For those employees who may not be used to working from home this transition is pretty difficult, but we need to adapt our self as this trend may continue for some time. The work itself may feel different than at office, as they may not have access to the same facilities and equipment /infrastructure as in an office environment. Apart from that, employees may face disturbances and distractions you do not encounter at work, as there are probably other family members and children at home trying to do their own work or studying.
Employers and managers need to acknowledge the fact that employees are going through a lot due to the tough challenges we are all facing. The present situation is not work as usual, – as apart from working remotely, employees are also dealing with what is an existential crisis. They maybe fearful of any exposure of themselves or other family members, to the Covid-19 virus. They may also be afraid of any economic or job market impact this crisis may have on them or their loved ones.
Anyways, panic will get us nowhere. We need to understand the impact of this crisis, adapt ourselves to working from home and continue to maintain our productivity throughout this crisis. Some tips to help us adapt to work from home during this period of social isolation are :
- SET UP A WORKING AREA – This situation may take time to resolve , so its important to set up a comfortable working area, a spare room if you have one or convert a place for your working hours to be able to focus on work, or communicate with colleagues. Ensure that you distance yourself from household disturbances and that other household members are aware of your working hours, during which you should be not disturbed. If you do need to take on some household responsibilities try to focus on important work early morning or late evening when there are no distractions.
- CREATE A ROUTINE – Try to follow an office routine, as it will help you to focus and exert control over your work life. Get up and be ready for work at the usual time, start work with some interaction with colleagues, schedule your break times, interact with your other colleagues for a few minutes on and off to give you the feeling of an office environment. This will help you to focus and create a familiar office routine at the back of your mind. You will also remain in contact with colleagues and close to the office environment.
- SET TARGETS – By setting daily targets and defining milestones you will be able to map out your path to achieving the goals you agreed upon with your manager. Making such commitments to yourself will help you to focus and track your progress regularly. Studies show that when a person is working remotely you may put in longer work hours, so focusing and building boundaries will help you to control this tendency and maintain your level of productivity.
- CONNECT AND COMMUNICATE – It is very important to stay connected to you colleagues and managers. If we do not, the feeling of social and professional isolation will grow in comparison with employees who work in a company office. Telecommuters need to provide a social and professional support system to each other so that the social and professional fabric that exists in the corporate workplace is replicated as much as possible when working remotely. Company culture is maintained and employees can continue to build healthy and supportive co-worker relationships.
- KEEP UP GOOD PRACTICES – In these times of stress and tension it is very important to keep up your healthy habits. Develop a routine to get some fresh air, exercise and healthy eating. Taking care of your physical health and fitness will have a positive impact on your attitude and mental health as you will release any stress and anxiety.
Working from home has its advantages, as we save time and energy from commuting to work. Specially, for those living and working in big cities this is a big plus. If we can learn to manage the situation proactively and positively and adapt ourselves to the new way of life, we can reap the benefits to our advantage.
REMEMBER – “Learn to adjust yourself to the conditions you have to endure, but make a point of trying to alter or correct conditions so that they are most favorable to you.” –William Frederick Book