Working from home – The new normal

working from home with a child

In response to COVID-19, many companies have been allowing their employees to work from home. Radio broadcasts are coming from the living rooms of the broadcasters. Teams are meeting through Zoom or other video meeting platforms. Most employees who are now faced with the challenge of completing their work from home have never faced this kind of situation before. In an office, there are few distractions. Your coworkers are right next to you and your supervisor is usually easily accessible for guidance. When working from home, you have to find ways to stay productive and make the most of your situation.

Pick a Space

If you’re one of the many faced with taking your work home, you need to pick a space to work. You may be tempted to compile your analytics or draft documents on your couch while watching Netflix, but don’t. Pick a spot in your house that you can set up like an office space. The reason we haven’t always been working from home is because our houses are full of distractions. If you’re going to maintain productivity, you need to set up a space in your home that allows you to work as distraction-free as possible.

Manage your time

Plan your daily schedule, and keep your team updated on it. Decide when you will work and when you will be off the clock. You need to keep boundaries between your work and home lives, just as if you were driving to your office everyday. Be reasonable when planning your schedule. No matter how much you plan, there will always be something that comes up, especially if you have children. Allow a degree of flexibility in your schedule to account for the unplanned.

Take breaks

Don’t expect to work for 8 straight hours or to make it through the day without having to stop a couple of times. The Pomodoro Technique is a highly recommended technique designed to boost productivity. To use the Pomodoro, you set a timer for 25 minutes. In the 25-minute span, get as much work done on a certain task as you can. When your timer goes off, you take a short 5-10 minute break. Have a cup of coffee, walk outside, meditate, or anything else to clear your mind and give your brain a break. After four 25-minute sets, you take a longer break – 15-20 minutes. Plan your tasks and cut out distractions in order to be your most productive self.

Don’t get stuck on 9 to 5

You’ve committed a number of hours every day or week, but that doesn’t mean they have to be during a certain time. Work early morning while your children or spouse are still asleep. Take advantage of naps for young children and bedtimes for those in your house. You’re not required to get all of your work done while everyone in your house is awake. Be smart and take advantage of quiet times in your house.

Working from home is a big change for a lot of people, so make sure you are prepared and have a plan in place. Try not to be too hard on yourself if it takes some time for you to get adjusted to your new normal.

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