In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a huge number of companies are requiring or suggesting that their employees switch to working from home. But in the time of quarantine and social distancing, this kind of work setup may prove to be a lonely enterprise.
Don’t worry, though – it doesn’t necessarily have to be that bad – We’re here with a couple of tips on getting used to your home office in the coronavirus era! …And maybe start your beehive at home?
But Wait! Here’s The Downside…
If you don’t have a workstation already organized at home, or you’re simply not used to functioning in a remote work position; any distraction may prove to be an issue for your productivity. Even if you’ve got a strong work ethic, it’s not easy to mentally switch to a professional capacity when you’re at home.
After all, this is your most personal space; not the environment in which you’re used to conducting business. Plus – your house will need cleaning, dishes will require washing, and laundry will simply have to be done.
Covid-19 General Prevention Tips
On top of that – there’s always a Netflix movie that you’ve been dying to see; perhaps your kids or your pooch would like some snuggling? All of these are things that draw you away from actual work. And even more importantly, they keep you from having a concentrated train of thought.
1. Concentration Tips
If you’ve got other members of the household living with you, your work mustn’t interfere with theirs, or their leisure time. That kind of situation will just lead to resentment and frustration. And in a quarantined space where members of a household need to spend a lot of time together, maintaining good relations is important.
So, instead of working at your kitchen table or texting and checking emails in front of your TV on the couch; try to find a place that’s going to become a distraction-free zone; meaning somewhere where you’ll have peace and quiet. If you don’t have the luxury of a separate room, try to find a quiet corner and generally somewhere with minimal “traffic” in the household.
2. Dealing With Noise
Speaking of concentration – the main issue there is dealing with noise. That’s why you’ll need some earbuds or noise-canceling headphones. Sure, you may not like having something in your ears all the time, but if that’s what it takes to block out the mutt that’s barking from the neighbor’s yard all day – you haven’t got much of a choice.
Apart from that, you can use a blend of natural sounds and soft music to achieve a productivity-inducing mood. Try something like ocean waves, rushing brooks, or raindrops. This will help activate the calming nerves in your brain; lowering blood pressure and heart rate, thus letting you concentrate on your work.
3. Have Downtime
If you’re a true professional, you will spend a lot of time during the day working even in quarantine. However, at the end of the day – you need to maintain a separation of your private and personal lives. For instance, once the day’s work is done – we recommend you put away the work tools and electronic devices you’ve been using.
Just as someone would put food ingredients after cooking lunch, or carpentry tools once the shelves are built; you need to have a professional and personal life that isn’t too intertwined. That will allow you to keep work out of sight and mind for the rest of the day, so you can recharge your professional batteries for the next day.
4. Less Personal Intrusions
If you’re a doctor or a teacher, you’re probably not used to friends stopping by your office and interrupting your workflow. These days though, many people who are in isolation are longing for social interactions and becoming increasingly bored.
You’ll find plenty of friends and relatives you haven’t heard from in ages calling you up and wanting to talk. If you indulge everyone, you’ll be perceived as the good guy; but it may cause you to miss deadlines, procrastinate, and lose focus.
So, you need to inform others that intruding in your workspace is not a possibility, even in the wake of the current crisis. Tell others what your work hours are at home, so they know when not to call you.
5. Maintaining Work Communication
We don’t have to explain more specifically just how important it is to maintain professional communications. You need to employ as much video communication as you possibly would, particularly now that everyone’s isolated.
If your company has managed to migrate to a remote virtual workspace; make sure all of the telecommuting software and tools are hooked up – stuff like Zoom. You and your office mates or team members need to be connected. And not just for work – being in quarantine is far more lonely than working from a physical office.
6. Avoiding Cabin Fever
In this situation, you’re probably spending an extraordinary amount of time stuck at home. So, if you’ve got the opportunity to go outside without interacting with others physically; make sure you take it. This is crucial for maintaining your mental health in times of crisis – you need to avoid cabin fever. Take a walk around your block, or do some gardening if you’ve got a house.
Research shows that being outdoors in nature helps clear one’s mind, relax, and lower stress. And when you’re at home after work hours, try to relax as much as possible by cooking a fun meal, or seeing a good film.
Use Skype, Facetime, Facebook, etc. to stay in touch with all of your friends, so that your social life retains at least some semblance to the norm in these difficult times. This is particularly important if you’re someone who’s been used to having a thriving social life before the pandemic; having such a drastic shift from being an extrovert to self-isolation is bound to be difficult. Luckily, there are plenty of social networks and software tools that can help mitigate the adverse psychological effects.
7. Maintaining Workspace Hygiene (and Noticing New Things)
This one is a must but doesn’t have to be that hard in the time of complete isolation. We have more time than ever (yes – hypothetically, and from just one perspective) so you’ll now probably be noticing different new ways to improve your home.
From things like redesigning ideas to grow your own spices to hearing strange sounds coming from the wall like this family once did… You may start experiencing your home quite differently than before, seeing small details, making small improvements and keeping things tidy all the time. If you do hear some noises coming from your all, though, take care to not take any action without a real pro – Especially if the bees are the case. You may want to actually provide the habitat like people sometimes do.
If you do all of that right from the get-go and organize your professional life so that it doesn’t completely snuff out the home life, you will have an easier time working from home in the weeks and months to come!