Uncertainty is at an all-time high as COVID-19 continues to sweep across the world. On one hand, the pandemic shows no signs of leaving any time soon, and on the other, it’s almost three months that employees have been working from home. The sudden shift from traditional offices to work from home has not been an easy task. Regardless of the industry, employees and their organizations are struggling to adjust to this “new normal”.
Whether your job is ideal for working from home or not, this seems to be your reality for the foreseeable future.
But it is not as bad as you think.
|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
|1.||Advantages of remote working|
|2.||Tips to beat remote working blues|
• Designate a Work Area
• Have a fixed schedule
• Stay Connected
• Step Out of the House
There are plenty of advantages in working remotely.
Decide your own working schedule, no need to commute, make your own lunch, lesser distractions & more productivity, better work-life balance, to name just a few.
But, after working remotely for a while, the work-from-home-blues definitely start kicking in.
There is a sense of disconnection and detachment in working from home for longer periods of time.
We human beings are social animals. We want to be around people, have a cup of coffee, share ideas, laugh at jokes, and feel like we are a part of a larger community.
While remote working is easy and beneficial, it is the transition into it that is tough.
So, here are some tips for you to beat those blues and to enjoy working in your PJs.
1. Designate a Work Area
No matter how wonderful you think the idea is, don’t work from your bed. You might think it is comfortable but you’ll be dozing off before you realize.
Choosing or creating a dedicated workspace is a great way to draw a line between home and office. It is easier to get into “work mode” when you have a designated place.
Here are some things that might help you when choosing your workspace.
- Add furniture, like a work desk
- Paint the walls in your favorite colors
- Add few bookshelves
- Decorate the place with your favorite motivational quotes
- Keep all your files in an organized manner
- Ensure there is sufficient natural light
2. Have a fixed schedule
One of the best perks of working from home is the autonomy you have. You can work at any time of the day, without any restrictions.
But while working from home, you don’t have a specific start and end time for your day and you’ll either end up being a workaholic or procrastinate the entire day.
Buffer’s report even states that 18% of remote workers find it difficult to unplug.
Planning your day ahead with a fixed schedule will help make a distinction between your working hours and free time. Thus, you can balance between your personal and professional commitments without having to forsake one for the other.
Here are some good ways to help organize your day:
- Try to stick by your working hours
- Create a task list for the entire day, week, or month
- Set short term goals
- Reward yourself for finishing tasks
- Schedule your calls, emails, and meetings beforehand
- Take small but sufficient breaks
This will allow you to stay focused and be the most productive.
3. Stay Connected
Since interactions are limited and mostly virtual, it is common for you to feel isolated or disinterested.
Just because you are working from home, doesn’t mean you can’t communicate with your colleagues.
Here are some ways to kick out the isolation feeling:
- Host regular feedback sessions and
- Organize team-building activities
- Regular virtual happy hours
Use social media channels as well as communication tools such as Facetime, Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom or Microsoft Teams for regular video conferences.
Also, engage with your coworkers on chat communities or apps like Slack, Noffis, Chanty, Fleep, Flock for the kind of conversations that most workplaces have. There should be at least one channel for non-work focused chatting.
This will drive away the feeling of loneliness, help you stay connected and to build a rapport with them.
If your company has always been fully remote, then arrange for local meetups or network with them whenever possible.
4. Take a break
When you’re working from home, it is very easy to forget to take a break. You can’t just go grab a coffee with your co-worker or take time off for lunch hours like in a regular workplace.
It is important to cultivate the habit of taking breaks to destress and to declutter your mind.
Here are a few tips:
- Set alarms/reminders at regular intervals. Usually, it is suggested to take a 5-10 minutes break every hour and 30 minutes break every 2 to 4 hours
- Leave your computer, walk away from your workspace and do some physical exercises
- Watch a YouTube video or read a book for a change
- Take your dog for a walk, walk to your nearest grocery store or take a walk in your neighborhood park
- Use apps like Headspace, Hours, Forest, and Tide to ease your stress
5. Step Out of the House
Even after employing the above hacks, you could still possibly feel cooped up and bored.
But remote working doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got to be confined to your home. You can work from any location of your choice, as long as you’re connected to the internet.
The popular choices are working in coworking spaces and cafes.
When you are surrounded by a dedicated set of like-minded people, it will motivate you to be more productive. You have the opportunity to meet and network with people from different lines of work.
A change in environment or scenery will help you mentally prepare yourself and work more efficiently.
You can also mix it up by working 3 days a week from home and the rest of the days from a nearby cafe.
There are several on-demand work-space providers, for example, GoFloaters, which provides you affordable working spaces according to your needs.
Not all of the suggested tips might work for you. You also need not apply all of them at once. Whether your company is experimenting with the work from home policy or is semi-remote or fully remote, the important thing to figure out is what works best for you. If you establish a routine, communicate regularly with your team, maintain a work-life balance, and complete your daily tasks, remote working can lead to happier and healthier work life.