
Sync up with your team
You may be a morning person, but your teammates may not be. Being out of sync with your team can be stressful. Pick your working hours that are comfortable for everyone and keep each other informed about your routine. This will ensure that everyone knows when a good time will be to connect for a call or to assign a task. A working schedule that closely resembles your regular shift hours will be the easiest to adapt to as everyone is already accustomed to that routine. Communication is key to achieve that sync with your team members.
Create a workspace
While it may be comfortable on the bed, with the laptop on your lap and your legs curled up inside the blanket, it surely isn’t the best way to work. Having a fixed place to work is going to be a lot more beneficial. Dedicate a specific area of the house or your room as your workplace. If you prefer working on a desk, you can get it done on the dining table or in the drawing-room. Maintaining good posture is important and something that is easily forgotten when you’re in bed. Remember, it’s about being comfortable and working the way that suits you best.
Get some sunlight
Don’t just coop up inside your house, because there’s a pandemic going on. Open some windows, go out on the balcony and breathe in some fresh air every now and then. Keep your room well ventilated and allow the sunlight to get in. There’s nothing like some sunlight to lift up your mood.
Listen to light music while you work
Music and work can go harmoniously well together. Just make sure to match the music with your work and your mood. Energetic music or relaxing music can work wonders by getting you in the swing of things. Just make sure that you don’t play something that’s too distracting or loud to disturb others. Think of something that will work well as a background track. You might be surprised by the level of focus you can achieve when you are listening to some music while doing something.
Working from home can be an awesome experience. You get to be at home with your loved ones, eat freshly cooked food (no microwave heated, pre-packed tiffin) and don’t have to get stuck in huge traffic jams. Though it comes with many benefits, working from home can get dull and lead to unproductivity. By striking the work-life balance that is perfect for you, such problems can be overcome. With the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, everyone is advised to stay at home and go out only when it is an absolute necessity. Work from home can be as efficient and rewarding as working anywhere else, one just needs to find what works best.
The columnist is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Advantage Club. Views expressed are the author’s own.