As you've probably noticed, more companies are moving to having employees work from home. Keep reading to see if you are ready to be working from home.
As I'm sure you are very aware, COVID-19 is having employers and employees adjust how the do their business.
Maybe your company was thinking of moving to have more work from home days, and this pandemic sped up the process. Or maybe your business had to quickly come up with a plan to start the process of working from home. Maybe your workplace is starting partial work from home days. Or maybe you've been working from home all along.
What should be top of mind is "are you set up to work from home?"
As public spaces, restaurants, and businesses temporarily close their doors and Ontario declares a state of emergency - all to slow the spread of COVID-19 - many workplaces are telling employees to do their job from their home.
For many, this is a scary possibility.
Those who haven't worked from home before, this could be a hard adjustment period to stay productive in what is usually a leisure setting.
As much of the workforce starts working from home as the new normal, experts say that the key for those having a hard time is to maintain a schedule.
It is recommended that you wake up at the time you normally would, get dressed like you're going to the office, and find a work-space instead of carrying your laptop with you around your home.
Here are a few things to keep in mind: don't work in your PJs, don't work from your bed - try to create your office environment as much as possible. If possible, set up a space that has natural light (then you won't feel as cooped up).
Many companies will be relying on phone calls and video conferencing to ensure that teams still feel connected like they do at the office.
So, how can you work from home the right way?
- Increase communication
The key to working from home is clear communication with your boss and colleagues while knowing what is expected of you. Try to make sure you communicate at least once per day - even if it's for 10 minutes.
- Treat it like your normal job
Just because you can lounge in your PJs, doesn't mean you should. Make sure to get dressed like you normally would when going to the office. Also, try to have as much of your home office space like your desk at work - double monitors, keyboard, mouse - to make sure you don't lose productivity. Make sure to also bookend your day/unplug after work.
- Avoid feeling isolated
Going from an office to a home environment can leave you accustoming to change. Isolation could impact morale and productivity. It's suggested to try normalcy in unconventional ways (ex, virtual pizza parties). Also, try to bring in-office social activities to an online environment (ex, make time for casual conversation, give public praise).
- Keep your spirits up
These are stressful times - there are a lot of health concerns/safety on all of our minds. The more effort you put into communicating with work colleagues, the better chance you won't feel isolated. Make sure to acknowledge everyone's stress and difficulty, and cheer them on.
Finally, what do you need to work from home?
- Internet service
Everyone needs internet service to work (if not, please share what you do from home!). Make sure you have a consistent, decent speed connection to keep productivity up.
- Office space
You need one place that you consider you work-space. It doesn't have to be a whole room, but make sure it is a space that you don't confuse work and leisure. Here are some examples: coffee shops, libraries, kitchen table, desk in corner of room.
- Phone service
While this might not be as important as email and voice messaging, it is still crucial to have this service.
- Clothes that aren't PJs
Wearing PJs can cut down productivity. We associate these clothes with leisure and sleep, not work.
- A good desktop setup
You might need to expand your capabilities for extras - spreadsheets, backup data, business oriented software.
- Reach out to the rest of the world
Working from home doesn't mean you should confine yourself to your house. There are networking sites that are now must haves.
- An organized space
You need to ensure that your space is organized and de-cluttered.
- Set a specific time to work
Pick a scheduled time and stick to it. It's hard to differentiate when work and home are the same. Make sure to pick a time that works for you to only do work and stick to it.
Make sure to make yourself known via phone or email, don't forget to communicate.
Don't think you constantly need to work. If it's past your scheduled work time, leave it until tomorrow.
We have reached the end of this article. We hope that you stay safe and (if you can) work from home productively. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to use the below section.
In your times of not working, maybe you can get some reading done. Check out our tech reading list below.
Heath, Maggie. (2020). 12 Essential Things You Need In Order To Work From Home Productively. Retrieved March 17, 2020 from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/12-essential-things-you-need-order-work-from-home-productively.html
Jones, Alexandra Mae. (2020). Canada's workforce having to adjust to working from home. Retrieved March 17, 2020 from https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canada-s-workforce-having-to-adjust-to-working-from-home-1.4855835
Lufkin, Bryan. (2020). Coronavirus: How to work from home, the right way. Retrieved March 17, 2020 from https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200312-coronavirus-covid-19-update-work-from-home-in-a-pandemic