Mar 25, 2020 | 12:55
How to survive working from home during Covid-19
Most of us used to dream about how nice it would be not to have to go into the office every day - being able to sit in the comfort of our own home, on the couch, with our laptop at hand and the TV in the background - whilst replying to e mails and chats. We dreamt about having no concerns about what to wear, being able to go makeup free, and having no eyes on us when it came to being a few minutes late.
Then reality hit. Suddenly - we’re working from home, its actually happened, and what we used to dream about has become something we’re now forced to do for the next god knows how long.
The first week went by quickly, and as everyone else was also adjusting, things were generally quieter than usual. By week two, we’re starting to long to be at our desks with no interruptions, without the dog jumping all over our laptop, doing school work, or being distracted by other responsibilities in the household. We miss talking to our colleagues, the laughs we used to have, the coffee breaks, and the general hard working and inspirational atmosphere we took for granted.
We are all feeling it. But the question is – what’s the best way to deal with it? Read our five best tips to make working from home a success during Covid-19:
1. CREATE A TERRITORY
The most important thing to do when working from home is to stake out some territory that is just yours. A corner, a room, a desk – whatever you can find. It needs to be a place where you can work freely, somewhere with good light, and ample space for all wires/screens and laptops. Most importantly, it needs to be neat and stay neat. You need to have ‘the talk’ with your family to help them understand that once you’re in your territory, you might aswel not be in the house. As hard as this is, it is absolutely vital that you limit potential interruptions so you can concentrate. If a number of you are working from home, try working in shifts where you have a few uninterrupted hours, followed by a 30 minute break to help with schoolwork, cook, or tend to animals. As everyone is affected by quarantine, lightening the load for other family members is very important too.
2. RESPECT WORKING HOURS
Keep the same working hours as your colleagues unless you had a previous set-up where you kept different hours. This helps to keep the momentum going in the sense that everyone is in this together - and everyone is working just as hard from home as they did in the office. If one person starts to slack, comes online late, or repeatedly isn’t completing their work on time - it will affect everyone else, and the knock on effect will be a boat load of negativity, finger pointing, and the possibility of losing a much needed form of income. Try to be as respectful of your working hours as you would’ve been when you went to the physical office.
3. ALLOW YOURSELF BREAKS
If you’re not used to working from home, at the beginning you can often find yourself being glued to your screen. Your laptop or computer can feel like an extra body part! Employees now working from home feel added pressure to be present at all times, and work longer hours than they did in the office out of fear of losing their position. Stop and breathe. You need to perform your daily tasks – but not to the point where it affects your mental health.
In the office, there was always time for a quick chat, a toilet break, a breath of fresh air outside or to make coffee or tea. You need to continue these rituals when working from home if you’re going to survive quarantine. Get up from the screen, stretch your legs, pour yourself a cup of coffee and call a colleague – the work will be waiting for you after your break (just as it used to when you did the exact same thing at the office).
4. CREATE BOUNDARIES
Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean that your customers, main-line manager, business partners, suppliers, or even your employer, is allowed to intrude on your down time. You don’t need to be available 24/7 and you absolutely shouldn’t be. A call after hours here and there regarding something urgent is fine, but being expected to answer at any time of the God-given day or night is totally unacceptable. Treat yourself kindly. Know your boundaries and stick to them. Set yourself to ‘away’ when you’re done for the day and don’t answer unless it’s absolutely necessary. Remember that you need time to relax and catch up with friends and family so that you can go back to doing business-as-usual the next day.
5. LEAVE YOUR PHONE ASIDE
The pressure to keep in touch with isolated or quarantined family members and friends (whether by force or by choice), has ramped up massively. Where you used to call or message a certain person a few times a week, communication has become daily, and everyone’s terrified. News links about the new developments of the Covid-19 spread are hitting your social media and messaging channels like wildfire. Your phone is constantly ringing or notifying you of a new message and the group chats are out of control. Stop. Put it on silent. Unless you have a friend or family member that is seriously ill right now, everything else can wait. Look at your phone during your breaks, reply when you can, and the rest, leave until after work. You’re not going anywhere anyway, so there’s plenty of time to chat and catch up on the news in the evening. Engaging in constant discussions about Covid-19 throughout your day could bring on anxiety and panic, and affect your concentration and mind-set severely. Keep yourself informed, yes – but as long as you are doing everything humanly possible to discontinue the spread (which you are, by working and staying at home), stay positive, limit what discussions you engage in - and don’t let it take over your life.
We continue to provide our Forex CRM and Backoffice from the safety of our homes – in order to keep all of you out there safe.
#stayhome #staysafe #covid-19