Adjusting to Working From Home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So 2020 is shaping up to be an interesting year, to say the least. The Coronavirus has affected everyone in one way or another and sadly for many, this meant losing a loved one, losing their jobs or both. These are trying times and it is times like these that we need to lean on each other even if we can’t hug, hi-five or go to see our loved ones. We will overcome this and it is so good to see people from all over cooperating with health guidelines and doing their bit to reduce the risk of spreading.
To do so and flatten the curve, those lucky enough to have a job are heading the calls to stay at home and work from home. For many, this is their first time having to do so and it can be quite challenging, so I have put together a little guide for adjusting to working from home.
Start and finish like you would if you were going to the office
Under normal circumstances, we have a line between our home life and work life. For most of us, we go to work in the morning and come back in the evening and when we are at home, we try not to worry about work, but what happens when our life at work and our life outside of work are under the same roof. What if your kitchen and your desk are a mere few seconds apart. You will end up making up your own hours of work and before you know it, you are at your desk at 10 pm. It is important that you stick to your regular hours of work. That means if you would have finished at 5 pm under normal circumstances, do so and go on about your usual after-work activities. Make sure your family or those in isolation with you understand when you are at work and when you are off work.
This is true even when you are in the office. Being organized and having clear goals is a sure way to make sure that you are on top of your day and not overloading yourself with work. Write down your to-do list and learn to prioritize. There are many project Management systems out there to help you organize your workload and give you a clear view of what you are working on. Monday.com, Asana.com are just two of the many platforms that you can use to organize your workload. See my article on How Asana helps me stay organized
Take regular Breaks
Take regular breaks, go get a cup of coffee, go outside and get fresh air, say hello to your family or just do a few pushups. Whatever you do, don’t forget to spend a few minutes away from the screen.
Don’t forget to connect with your colleagues and not just about work but also socially. Make plans to just have a chat and check-in to see how you’re all doing. Share tips on how you are managing your day and listen to their tips and ideas. Human contact is very important and working from home can feel quite lonely so make an effort to stay in touch with your colleagues. If you are a team leader, organize maybe a weekly team meeting via Zoom, Whatsapp, Teams, Skype or whatever else that works for you and your team. If you are not a team leader, ask your manager/team leader to organize it or organize it yourself with their approval of course.
while most health clubs and gyms are closed there are plenty of exercises you can do at home to help you stay active and get moving and the good news is most at home exercises don’t require equipment so you don’t need to rush to the shops. Youtube is full of exercise videos for you to follow along. Go for a run after work only if it is safe to do so.
I hope this helps as you adjust to working from home. I would love to hear how you are managing this transition.