HOW TO EFFECTIVELY WORK FROM HOME

We are now living through a crisis that has forced us to change our lifestyle. Most of us were used to the typical 9 to 5 routine but with the current COVID-19 pandemic, that won’t be possible. Everyone has to readjust their usual schedule and adapt to working from home.

We always see people on social media 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 one week experience 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 the temptations that come with having a bed and food present or maybe your family is around and you would ideally want to spend more quality time with them. The truth is, it’s all in the mind. Once you think about it, that is how it actually goes. You need to understand that you are working from home and the only difference is the change of environment , but your deliverable is 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 the whole process of working from home much easier to adjust to and you will begin to follow through with your deadlines and accomplish all your daily targets.

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 to 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!

COMMUNICATE!

We are basically working far away from our work colleagues 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 this with anyone, your team will not know about it. Communication is key, 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 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 five tasks for the day, but if you spend the whole day online and only cover one task, then that is a problem. If it so happens that you finish the tasks before lunchtime, then WELL DONE! you can now choose how to spend the afternoon because you have delivered all you were meant to for the day.

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 work 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 & 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 progress has been made and they could possibly look more into remote working. I believe this will be an advantage as we are moving towards the gig economy and the work space 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, also comment on what else you would like to read about.

Written by Elsie Mutsaka.

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