The coronavirus outbreak has led millions of people to nestle in their homes and stay put until any further notice. This means that schools, offices, and various other public places are shut down to prevent the spread of the virus in order to keep people safe. Parents are working remotely which means tackling the challenges of home life and work, while also dealing with the fears of the coronavirus.
As governments enforce rules regarding social distancing and self-isolation to combat the virus, several individuals are skeptical about how chaotic working from home can be. Major tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. have taken proactive steps by allowing the majority of their workforce to work remotely from their homes. There are many challenges that accompany this change like loneliness, time management, productivity, and communication, but finding a strategy can help you navigate through this tough time. Now is not the time to panic and feel defeated.
Here are the best ways one can effectively manage work from home during the worldwide pandemic.
To get into the mind frame of working, you need to have a designated workspace so you don’t turn your entire house upside down. You can’t have yourself misplacing important documents or wasting time looking for your laptop adapter right before a business video conference. In order to avoid situations like this, you must create a setup for work in a dedicated space or room that works best for you. You don’t need to go out of your way to furnish or purchase expensive gear to set up an office, but if that’s what makes you happy then go for it.
The entire point of working from home is the flexibility of choosing the work environment that is most comfortable for you. But this doesn’t mean that you start slacking and losing your professionalism. Pick a spot that is quiet and free from distractions so you’re able to work productively and thoroughly on the task at hand. If you’re working in a separate room, you can instruct your kids to knock before coming in so you’re able to inform your peers before allowing your kids in.
Most importantly, you must make sure that you’ve got the right equipment and tools to work remotely as to not cause any delays in the workflow. Essentially, having a setup for work at home can take you one step closer to effectively managing remote work during the coronavirus epidemic.
Remote working is something all businesses around the world are trying to navigate through during the coronavirus outbreak. When it comes to working from home communication is key to ensure that you and your colleagues are on the same page. It’s okay to be transparent about your home life with teammates and to let them know of your situation. Additionally, setting a standard for effective communication from the beginning helps everyone stay informed and up-to-date with tasks and virtual meetings. For example, all employees must have access to Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts, etc. for group chats and calls, as well as file sharing apps like Google Docs. These apps facilitate a smooth workflow and communication channel throughout your work-from-home situation. But it’s important that you’re all using the same tools so you can interact effectively and get work done in a productive manner.
For instance, among many, one software house in USA has provided its employees with individual Slack accounts in order to communicate with their teammates. It helps to pass down messages from the team leads to subordinates without any interruptions, and share files in a secure environment. Employees can easily discuss their work schedules and patterns with their peers so everyone is in the loop and work can resume effortlessly. Ultimately, the aim is to ensure everyone has access to these modern technologies and can use them effectively to communicate with their teammates without being physically present with each other.
Working from home can have its own set of valuable perks such as flexibility, zero commuting, no fuel costs, custom environment, etc. Especially the individuals who seek a work and home life balance can spend time with their loved ones to relax and unplug. But, without some serious restrictions, there can be a clash between the two that make your experience a lot more stressful.
Working with your kids at home is difficult and tiresome. No matter how accommodating and understanding your colleagues can be, it’s important for you to set boundaries with your kids when you’re working from home. Being consistently interrupted or distracted while working remotely can leave a negative impression of your professionalism and work ethics. Thereby, it’s important to implement some sharp and strict rules in the house to help your kids practice discipline while you’re working. This will help you stay focused and keep your performance at peak.
It may be helpful to schedule your working hours – if possible – around the time your kids are playing or watching TV in order to keep them occupied. If you’re not given that level of flexibility, then explain to your kids that you’re allowing them some screen time while you’re working but it shouldn’t last for long. For parents who aren’t comfortable with allowing their kids prolonged hours of screen-time, they can keep them busy with little arts and crafts projects. Kids enjoy making things on their own so give them a fun project to do while you’re working. You can even ask them to finish their homework while you’re busy and offer them a reward in return like their favorite snack, a small present or playtime. For parents who don’t have a designated workspace in their homes, this technique can help you set clear boundaries and some order at home.
It’s important to understand that you need to time out after a couple of hours to eat, walk around, or just to give your eyes a break from looking at the screen continuously. Since you’re working remotely, you may feel compelled to overwork yourself to prove your professionalism to your employer. However, it’s crucial that you take frequent breaks in between to stretch and relax your muscles, and to allow some blood circulation.
Approximately 90% of American employees claim that taking breaks can help them feel revitalized and ready to dive back into work, making them more involved and productive. When workers work excessively they’re neglecting their health which leads to them experiencing fatigue or sickness. Being swamped with work once in a while is fine, but constantly stacking up your timetable with work and conference calls can have an adverse effect on your mind and body. This is especially important for single parents who have to simultaneously manage their home life and work. Therefore, if you can’t afford to fall sick while at home then it’s important to prioritize taking breaks in between to allow yourself a minute to breathe. It’s like pressing the reset button; you’ll find yourself more productive when you return to your work.
In situations, where both you and your partner are working from home, substituting shifts or allotting working hours for each other can help you set a pattern. By alternating shifts, you and your spouse can have uninterrupted work time for the time given. It’s easier to manage work this way where one person can handle the housework and kids while the other is working and then switch accordingly.
It always helps to have a helping hand at home, especially now that all daycares are closed and it’s not safe to have a babysitter watch your kids. It all comes down to the parents figuring out how to effectively manage their families and work remotely while staying at home.
When you split your work hours between you and your partner it can take the burden off of one person and help to get all the work done in a timely manner. It ensures that neither your kids nor work engagements are neglected, and you can even get some time for yourselves to relax. A major advantage of working from home is that it gives you a level of flexibility that you didn’t have at the office, so you can designate working hours – if your work allows it – and reserve times for your clients or business meetings, and family.
Remote work might be a new experience for many people today but it is a known phenomenon for several freelancers. It really teaches us that most of our daily assignments can be done from home, as and when required. All you need is a fool-proof strategy that you can follow religiously to strike a peaceful balance between work and home life. Remind yourself not to panic if things don’t start out as smoothly as planned. Your technique and productivity will improve as you spend more time working from home. Until then, wash your hands and be safe.
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