All around the world, there are many people who worked from home even before COVID-19 hit the working culture like a ton of bricks. Now, over 70% of the workforce has been forced to work remotely (FlexJobs Report, Feb 13, 2020).
Since this might be new to some of us who have not had home offices or had to work remotely from home for any other reason, here are a few tips that could make that transition less stressful.
1. Have defined working hours
One of the benefits of working from an office is that you have a sense of structure most of the time. Everything is scheduled on when it should take place, be it meeting time or oven team-building with colleagues, which will not merge into family time or other distractions from work.
In offices, there is supervision from your employer. When you work from home, you are your boss. You have to supervise yourself. No one is there to tell you what to do at what time or when to start working. Therefore it is important to create a schedule to follow religiously.
Without this schedule you will have problems deciding what to do at what time and when to break from work.
Remember if it is your first time working from home, it is courteous to call a meeting with the people you share your space with to inform them about creating a work environment and even setting some ground rules.
A well-defined routine will help increase your productivity in your area of work.
2. Set up a home office
A home office is not a preserve for people living in big mansions and apartments. All you need is a physical difference between your working area and home area.
It doesn’t have to be a room; it can be at the corner of your house or a small area of your house. After you decide on the set up the area, have an office table and a chair which is comfortable to work from.
A good home office should be free from all sorts of distractions and the lighting should be good. Remember if you work from a noisy place or a distractive environment it will be hard to concentrate on your work. You will also find yourself straining more.
3. Make every day a workday
This is one thing that many people struggle with. You want to go to your working area dressed in pajamas or you simple outfit that you can’t wear to the office. I would encourage you to try this.
Wake up on the normal hours that you could wake up if you are to go to the office. Do all the house chores that you can in your mornings, take a shower and dress up and go to the office.
Here you will find out that dressing up boosts your esteem and you will have more energy to work. See our fashion segment for ideas on how to dress for work.
4.Keep devices away
This is something you should put into consideration every time you are working from home. It could be your phone or even a television. They will distract you and take much of your time leading to less productivity.
The best thing to do is to have some screen-free time and focus on working. We all know that devices tend to be very distractive and time consuming. Again, I don’t tell you to keep them away completely. After work, you can have some screen time and watch your favorite show or even chat with friends.
This is equally important. Let us agree on one thing, you cannot work the whole day. Remember we had set a schedule that we had set and agreed that it should be followed religiously.
Even in formal and traditional working space, breaks such as lunch break or even tea breaks. This too should be included in your working time. Working continuously without a break is tedious and maybe less productive. Use the breaks to relax and completely stay off work.
Use weekends to get out of the house and have fun with your family, friends spouse or children. It is also a perfect time to change the environment. It is important for your health and creates a good bond between you and your family. It will give your mind a break from work thus it will not be easy for you to fall into depression due to work stress. Remember family is equally important.
Credit: Joyce Macharia, 4th Year BSC. Statistics
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