COVID -19: How to Work from Home
By Josephine Agbonkhese
Working from home is obviously the new work trend; no thanks to COVID-19. But as easy as it might sound, this could be the toughest for most people for a lot of reasons. From the tendency to ‘feel at home’ to the possibility of getting unnecessarily distracted, the obstacles to functioning at your peak are enormous. As the ongoing global coronavirus crisis continues to change the world of work, forcing virtually every organisation to adopt this new work style, Vanguard Allure serves you seven proven tips that would make working from home a productive and pleasant experience, as shared with us by Abuja-based Human Resource Consultant, Bukky Sonibare, who has worked successfully from home in the last five years.
1. Set up a workstation:
Not having a dedicated work space, where you can concentrate and focus on your work, may lead to not taking working from home as serious as it should. When you work from home, your home becomes your office/workplace. Thus, just as you would have a specific work space in your office, you should also have one when working from home. This should not be your dining set or couch, and it does not have to be a whole room. You can simply identify a corner in any secluded part of your apartment, and then equip it with a table and chair. Have in place a modem and a router or connect your phone’s hotspot to your laptop; depending on your internet needs.
2. Create an I-am-in-the-office mindset:
Treat working from home like working from the office. This means working from home is not a time to lounge around or watch movies while your laptop is on your laps; neither should it mean you sitting on or kneeling by your bed with your laptop on it while you are still on your night wear. Just as you would shower to work, do so when you work from home. Be properly dressed, also; not necessarily a suit and tie—but definitely not your pajamas.
3. Stick to a schedule:
Don’t get lost in the flexibility of this work style. Instead, stick to the time/number of hours you are meant to, or that you choose to work. With that, you can arrange your To-Do in such a way that ensures you complete your daily tasks within a particular time frame. For work-life balance, adhere strictly to your scheduled time so that other aspects of your life do not suffer.
4. Engage children and set boundaries:
If you have children or wards, it is important you keep them busy so they don’t become distractions while you work. Children will not immediately understand that you are working from home; you have to make them understand you’re not physically at home. So, get them engaged and set boundaries that must be respected by them and everyone else—including those who would want to spend hours with you on the phone.
To do this, provide the necessary care before work starts – such as bathing and dressing up younger ones and ensuring meals (breakfast and lunch) are catered for. Then, ensure there are activities to keep them busy and if possible, an adult to guide them.
5. Move around and stay healthy:
Working from home may result in a sedentary lifestyle, as there is minimal physical activity since there is the tendency to sit in one place for too long. Health wise, sitting in a spot for too long has implications, and there are already reports in some western countries that this is already a challenge in this stay-at-home period.
So, move around and engage your body. You need not wait for your break times for this. Things like light air punches, neck rotations, squats, etc. are simple ways of engaging your body. Step out of the house at least once a day for natural light and fresh air (but maintain social distancing).
6. Leverage on technology:
Take advantage of the compulsory stay-at-home to uncover and get acquainted with technological platforms that can aid your work. Browse the net –there are apps, websites, and other online platforms that can help advertise your products and services or aid engagements with staff, partners, and clients (e.g. Zoom and Skype). This is also a good time to innovate on the part of your business that can be offered remotely for income generation. Don’t forget to maximize the use of technology to develop yourself through online courses and free book reading.
7. Don’t stop building relationships:
One major down side of working remotely is the tendency to be completely cut off from people. So, ensure you deliberately build into your daily routine actions aimed at nurturing relationships. This can range from using phone calls, SMS, WhatsApp or Telegram chats to check on your clients, partners, and funders; and family members too, to be sure they are staying safe. Intentionally choose to have e-meetings on Zoom or Skype so you can see everyone’s face. Maintain interactions on social media platforms also.
In conclusion, stay at home, wash your hands, stay safe and spread positivity! This will be over in no distant time.