Home quarantine, lockdown or social distancing; whatever you call it, the whole world is in this situation together. While our social lives have completely come to a standstill, our professional lives continue to go on, albeit, within the confinement of our homes. Work from Home seemed like an attractive avenue for many in the pre-Corona era. But, now that it's the only way to work, we may find bitter-sweet realization dawn upon us that Work from Home is not always rosy.
Piles of housework, demanding children, claustrophobia due to spending 24 hours at home; are certainly not things that help in meeting deadlines and receiving important official calls. However, if you consciously try and maintain the balance between your personal and professional commitments, you will find that Work from Home is not such an unmanageable phenomenon after all.
Here are 7 Pro Tips to Work from Home More Efficiently During the Lockdown.
1. Set Fixed Hours
We get it. It’s terribly tempting to go off track and work without any fixed schedule when you don’t have the 8 am train to catch to work or the one-hour lunch break at 1 pm. However, this is not a very healthy way to work for weeks together. We’re not saying that you must stick to the exact schedule that you followed while at work. Pick a schedule that suits your lifestyle and your nature of work. For example, if your work permits and you’re an early riser, you may start your work early morning and finish it early too. The key here is to set up a fixed work schedule that suits you and stick to it. Also, inform your boss and team members of your timings so that they know when you can or cannot be reached.
2. Create a Workstation at Home
By Workstation, we DO NOT mean your bed or couch. Put in a bit of effort and set up a designated workspace with a desk and comfortable seating. Place some plants around your workstation. If possible, isolate yourself in a room to get the most crucial work done. Keep a bottle of water handy. The main idea is to detach your workspace and make it as comfortable and uplifting as possible.
3. Don’t Be Shabbily Dressed
Again, this is another habit to easily give into. But, staying in your pajamas all day long could set in a lethargy into your workday. Taking a shower and dressing up neatly can positively impact you while working from home. This will get you in the right mindset for work and keep you ready to attend any spontaneous video call with your teammates.
4. Maintain a To-Do List
With huge lists of things to get done at home, it is challenging to keep a track of all your pending work tasks for the day. Missing deadlines and forgetting simple tasks can occur quite often despite our best intentions. You also don’t have a boss around to constantly call you out and ask the status of things. The most effective way to deal with this is to take stock every morning and make a to-do list. Keep this list realistic, set a time limit for each task and cross off an item, once completed. This simple practice can be very fulfilling and make your day a lot more productive.
5. Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
While getting work done from home is important, it’s equally important to take regular breaks. Research has shown that taking short breaks between work, every now and then can increase your productivity. So, don’t feel guilty for shutting your laptop for half an hour in the afternoon and catching up on some reading.
6. Be in Touch with Your Co-Workers Regularly
Our inter-personal relations with our co-workers help in relieving a lot of our work stress. It is important to keep up the rapport and communication with our colleagues and not just in terms of work talk. Every now and then, when you're free, call or text your regular office gang and discuss general things like you would, during a chai break at work. This could be a great stressbuster!
7. Keep Distractions at Bay
It’s very easy to get distracted while working from home during the lockdown. Distractions could range from pets, children, social media, TV booming in the background and constant depressing news about Coronavirus. At least for a few hours during your workday, try to keep it hardcore and distraction-free. If it’s your child that’s trying to grab your attention, try to work out a deal with them and promise them a fun activity, later in the day.
We hope these few hacks will help you to make your work from home more efficient. Stay home and stay safe and don’t worry, this shall end soon!