Friday, September 4, 2020

How To Work From Home?

How to Work From Home?
How to Work From Home?

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, working from home is no more an option, but it's become a necessity. Having said that people have been practicing working from home since more than a decade. There are people running their businesses from their bedrooms. So, it no more comes as a surprise that work from home could be the next norm for your actual work. Offices in India are often located far away from most of our homes. Neither would they have the best ambiance to work either. Whether an individual prefers working from home or office it has its own pros and cons.

Working from home does not take much of an effort than waking up and standing on your feet. You can take your time after all your office is just a few steps away from your bed. There are no defined hard and fast rules for work from home. However, there maybe a few things you may want to consider to ensure you are giving your 100% while at work. Work from home comes with its own set of accountabilities and responsibilities as we do not have our bosses or superiors around to watch over our backs. Neither do we have our mentors by our side for that quick assistance or discussion. 

Let's look at 3 important things that we can consider for work from home that will not only boost our confidence but also help us improve our work from home experience.

1. Setup Your Workplace :

Setting up your workplace the right way wins half your battle before you begin with your work. Without a designated workplace you are inviting the world to your home while you are at work.

  • Isolate Yourself: Get yourself a separate space / room where you have minimal contact with the outer world. E.g. an operation theater. It's an isolated area in any hospital and considered to be the most critical room as well. Your work space is similar to it. So, get one for your uninterrupted operational work.

  • Desk Space: A desk is rather a comfortable piece of furniture to work at. It will not only help you concentrate on your work better but also help you do your job more effectively and efficiently.

  • Ergonomic Chair: Just like you and your team are the backbone of your organisation to some extent. You need to have a good seating area that supports your spine to ensure you spend more time on work rather than worrying about your posture.

  • Plants: Having some real green plants around will always keep your mind fresh, positive and uplifted throughout your working hours.

  • Healthy Snacks / Drinks: Most people snack on junk while at work and being at home takes away the control of eating less. Keeping it light and healthy is always a good option in the longer run.

  • Keep your personal phone away: To avoid any additional distraction, try keeping your phone away from your desk or most preferably in another room. Try using it only during your breaks to improve productivity and reduce unnecessary downtime during work. The earlier you complete your work, the earlier you will get free and you can immediately switch to your personal activities.

  •  Internet Connection: Having a good and reliable internet connection is always good for work or any other task you take on. If possible, always have an alternate internet connection to ensure your work does not suffer and you do not have to put in the extra hours to complete your work for no mistake of your own.

2. Plan Your Day :

Each one of us have our own unique way of planning the day. However, what matters at the end of any working day is how well you were able to complete your tasks for that day successfully. You can use a white board, daily planners, notepad, sticky notes and all such fancy things to keep a tab on your day. It really does not matter until and unless it helps you be productive.

  •  Limit Your List: On a given working day, most of your time is utilized by work rather than other household activities. Keep the list limited to ensure you are able to complete your tasks by the end of the day. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and the motivation to do it the next day.

  • Time Boxing / Time Locking: This concept can be used for regular tasks. E.g. preparing your breakfast, meeting on zoom, entertainment etc are tasks that take a defined period of time. Time Boxing will help you understand how much spare time you have in hand for the rest of your important tasks. This will also allow you to be flexible with the time to be allotted to certain time-consuming tasks.

  • Consistent Planning: Any major tasks that consists of sub-tasks that maybe dependent on you or others needs consistent planning. E.g. If you have used Trello Board, you will understand how every card (which is a task) moves to the next phase until its completed. Being at the top of these tasks consistently is crucial.

  •  Prioritization: Prioritization is the key element while scheduling your day. Not doing so can lead to a stressful and non-productive day. Prioritizing will help you see through the tasks that are critical and complete them first and then take the tasks with less importance later.

  •  Completion: Ensure that you have completed each task that you planned to complete before the end of the day. In case you were unable to complete the respective task, try and clear it from your list the very next day. Keep the overflow to the minimum to ensure the following tasks are not compromised and you also have spare time for learning and additional tasks. Not only that, completing your work for a given day will ensure you get a good night sleep as well.  

3. Stay Focused : 

Focusing while working from home is way harder than at work or at any coffee shop. There are just too many distractions around us. Our family, the maids, pets, neighbors, society members, friends who stay in the neighborhood and the list goes on. Honestly, we do not have any control on these external factors and I will not spend time in talking about this. However, there are a few things we may be able to reconsider while working from home

  •  Make conscious Intentional decisions: Be intentional while choosing a place to work from home. Many may cause hindrances while others at home may not be 100% onboard with your decision, however it's vital you choose an area that is away from all the distractions at home.

  •  Survival Instinct Mode: In school days have you ever noticed how anxious we used to get when one of our classmates used to open their tiffin box during lectures. We all wanted a piece of it, though some time ago none of us were thinking about eating something. Similarly, try to avoid any kind of communication at home unless urgent to avoid the anxiety experienced post being a part of it.

  • Say No to Gadgets: Keep all your personal gadgets off reach to discourage yourself from getting distracted from the frequent pings on social media or phone calls from friends and relatives.

  • Be disciplined: Even though you are working from home, fix a time for login and logout for work. This will help you prioritize work when working from home and play when it's time to spend time with your family and friends.

  •  Listen to Music: If your job does not involve interacting with customers frequently, try listening to some soothing music while working. Keep the volume under control and make space for yourself. Indulge in anything that can get you relaxed and focused at work to ensure the stress level are at the minimum.

While working from home in the past few months, I have myself incorporated these methods to ensure that I am not disturbed at work and I am able to give me complete attention to work during these difficult times. Not everything that I have mentioned may work out for you, however try your best to choose what is comfortable for you. Afterall the whole point of this exercise is to ease your work stress and improve work life balance. I cannot wait to know in the comments below how well it has worked out for you guys out there. Stay Safe!!

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Written by Jaison Noronha
Idea Source : Personal Experiences & YouTube