Working from home has its advantages. However, it is not always easy, and people often struggle to make the transition. The following ideas can help you get started.
Create a workspace
The ideal would be to create a dedicated space where you can concentrate and move forward with your work. The other option would be to go to a nearby cafe, library, or co-working space. However, in this context of social distancing in the face of Covid-19, this option is not currently the best. So you have to find a solution and be creative to get there. For example, you can create a work schedule in agreement with the people who share your home. You can also plan to work while your children sleep and/or get a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
Set a schedule
Even if you don’t follow regular work schedules, it will help you keep a routine in your life, just like waking up at the same time every day, planning a lunch break, and making time to stay in touch with other people.
Relying on video calls, such as Zoom and Google Hangouts, can be an effective way to keep face-to-face interactions going throughout your day. So come prepared, dress appropriately, and do your best to minimize background noise (or mute yourself when you’re not speaking).
Make an effort to prepare for the day as you would if you had to go to the office. It is important to continue face-to-face interaction, as it can help increase productivity. So be prepared to use Zoom or any other meeting app you might have. Create an agenda before the meeting so your team prepares and can discuss what to discuss.
It is important that meeting leaders guide these calls more carefully than they would in a physical meeting. Be sure to pause after each question. During parts such as roll call, remind each employee not to speak at the same time as the others and to avoid awkward pauses.
Sometimes there can be auditory distractions when working remotely—a barking dog, roommates making music, construction work, etc.—but try to keep things professional and minimize distracting noises.
Since you don’t need to move around, take advantage of the extra time to stay healthy. Rebalance your sleep, incorporate physical exercise into your day, or prepare healthy meals.
Working from home can be lonely, so be proactive and stay social. Make connecting with your team members a priority, even if it’s only for five minutes, to see how they’re doing. Feel free to make a video call, which is more personal than instant messages. Pair up with a Productivity Buddy to stay focused. And if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help.