Working from home may sound like a dream job, but when everyone, including the SO, kids and/or fur babies are home, trying to get work done amid the (corona) chaos isn’t easy.
Here’re the must-haves from our colleagues who fight this battle every single day.
1. Your own workspace
It’s tempting to stay in bed or gravitate to the sofa, especially when space is a premium, but successful remote workers agree that you’d be best off with a space that’s JUST for work.
A study would be ideal, but if you don’t have one, set up a desk and comfortable chair in a corner, or use your dining table if you absolutely need to.
Besides helping you feel like you’re at the “office”, this helps you maintain good posture and lets everyone else who’s at home know what this means.
Plus, the more comfortable you are, the more inclined you’ll be to stay working – while working better. After all, there’s a reason why Google spends a fortune on its offices!
2. A routine, including non-work hours
Just because you’re not going into the office every day doesn’t mean you should skip your morning routine. Wake up at your usual time, shower, get dressed – in real clothes, not PJs and start settling into your day.
Stick to your work hours, or if your job allows, mix it up around times when the little ones are asleep, like early morning, nap times, and at night.
Whichever the case, it can be confusing to differentiate between work and home when they’re both the same, so make sure you have specific times when you’ll only do work – and let go when it’s time to call it a day.
Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you’re NOT at work and available.
Communicate your work hours with family members and the office to prevent getting derailed.
Act like you’re clocking in and out if you need to, which means not picking up your home phone, settling minor sibling spats or answering the door during these hours.
Pro tip: make a stoplight for family members – hang or tape coloured construction paper in a photo frame on the wall: red for when you cannot be disturbed, yellow when they should check in with you first, and green for when you’re taking a break. You’ll be more productive when you have quiet time to yourself.
4. Plenty of light, fresh air and some exercise
With everyone from the government, media and employers urging people to stay home, you’ll likely be spending a lot of time indoors.
Open your windows to let in as much natural sunlight and fresh air as possible (yes, it’s hot and muggy outside, but fresh air actually helps to clean our lungs and strengthen our immune system).
Sitting all day isn’t the healthiest anytime, but add remote working into the mix, and chances are that you have even fewer reasons to get up from your chair.
Do some yoga in the living room, or google an exercise routine that you can do in the comfort of your own home. If self-isolating Europeans can run half-marathons or even full marathons in their balcony, we’re sure a simple workout to beat the coronavirus blues will be a piece of cake for you.
It’s easy to feel isolated when working from home, so check in with your colleagues or manager constantly, just like you would in the office, and keep everyone posted on deadlines and work in progress.
Besides email and Slack, Skype, FaceTime, Zoom or even Google+ Hangouts are good for keeping everyone connected remotely.
6. Discipline, discipline, discipline
When all is said and done, routines and boundaries mean nothing if they’re not enforced. The refrigerator may be just a few tantalising steps away, but keep some social distance away from it, at least during your specified work hours.
If you’ve been meal prepping over the weekends or evenings for your office lunch break, continue to do so.
If you haven’t, you may want to do so… all the Grab Food, FoodPanda or Deliveroo bills can stack up very quickly otherwise. Unilid covers everything perfectly, regardless of shape, and helps you track your food to boot.