Due to the Covid-19 pandemic millions across the globe are confined to WFH or work from home. Not only is the lockdown a self-safety measure, but also for eradication of this pandemic and to stop it from spreading. Keeping all this in mind the WFH culture has emerged to enable the work population to keep working from home without hampering their productivity. However, as convenient as it may sound, for many it is a task that involves detailed planning and keeping up with the schedule. So, given here are some tips that will help you with WFH during this lockdown.
Managing work from home
It is all about maintaining the balance between work and home chores, especially for those who are having kids at home to take care of, the task becomes more difficult. Working mothers who are managing work flow, concalls, meetings online and still managing their young kid is something that is not less than a herculean task. Additionally, men who are never used to sit at home all the time find it difficult to cope with home environment and the work stress during this lockdown. Not having coworkers to talk with and the situation becomes more stressful. The following three super tips will help you deal with it all.
Working from home requires you to work on your boundaries, these should be:
- Get up as usual and dress up for work, it is essential to maintain the practice so that you do not become a slacker.
- Maintain the work and home boundaries as before, try physical distancing from home chaos like moving to another room where you can work.
- Before sitting down to work you can go for a walk on your terrace or within your boundary campus if possible. Take a walk around your apartment.
- Stretch between work time that will maintain your physical stamina as well as keep you from being distracted.
- Take your usual dedicated coffee breaks.
- Maintain the work boundary by dedicating a room or a space for work that should be just as professional as your work desk.
Maintaining temporal boundaries
Integrating home responsibilities like taking care of elders or children at home and managing work is a difficult task.
Here is what you can do:
- It may be difficult to maintain 9-5 schedule as usual so you need to work out a work-time budget that is best suited for the immediate environment.
- Plan a time budget that can incorporate both the activities including your home as well as work.
- For example, when you are not available for a day to work on your office activities then you can still mark it as out of office reply during certain hours.
- You can leave messages on group chat of your office if you are preoccupied with home chores or taking care of a loved one in need. It should be a less extreme reply like: you are available but slow to respond to calls.
- Creating temporal boundaries involves being less stressful regarding the work you are doing and also managing your home activities at the same time.
- For those who miss chatting up with the co-workers or work mates or friends at work they can create a virtual coffee meet up and schedule taking a few minutes off chatting online with them or on video call where the personal group can sit and de-stress.
- Temporal boundaries are necessary, for example pausing a movie in evening just to answer work and get back to working again will result in immediate burnout. Create a non-working time as you create a work schedule.
Prioritize and Scheduling
It is often the thing with all of us that we are not able to maintain or even begin with prioritizing our list of work. So, here is what you can do.
- Creating two lists would be better than one, one should be high priority another should be low priority. You can choose to create a schedule in these two criteria when you are creating the list.
- Creating a priority activity chart in advance is better than stressing after what to incorporate at the last moment.
- Devoting your priority to high energy or top issues is the key that will keep you from getting drained doing the mundane.
- Instead of focusing on more immediate tasks, you should be able to work on more important tasks.
- It is not about productivity alone, you need not over stretch yourself to shine ahead, it is more about maintaining your calm and still being able to work in a sane environment.
- If you keep doing the immediate tasks that can be scheduled for the post lunch activities then you are creating a circle of counterproductive day for yourself and you will be stuck-up.
- If your family needs more attention than the work schedule, then find a colleague or a team mate who you can bank upon to handle it for you for a day or few hours till you get back at it.
- Dedicating a team mate and training them to handle things when you are not available is a better way to cope with immediate need whether at home or work.
These recommendations may seem simple but often when someone who is sucked in the whirlwind of work and home chores is the only one who knows how things are going. However, if you carefully take a look at these tips these are some small practical advices that will help you in the long run. Once you begin rescheduling your work at home, things will start falling in place easily.