With the spread of coronavirus, working from home has become a reality for many. This can be a large change for those who don’t usually work from home. No more long commutes and constantly being surrounded by your team at work.
Learning to work from home won’t come easy. You will have many distractions, along with the fact that nobody has direct sight of what you are doing or not doing.
Make the most of your initial freedom to help you adjust. For the first few days, you might feel a little lost without your workmates next to you, your usual work set up, and working in an environment which
is usually your ‘home to relax’.
It’s critical to plan out a routine. Plan what you will be doing for the day, including when you will be taking a break. Set alarms for breaks, when you need to walk the dog, when you will eat lunch. Time slips by faster when you are working from home – so plan your day and stick to your schedule.
Ensure you have everything set up – your laptop, desk space, chair, good lighting. You won’t have the fancy chairs or monitors you usually have at work, so create a space where you can be productive and will not be easily distracted. This will look different for each individual. You might be most comfortable at a desk, or work best moving around to a different location after each break. Find where you are most comfortable and move during the day if you need to. Being comfortable is going to make you more productive.
Being comfortable working from home, will also come with the realisation that you still need to get work done. Your pride and responsibly of your career will kick in as you don’t want to let anyone down. You want to prove that you can work from home, just as well as you can work in the office.
Make sure you have a social element within your day. Make calls to clients, talk to your team, speak to your family and friends. Keep connected to the outside world. Engage with the news and updated with what’s happening in the business.
Re-entry into the office will be the hardest part of all. When the time comes to get back into the office and work amongst your peers again, you will struggle. Manager need to understand that this sudden change will throw people off balance. It will take space, time and understanding. Don’t expect to be back to full capacity and speed in a day. Like the entry to working from home, a small adjustment period should be allowed and expected for re-entry into the workplace.
However long this current situation lasts, working from home should not be feared. Embrace and learn from it. Find what makes your more efficient and productive to your team. Further your own career by growing and adapting to a new environment.