By Elsie Mutsaka
We are living through a crisis that has forced us to change how we live and work. Most of us were used to your typical 9 to 5 routine but with this current COVID-19 pandemic, that won’t be possible. Everyone has to readjust their usual schedule and get used to working from home.
We always see people on the socials with cute working spaces and designated rooms, but for some that live with family that might not be the reality, spaces are shared and being home could mean that we cannot always be on the desk working. In my 1 week experience so far of working from home, I have picked out a few things to share with you.
It’s all about MINDSET
Most people would say they are not productive from home because of their bed and so much food. Maybe your family is there and you would ideally want to hang with them. The truth is, it’s all in the mind. You think about it and that is how it actually goes. You need to understand that you are working from home and the only difference is the environment change, but your deliverables are still there and they need to be met. Once you make up your mind that you are successfully going to work from home, it makes it easier to adjust and follow through.
Changed Mindset, Changed Results.
Have a LIST
Okay, now that you are in the right frame of mind, what’s next? It’s difficult to tell if you have had a successful day when you are shooting in the dark. What I basically mean is you need a to-do list. Whether it has 3 things or 15 things, you need it! It helps you to plan your day and also track your progress. I usually put together my to-do list a night before so that I prep my mind and once I start working…it’s game on!
We are basically working far away from each other and unlike in the office when you can tell what the next person is doing, at home you really cannot. You could be really working on an amazing idea or strategy, but if you do not communicate, your team will not know about it. You need to communicate. Over-communicate even. What are you working on? What stage are you on? What challenges are you facing? All of that is important for progress and teamwork. For people like me who work in the creative industry, brainstorms have now moved to Zoom meetings, it can even be a WhatsApp call. Find ways to communicate well with your team. I even recommend virtual meetings every morning for direction.
Don’t skip your meals
On my first day of working from home, I kept postponing going to the kitchen and grabbing something to eat. Only at 3 pm did I eventually drag myself to make a sandwich. I totally messed up my day because I changed my eating pattern. You need to eat your breakfast and lunch, if you were a tea-time person as well, you need to maintain that for your body. At the same time, maintain the portions, we tend to maybe eat a lot and personally, it makes me sleepy and slows down my progress.
Tasks over Time
It’s really not about the time you spend on the laptop but what exactly you get to cover. You could have 5 tasks for the day, but if you spend the whole day online and only cover 1, then that is a problem. In the case that you finish the 5 before lunchtime, then how you spend the afternoon is up to you when you have delivered all you were meant to.
Lastly, BE COMFORTABLE
This is probably one of a million posts about working from home. We all have different ideas about the concept but I think our individuality makes us great. If you do so well in your pyjamas, that is awesome. If dressing up and a fully made-up face makes you feel more confident to work from home that is okay too. The important thing is to be in a space that you can be your most comfortable self. I spent last week working from my bed, and that was okay because that was the only place where people could not disturb me.
Do you and excel at it!
I hope you adjust well to getting your work done from home. After this period, our employers will have a record of what the progress has been like and could look more into remote working. I believe this will be an advantage as we are moving towards the gig economy and workspace as we know it is now evolving. Some of us spend a lot of time in commute to and from work and now we can put that time to use. Either to rest or catch up on a few things.
How has it been for you working from home? What have been the highlights and maybe the downsides? Comment below and let us interact about that and what else you would like to read about.
Elsie Mutsaka is a Fashion Beauty & Lifestyle blogger and the owner of Shop Efuru, an online thrift store. When she is not advocating for sustainable fashion, she will be coming up with cool marketing strategies for brands that want to reach millennials, GenZs and the alphas. Connect with Elsie on: Instagram @elsiemutsaka Twitter @elsiemutsakai www.elsiemutsaka.com , www.shopefuru.co.zw