COVID-19: The challenges of working from home

research and draft compiled by Sadia Mumtaz

article written by Wayne Brown

Article sources…

Over the course of recent years, remote working has moved further and further into our open cognizance. Regardless, innovation has made business convenient. Got a mobile phone, PC or tablet, and a WIFI or 4G association? Then venture into the realms of working from your home office.

Current technology coupled with a developing spotlight on work-life balance has seen organizations make moves to offer increasingly adaptable working environments for their employees. This can extend from telecommuting Friday to far-reaching full-time remote working.

The general accord is that when it’s approached in the right way it can work extremely well for both parties – employer and employee. Studies have revealed that the individuals who work remotely as little as once a month, are 24% more likely to be productive and 86% of individuals feel that working remotely diminishes pressure.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulation estimates has meant that almost all organizations have made the transition to remote working. While it’s crucial to forestall additionally spread of the virus, it will bring new challenges for representatives and organizations around the world.

For many folks, the COVID-19 pandemic is the first time they’re working from home for an extended period of time (or maybe ever!). And as this new reality and public health necessity of social distancing sets in, many workers will be cooped up until the virus is contained.

As someone who worked remotely for many years (including in an apartment with roommates and an apartment with a partner), I’ve faced a range of challenges of working from home (WFH). While friends were generally jealous of my flexible working arrangement, I found myself missing the camaraderie of colleagues and the daily rhythm of getting out of the house and into an office that was my designated workspace.

For those who are finding their COVID-19 WFH situation to be less than ideal, below are some tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way to keep from getting too antsy when you’re working from home:

Make an assigned workspace…

Regardless of whether you’re in the workplace or at home, having a work area set up that works for you is critical.

Attempt to make a little territory at home that is a devoted space for work. This won’t just assist you with remaining in the correct attitude it will provide a more clear partition between your work and home life.

Making limits will make it simpler for you to turn off from work and ‘leave the workplace’ toward the day’s end.

Build in a fake commute…

Some of the most challenging parts of working from home are the lack of variation in scenery, difficulty separating work and home life, and decrease in physical activity. To combat all three, consider replicating your typical commute, but in a way that allows you to maintain social distance:

  • Develop a morning & evening stretch routine: If you typically listen to a podcast, music, or meditation while commuting, take a few moments at the beginning and end of each day to do the same at home. Engaging in some light stretching while you listen can help quiet your mind and ground into your body.
  • Read a book: If subway time is your prime reading hour, you might crack a new novel at home, instead! This gives your brain some time to wake up and get the creative juices flowing before diving straight into work. If you’re running low on good reads, many libraries offer e-book borrowing, or you might consider supporting your local bookstore through Indiebound.
  • If possible, stroll through an uncrowded park: If you live near a park and can remain 6 feet away from other pedestrians, take a 15min stroll through the park at the beginning or end of the day as a commute alternative. Especially as spring approaches, this could be a great opportunity to enjoy the budding flowers and greenery.

If there is not a practical way for you to walk and practice social distancing, consider building in another form of at-home movement before and after working hours that can mimic a commute. Because commutes don’t just get you from point A to point B: they also offer an important time to plan out what you want to accomplish each day, and reflect on the progress you’ve made. Fake commuting will allow you to preserve this part of your routine and set your intention for the day ahead!

Devise your own everyday practice…

You know how you complete your best work. Presently that you’re not in the workplace, you may need to adjust your everyday practice.

For instance, in case you’re accustomed to working with foundation commotion, you might need to make a playlist you can work to or tune in to repetitive sound. Or on the other hand maybe a bistro might be a decent decision for you to invest a portion of your working day.

It’s additionally essential to adhere to your typical profitability times. It might be that working remotely you find getting up and working prior works better for you, with a more extended break during the day. Or then again, you may like to work later into the night.

Contingent upon your association’s center hours, remote working can be an extraordinary method to boost your very own profitability without the imperatives of available time.

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 Keep your lifestyle consistent…

Whenever you’re faced with a major transition, including a change in working style, it’s easy to lose sight of things that ground you. In this moment of uncertainty, keeping pieces of your life consistent can help you feel a bit more in control.

Here are some ways to keep your lifestyle consistent:

  • Wake up and go to bed at the same time: It might be tempting to hit the snooze button when you have no place to be, but studies show, keeping a consistent bedtime and waketime is key to good sleep hygiene.
  • Regulate your diet & caffeine intake: If your new desk is the kitchen table, it can be easy to return to the fridge for continual grazing. As much as possible, try to keep your diet consistent. And, if you’re noticing you’re getting sleepy mid-day, could it be that you didn’t have your regular office coffee break? Take time to reinforce the rituals that make you feel productive, focused, and clear.
  • Move around: Steps from meeting room to meeting room or to the copier and back all add up, and without them, you might find yourself feeling sluggish. Experiment with a standing desk (if you don’t have one, a storage box works just as well!), or put in headphones to walk around during conference calls. Build in stretch breaks, too, to keep the blood flow moving.
  • Get dressed! There are a lot of camps on this – team Professional Dress and team Comfy Clothes. In my book, as long as you are up, showered, and dressed, that hits the mark. Lingering in your PJs might be fun for one lazy morning, but you likely wouldn’t go into the office in sweats three days in a row, so rotating through your typical wardrobe might help lend a sense of normalcy.

