For many companies and employees around the world, the new normal will be working remotely from home during the highly contagious coronavirus outbreak. This practice is now commonly referred to as social distancing. The option to work from home since the outbreak has shifted from a company benefit to a necessity due to the rising cases of the disease. Many companies are now applying adaptive policies to halt potential infections from spreading to the work place to make matters worse. Industry giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Lyft have reportedly requested some of their workers in particular areas to stay home. Apple is now among the recent large companies to implement this as well. So, now we have thousands of employees working from home.
Tech companies and software houses are implementing telework options which means employees can perform their jobs the same way from home until the coronavirus pandemic is under control. The death rate has now exceeded over 3.4% from last week. Other companies that cannot offer work from home can accommodate part-time remote work. However, any long-term arrangements will be difficult. Chinese travel agencies tried doing this by asking employees to work remotely 4 out of 5 working days which led to a 13% performance increase. While older workers and those with families are happy to work from home, young and single workers find it very isolating, which could potentially lead to a rise of mental health issues around depression.
COVID-19 is causing more and more people to work from home or remotely every day. So, if you’re working from home for the time being, here are some tips to make the process productive and efficient:
1. Act like you’re normally going to work
If you do not mentally prepare yourself for working at home, things may get difficult. So, you should do anything that gives you the sense that you are not at home and it’s not a weekend. So, try not to work in your pajamas to remain productive through out the day.
2. Set an alarm
Working from home does not mean you sleep in. Plan out your morning routine like any other work day. If you have the float for other activities, you should do things that you couldn’t on your usual routine. This includes cooking, exercise, meditation and family time.
3. Create a working space at home
Most people usually have their laptops in bed while working at home. However, those who usually work from home from time to time have a room or their basement set up accordingly. So, its all about feeling like you’re at work so you’re comfortable enough to stay put for multiple hours. A comfortable chair and a table should suffice.
4. Stay in touch with management and colleagues
An extended period of work will definitely require more than just a laptop. You will need other accessories like a pair of good headsets for videoconferencing and other gadgets that you normally use at work. You can refer to your IT team for more info on this. If you’re not that tech savvy, you can ask them how to install the software you use at work. This can be on your PC or laptop. Plus, you can learn how to access the company’s virtual network if one exists. Be sure to learn all your pass codes, access to key networks and your work schedule as well.
5. Try not to fall into the isolation trap
Working from home can get lonely and will get to you if you let it. You can counter that by taking some healthy breaks, talk to your friends, eat some healthy food and most importantly, exercise.
6. Establish your work hours and stick to them
Working from home usually lead to longer hours since you’re hardly under any pressure and much more relaxed. If you are too relaxed, you are likely to prolong your work hours for no reason. Moreover, a three-hour task can take five hours which means less time to yourself and family.