In recent years, working from home has been in an upswing all around the world. But today, the global spread of COVID-19 has forced people to work from home for an indeterminate amount of time. The Government of Nepal has urged the ordinary public not to go out unless it is essential, and work instead from home.
While working from home does come with a lot of perks; efficiently working from home can be a challenge to those who are new to the process. Considering the challenges, I carried out online research to identify some tips and pointers that you can use to make the best of your remote working arrangement. Here is a rundown of eleven tips, some of which were shared on twitter, that you need to keep in mind to make work from home a success.
Although it might be tempting to work from your sofa or even your bed with your steaming cup of chiya by your side , creating an active workspace in your home, specifically to work encourages you to be productive. It helps you get organized and puts you in the right mindset for work. “One of the top things for me to be productive and a good team player is to have a dedicated workspace,” says Tridev Gurung, who has worked remotely as a software engineer at The Bank of New York Mellon for a few years. Furthermore, it is also essential to keep your home office clean, as it helps you stay focused and be productive.
In addition to psychologically bracing you for the day ahead, getting dressed will prepare you if you get dialed into a virtual meeting. Besides having a dedicated workspace, Tridev Gurung also states that,”Changing out of PJ’s is another small but very important thing to boost your mental state.” Similarly, changing out of business attire at the end of your workday helps your brain realize that the working day is over.
While, some individuals might find it productive to start and clock off for the day at the same time as they would typically in the workplace, others might prefer designing a more flexible schedule while working from home. Remote workers should ascertain when they are most productive and set their work hours around their peak productivity periods. Do not force yourself to be productive when you’re not rather, try to relax and work when you are feeling your best. The goal at the end of the day should be getting things done, both effectively and efficiently.
It is essential to set some clear boundaries with your family while you work to avoid potential interruption or distractions. The current pandemic has compressed everyone into closed spaces- homes, and if you are home all day with other people, they might unwittingly interrupt you. This also means establishing boundaries with friends, pets, and your roommates during your work hours. If you have kids, prepare for disruptions, even more so if you have younger ones like babies and toddlers. It is not ideal, but you can try to squeeze in work when they are asleep since you will be more productive if you have a quiet time to yourself. However, at the end of the day, it is also essential that you spend time with your family, distance yourself from work, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Setting specific work hours to follow each day and updating your to-do list every morning is pivotal if you are committing to remote work. This simple technique can help you focus on your priorities, tasks, and deadlines throughout your workday. Making to-do lists, logging all tasks in a planner or google calendar, and keeping track of what you have to do is vital to bolster your work mindset.
Sometimes working from home makes us feel like we have plenty of time on our hands, and we end up overestimating the tasks that we can tackle in a day. This leads us to take on too much, killing our enthusiasm, productivity as well as output. Hence, one should only commit to tasks that they believe can complete in a day without excessive pressure.
Rather than being cooped up in your work, it is crucial to move around and take a break from your screen and work. Although taking breaks might seem counterproductive, research has shown that taking regular short breaks throughout the workday is more beneficial than less frequent, longer breaks.
Social media can seem really tempting during these breaks but it can be detrimental to your productivity.
In order to control the use of social media and encourage yourself in taking short breaks, a reward system can be adopted. For example, once you finish a high priority task, take a short break to scroll through the headlines on social media. But if you use this technique, you must make sure not to lose focus and convert this short break into a long one.
Besides email and messaging, make sure to set up check-ins with your team regularly, via phone or video conferencing like Skype, Viber or Whatsapp. In a twitter post, Supriya Karki wrote, “I am usually more active when I do work from home. First thing is we need to make communication with colleagues we are working with and be available.”
It may sound trivial, but it is also necessary to socialize outside of the context of work with your coworkers like you would in the office. Additionally, communicating your schedule and sharing the status of your to-do lists with your team and supervisor is also a good idea. Indeed, it is essential to stay in the loop yourself and keep your team in the loop as well.
Following the confirmation of a second COVID-19 case in Nepal, the government has imposed a lockdown and instituted a curfew, leading us to spend all of our time at home, which can breed inactivity and negligence of physical and mental fitness. But amid a virus outbreak, we need healthy minds and bodies more than ever. Hence, it is essential to keep exercising to strengthen our immune system. Harvard researchers say that the human immune system functions better when we eat well, sleep well, and exercise.
Exercise encompasses more than just physical activities or yoga; daily chores like cleaning your house, cooking, and gardening are all examples of moderate exercise, which helps improve health and fitness. Aside from improving your general wellness, research shows that regular exercise can also help lower your stress levels and increase your energy, which, in turn, can help you stay focused and disciplined. Hence, leading to higher productivity while working from home.
The Coronavirus outbreak is not only taking its toll on people’s physical health but also their mental health, particularly those already living with conditions like anxiety and OCD. Additionally, a sudden shift to work from home can be mentally distressing for some individuals.
Considering the psychological impact, Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Nepal has extended its helpline service throughout the week between 8:00AM to 6:00PM. The toll free number is 1600 01 0 2005 and you can call this number free of cost from NTC network.
In light of the current situation, the BBC has also produced an article on protecting your mental health during this pandemic, to view the article click here.
Keeping track of what you have done and going over everything you did on your workday before you clock off enhances your motivation. Recording these accomplishments is useful because they can create a virtuous cycle, and next time you work from home, it can help boost your self confidence.
As we mentioned earlier, we aggregated these pointers through various Nepali users’ social media, blog posts, and through online research. If you feel that some crucial tips are missing or you have any comments, please email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org