With the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic, most cities are currently on lock down. In places where cities are not on lock-down, business activities have been reduced to a skeletal scale, even as the World Health Organisation continues to advise people to stay at home if possible. The result of this is that more and more organisations are telling their staff to work from home.
If there has ever been a time in the past when you have had to work from home, you will agree it is not as easy and fun as it seems. In fact, it will take some people the first few days of working from home to realise how they have been able to achieve little or nothing. Deadlines will roll past, calls will go un-made, emails un-replied and so on. The reason is not far-fetched; if your home has not been your work-place before now, getting work-results out of that place will require intentional planning. If you think you will just stay home and work will go on as before, prepare to surprise yourself!
These are 7 things that will certainly help you work productively from the comfort of your home.
- Observe your work hours
Since you are not on leave, and you will get paid for the work done, it is just fair to observe that working hours. If you are self-employed this is even more important for you, because if you fail to adhere to the correct working hours, you arr certain to loose track of times and eventually fail on deliverables. If you do not want to find yourself blaming your inability to deliver on the current situation, observe those hours.
- Even if you can, DO NOT WORK FROM BED
Avoid that urge to stay in bed while you pretend to work. Even if all you need to do is make phone calls, you must get out of bed, have a bath and go sit in a chair to make those calls. If it’s work, your bed in not the place.
- Identify and move away from distractions
If you know the Television will be a distraction, stay away from the living room. If other family members or occupants of the house will distract you, stay away from them and let them understand what you are trying to achieve.
- Take Breaks
If you have successfully implemented the first 3 tips, the next thing to be conscious of is ‘over-working’. Since you are at home, there may be a tendency for you to continue to work without feeling the need to take a break, after all, you are at home. Set your break times and observe them. It is a healthy approach.
- Avoid Total Social Isolation
We know this sounds like the exact opposite of what is being preached right now, but it is important to keep in mind that what is required is physical isolation, not social isolation. One of the most challenging things about working from home is the lack of socialization, hence it is important that you make efforts to stay connected with the people in your life. Talk to your loved ones over the phone, tell them about your day, your fears, you joys…do what it takes to stay connected.
- Keep a To-do List
Without customers, colleagues or bosses breathing down your neck for deliverables, certain things might slip through the cracks if care is not taken. So it is very important that you keep a list of things you need to deliver every day, and check it from time to time in order to be sure you are in order and on cause to deliver.
- Choose a dedicated work space.
Just because you’re not working at an office doesn’t mean you can’t, well, have an office. Rather than working wherever you find convenient per time, dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work. The moment that space becomes associated with work in your mind, your productivity from that particular space becomes increasingly higher than any other part of the house.
We believe creativity has no location, and if you are intentional about your approach, you will achieve great results, whether you are working from the dining table or the kitchen cabinet.