Offer yourself a reprieve…

In opposition to mainstream thinking, telecommuting without any interruptions can make it harder to make sure to relax. Despite the fact that you may not see it, the numerous interruptions of a bustling office give the alleviation you need in the middle of moving in the direction of your cutoff times.

When telecommuting, plan breaks into your day and don’t take lunch at your work area. In the event that you can, a noontime change of landscape and stretch of the legs can do ponders for your evening satisfaction levels.

Make certain to give yourself a period that you’ll log off every day as well, and mood killer any business related warnings outside of those hours.

Be extra informative…

Correspondence is the way in to any expert job and this is never more obvious than when working remotely. Since you’re not sitting inside meters of your prompt group, you’ll have to compose online registration where you can make up for lost time with targets, ventures and objectives.

Regardless of whether these are day by day or week by week, they’ll be basic for demonstrating your advancement on undertakings and talking about any shared ventures or difficulties. Video conferencing is perfect for this yet in any event, sharing your need list with your group toward the start of every day can help with perceivability.

Utilizing on the web venture the executives devices like Trello and Slack will likewise support you and your director monitor progress and forthcoming work.

A decent broad guideline is to utilize the device that most takes after how you would communicate, in actuality, for example running a workshop utilizing an online whiteboard. Keep correspondence convenient and important, and ensure everybody in the group is on the same wavelength with respect to accessibility, eg in case you’re setting out toward lunch, let your group know when you’ll likely be back.

Set aside a few minutes for virtual mingling…

You might be home alone with just your succulents for the organization, yet remember to set aside a few minutes for non-work talks with associates. Solid work connections are key for a powerful group and these can endure when individuals aren’t in a similar spot.

Take a stab at beginning an online string that is exclusively for non-business related conversations. Regardless of whether you’re talking about the most recent news features or sharing pet photographs, it’s an incredible method to bond and interfaces away from your individual work plans.

You can likewise permit some visits to occur toward the start or end of meeting calls if fitting simply as you’d do in the workplace. Besides, if in-person group espressos snacks aren’t on the cards, sort out an espresso get up to speed with a video call or even offer a mid-day break with a partner for all intents and purposes.

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Introduce fun activities at home…

Outside of your working hours, schedule time for fun activities so that your home remains a place associated with more than just work duties. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Schedule regular workouts at home on YouTube with your roommates or your partner.
  • Start a push up challenge with friends.
  • Catch up with long distance friends over video call!
  • Movie night at home! Pop some popcorn!
  • Learn a new skill on YouTube, like ukulele or salsa dancing with your partner.
  • Finally start building in that daily yoga or meditation practice.
  • Start (or resume) remote therapy sessions
  • Cooking               

Grasp the advantages of remote working…

In spite of the fact that it might be the first run through for some, and this can be overwhelming from the start, the advantages of working at home instead of in an office are certain.

There are the things that make your work-life balance progressively sensible: you may think that its simpler to fit in an activity break in the day, you won’t have to spend your nights doing the washing, and you can prepare your own lunch at home.

And afterward, there are the successes for your efficiency: with zero interruptions (inasmuch as you’re home alone) nobody can irritate you with questions or drag you into small gatherings at your work area. Furthermore, you don’t burn through valuable time, cash, and emanations on a long morning and evening drive.

 Be kind to yourself!…

If you’re finding your routine has been flipped on its head and your creativity and productivity are suffering as a result, that’s ok! Try to communicate openly with your team members and employers about the challenges you’re facing; chances are, you’re not alone in them.

If that’s not an option for you though, consider seeking therapy for a bit of extra support. Many therapists offer the option for remote therapy via phone or video call, so you can telecommute straight to session.

The potential advantages of online working can mean incredible things for nature, your wallet, your wellbeing, and your work profitability. With the correct preparing and thought, organizations and representatives the same can appreciate the genuine advantages of a workforce who can telecommute.

Additional Reference sources…

TED Talks;

Videos;

Books;

Category: News 4 Execs

Article from the July 2020 S4E Publishing Newsletter.

NEXT UP: MANUFACTURING INNOVATIONS WHAT LIES AHEAD.

Until next time, stay safe and healthy. Bye for now. Wayne

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