Work from home, says almost every governing body around the world these days. And rightly so. We all know what’s going on globally, so no, we will not utter those words. But we are here to guide you with some tips if you are an employee just beginning to work from home. We will jump straight to the chase.
Be Patient With Yourself:
Work from home sounds great in theory. You won’t have to commute, you will be safe, you will be working from the comfort of your home. But as you go about it, you might realise it’s not as easy as it sounds. You might start missing the structured routine, or you might start missing your prim and proper cabin. Or the general atmosphere which a working office has, which is often conducive to work.
You might also realise you just don’t like working from home. Or you just can’t.
The key is to give yourself time and patience to figure out on your own. It is necessary to not assume that everyone else is being more productive and is more comfortable working from home than you are. Refrain from comparison, especially if you have colleagues bragging about how wonderfully they are handling everything. Instead, talking to an empathetic colleague or a family member can be the first step in devising a plan which works best for you.
Create a Workspace:
Personal workspace can be created anywhere with the help of objects and atmosphere, and designating timeslots.
You can convert a corner of your room or house into a space where during particular hours you only and only work. Nothing else. It can be used for other purposes throughout the remaining hours of the day, but while you work, it has to be a workstation.
As opposed to sitting anywhere around the house with your laptop, creating a work corner will aid your levels of focus and will also send out a signal to your family that you are busy working.
You can put up pens, post-it notes, posters, important list of names around the space to get you in the zone to work. Keep your phone and laptop chargers nearby.
Create Working Hours:
Now if your office has asked you to work from home in regular office hours, you are fine. You will know your schedule. But if you find yourself left on your own to finish a task, without any supervision or without anyone to answer to, it can get difficult to focus. It can get difficult to not procrastinate. Your behaviour can turn like that of a student who finishes an assignment an hour before deadline. That could be really stressful.
Charting out a schedule which clearly states the hours you have to put into work helps in giving a much needed sense of self-discipline.
It also acts as a psychological trigger. Your brain will get prepared to work once it has internalised the schedule you set.
Psychological trigger brings us to the next point.
While dressing in office wear might not be too practical, especially if you are having a tough time managing laundry during these times of lockdown. But that doesn’t mean you remain in your pyjamas all day.
Wearing clothes like pyjamas gives your brain signals to sleep, to relax, to wind down, which might not work well when you are trying to work. As opposed to that, dressing tidily can act as a psychological trigger: it sends out a signal to your brain that you have things to do.
Free yourself from Distractions:
Working from home will come with its own set of distractions. There will be errands you will have to run. There will be chores you will have to finish. The WiFi will be shaky. There will be family members you will have to talk and attend to. The doorbell, the phone will ring. Your attention will shift to the chirping of birds on the window. These are the things that come with working from home. And these things are not in your control.
What is in your control is your digital landscape. WhatsApp forwards, notifications from Facebook and Instagram might be at an all time high these days, considering the social isolation. Work from home and endless notifications is not a good combination.
It is necessary to filter out notifications related to work to and those related to, well, passing time.
Now is the time to use full functionality of your devices and apps! Log out of unnecessary apps during your working hours, if possible. Or use functions like Do Not Disturb which will silent all other calls and notifications but only those which you allow.
Do Not Overwork:
On the other extreme of procrastination is overworking. Make sure you stick to your working hours as much as possible. Overworking is not good for one’s health in the long run.
The world is going through something which it didn’t see coming. We are seeing changes in the working conditions and culture, the work ethics, methodologies and expectations from employees. Adapting to change can be difficult, and the first thing to do is remain calm, and take it as an opportunity to generate new ideas. As Sadhguru has very wisely summed up:
“The more you feed the energy of fear the more profound it becomes. Ignore the things you don’t want to participate in. Stop discussing it with family and friends; stop checking out the latest statistics. Stop watching incessantly the news about Corona Virus. Take your attention away and It has no power on you. The creation of anything is to give thought to it by keeping it active in our vibration by being afraid of it. Hook yourself up with ever flowing stream of well- being.”