A few weeks ago, most of us would commute to work for five days, and work from 8am to 5pm. But a few weeks ago feels like a lifetime ago. There have been a lot of changes. Many of us have switched to working from home (WFH). I bet this is new to many people. But as Stephen Hawking once said, ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change’. We are adapting to this new era-the era of WFH. How do we go about this? Here are some tips for you:
Make a timetable
- What time do you start work? Are you more productive in the morning or in the afternoon? Whichever it is, take note of it. You should also set a time when you finish work. Make your colleagues know about your WFH availability. Should you only reply to emails at 3pm? When do you make calls? There will be times when you have to start work earlier or take calls in the middle of the night especially if you have colleagues who are stationed in a different timezone. But on most days follow the work schedule that you have set for yourself.
Set up your workspace
- Find a corner in your home where you could set up your workstation. A living room is not a good place for work as humans and pets frequent that area. I’d much prefer somewhere close to a window, with some natural lights coming in. If you haven’t got a table or a standing desk yet, you may temporarily use your kitchen table or your ironing board. Some people would do their work on their bed or couch but when possible, secure a desk and a very comfortable chair that’s good for your back as you’d be sitting there for a long period.
Set up your tech and apps
- Do you need a noise-canceling headphone? Do you need your tablet and phone apart from your laptop? Will you need your TV as your screen in some instances? Ready all the things that you need. If you’re not using a company laptop then you’ll have to bookmark all important websites or apps like Office 365, Zoom, Skype etc. In some countries, internet connection could be slow. My friend would ask his family members to disconnect from their wifi when he’s using the internet. For work, that is.
Be ready for the noise
- I remember a Zoom meeting I had a few weeks ago. We’d hear a rooster’s morning cock-a-doodle-doo a number of times before my colleague finally discovered the mute button. For you, that could be a meow or a woof, for me that could be my teens’ howls. Some noises couldn’t be cancelled or muted at home like children laughing or crying, cars beeping from outside the window. Some of us live in an apartment and we’d hear some people moving furniture upstairs. So learn to cope or manage the noises when working from home.
Log out of all social media accounts and turn off your TV
- If you want to be more effective and productive, you’d better log out from all of your social media accounts. If you’re just muting them, chances are you’d check the notifications every time you take a peek. The moment your friends’ posts or photos of cats or Tiktok videos, 30 minutes will be gone before you realise it.Turn off your news channel. We want to get updates on COVID19 but we can do it later.
Strategise your breaks
- Take short breaks and walk outside. If you’re on lockdown like myself, walk to your kitchen or balcony or just outside the door and take deep breaths. Make coffee or tea, slice some carrots or spread peanut butter on your bread, whatever it is that you fancy. Eat a healthy lunch and take a power nap in the afternoon for more energy. Do what works for you but be strategic.
Which ones have you already been doing? Is there anything you want to add? Do leave us your top tips on the comment. Stay safe and healthy!