The spread of COVID-19 has destabilized how we do things, workplaces included. With CDC’s recommendations of social distancing, employers are sending people home to work remotely whenever possible. Working from home is a new thing to many people, and most are left wondering where to start and how to do it. If your company requires working remotely and you have no idea how to go about it amidst all the fear and anxiety, here are a few tips for your guidance.
1. Be Aware of Cybercrimes
By working remotely from home, many businesses, which were otherwise operating within a secured environment, will now be required to manage several work points in their employee’s homes. The timeline to have as many people indoors as soon as possible, as the pandemic continues to spread will lead to many loopholes in cybersecurity, that cybercriminals can take advantage of. This is the time to consult your service providers about increasing the capacity of the VPN for on-premises software. You can also visit your employees’ homes to ensure that they are using a secured internet service. Educate your employees on cybersecurity and most especially COVID-19 that cybercriminals are likely to use in their malicious trade. As an employee working from home, you will be tempted to visit other social pages; think carefully of the links you click as others might be malware links.
2. Work on Your Work-Life Balance
Attaining a work-life balance when working from home can be rather difficult because you literally have your work and household responsibilities under one roof. To get the balance between the two, it is important to draw a line between them. Make sure that the time you allocate for work is not taken up by house chores. Although you are working remotely because of COVID-19 and setting home of office on such a short notice is hard, it would help to designate a space for your work. Take a shower and dress up as you would when going to the office, this will create a virtue idea of a work environment. Take breaks in between to stretch and have a proper lunch, remember also to keep the hours.
3. Manage Your Time Well
Working remotely poses a different setup from your routine. You are not required to wake up early to catch the bus so you can easily be tempted to sleep in. Nevertheless, you can achieve so much on your productivity if you work on your work schedule. Ensure you get enough rest so that you can remain energized, you can always be tempted to take a nap if you are tired. Remember you are in the house because of the pandemic and not because it’s a holiday, this will help you treat the day like any other normal day, thus you will wake up on time and head to your working space on time.
Communicate with your employees so you have some kind of accountability. Do not forget to have a to-do list or a progress sheet so that you are aware of the tasks you need to accomplish and the ones that you expect from your team. However, remember that this time could be perfect for you to take time management training, in case you are struggling with managing your time. The training could help you substantially to improve your time management skills and enable you to have a more organized life, both private and professional.
4. Work on Your Inner Self
During this lockdown, fear and anxiety are bound to pass around. It is possible to feel overwhelmed by life challenges since there are no social gatherings to unwind. You can take advantage of the time you have to work on your inner self. One way to work on this is to hire an online life coach. With all the fear, it is possible to have some doubts about your future and the dreams you hope to achieve. Life coach training will help you have a clear picture of your life and can draw you the steps that you need to take to get there. This training will help your mind stay away from all the happenings and focus on yourself more.
5. Establish a Remote Home Office
With the whole situation created, simply working on the couch while in quarantine is not a solution. Eventually, you need to set up something temporarily until the situation normalizes and you can get resume work at the office. Below are some tips to set up the perfect home office:
- A suitable desk with the appropriate height and enough space for you to put your laptop or PC and necessary documents if needed.
- A comfortable chair
- If you need to do some paperwork, eventually you need pens, notebooks, papers, etc.
- A strong and fast wifi connection
- Video conference programs so that you can hold meetings with your team
- Task management programs that allow you to track your team’s activities and be on the same page with all the activities
- A remote desktop installation that allows you to access your PC at office (if there is one) and be able to access to your personal files without being in front of the PC.
6. Keep in Touch with Your Colleagues
Use online communication tools to stay connected with colleagues and friends. It is good to consult your seniors and peers on different tasks even when you feel confident that you are doing it right. If not to be guided in handling a task, at least do it just to speak with another human being who isn’t your roommate, and to check in with people. That will help you fight isolation, it will enhance team unity, and your productivity can improve as a result.
7. A Change of Scenery Can Help
Working remotely essentially means that you don’t necessarily have to work from your home desk every day. Consider working from a coworking space if it is safe to do so. Maybe there’s a coffee shop with Wi-Fi within your neighbourhood that you could use. Just be careful with sensitive data when working from a public place and ensure that you adhere to social distancing and other coronavirus prevention measures. If you cannot go out right now, what about working from your porch instead of your bed, desk, or couch? If you can set aside an hour or two to go biking around the neighbourhood, that too could help you change your scenery and boost your productivity.
8. Be Disciplined
You are used to having someone checking up on you all day long. You are now all alone and, as much as freedom tastes great, it can be hard to concentrate on your tasks when you are the “boss” around your new working environment. It takes self-discipline to keep yourself grounded and working optimally.
9. Keep Your Kids Off Your Back
If you have children at home, you must have realized how hectic it is to work with them around. If they are not fighting, they are making noise with their toys and games. And if they are not knocking on your office door, they are angry at you for ignoring them. There is no way of winning with these little ones. They will never understand why mommy is sitting quietly at a desk instead of playing with them. So, instead of competing against their interests (nagging behaviour to be precise), try replicating their typical school day schedule. Squeeze in the tasks that demand your full concentration within the small windows of “freedom” that the kids give you. For example, when they are taking naps when they are in their playhouse, or at night after they sleep.
Working remotely can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially now that it’s all so sudden. You, however, don’t have to feel all the pressure and the worry. With the above tips, you will be able to get your work done effectively.