The recent developments around the Coronavirus crisis have forced most of us to change the way we live and work in our daily life. A huge chunk of employees is now working from home which comes with a number of challenges. Especially when your home is not your usual working environment and face the additional challenge of looking after your kids, home office can be particularly tough to manage. Therefore, we’ve collated a list of top tips to help you to master the challenge to work from home:
Get started early.
Unlike your daily commute to the office, when working from home you don’t have this period of “waking up”.
Therefore work from home productively starts with a to-do list as soon as you wake up. Simply getting a project started first thing in the morning can be the key to making progress on it gradually throughout the day.
Pretend like you are going into the office.
Try to mentally apply the environment of your usual office to your home office by doing all the things you’d do to prepare for an office role: Set your alarm, make coffee, and wear nice clothes.
Structure your day like you would in the office.
When working from home, you’re your own personal manager. To stay on schedule, segment what you’ll do and when over the course of the day. If you have an online calendar, create personal events and reminders that tell you when to shift gears and start on new tasks.
Choose a dedicated workspace
Just because you’re not working at an office doesn’t mean you can’t, well, have an office. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch — spaces that are associated with leisure time — dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work.
Work when you’re at your most productive (and if you have kids, prepare for disruptions)
Nobody sprints through their work from morning to evening — your motivation will naturally ebb and flow throughout the day. When you’re working from home, however, it’s all the more important to know when those ebbs and flows will take place and plan your schedule around it.
To capitalize on your most productive periods, save your harder tasks for when you know you’ll be in the right headspace for them. Use slower points of the day to knock out the easier, logistical tasks that are also on your plate. Verily Magazine calls these tasks “small acts of success,” and they can help build your momentum for the heavier projects that are waiting for you later on.
It’s difficult enough to get work done if you have children at home, but even harder with younger kids like babies and toddlers. Still, it’s not impossible if you have plan ahead and have some flexibility. Here are tips from real parents who are mastering the work-from-home challenge:
Get help, if you can. It might not be the best choice for your family with the social distancing advisory, but if you have someone that can help out (e.g. a family member that can stay isolated with you), you’ll be able to get the most amount of work done. If you co-parent, take turns between watching the kids and working. When you’re working, hide in a separate room so your kids don’t know you’re there.
Explain the situation. It’s a good idea to talk to your kids about coronavirus, especially older ones who can better understand the impact it’ll have on your day-to-day life.
Stay connected with your colleagues
If you work on a team, make sure to check in regularly just like you would in the office. Create to-do lists to keep yourself organized and focused, and share the status of your lists with your supervisor so they know you’re on top of your work. Besides email and messaging programs like Slack, it’s a good idea to set up regular check-ins via phone or video conferencing like Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom.
Sources: Goodhousekeeping.com & HubSpot