It’s amazing how we dream of working from home before the pandemic! If only I could work in my element and I would be ten times more productive! Remember that feeling? Doing it your own way, your own time….. YES in your jammies or undies as well. Don’t lie, you did do it and/or thought of it.
Corona drops in, the world is in virtual lockdown and now….your dreams have literally come true. Yet recent studies by Behaviorists from the Institute for Applied Sciences, have found that productivity has only marginally gone up vs an office environment. In fact, 80% of respondents claimed productivity went down by as much as 60%! Much of it is due to technology admittedly but also the day to day distractions of the household – and while 70% of those questioned did have access to Grade A infrastructure, the key findings boiled down to one thing: Discipline.
Working from home is easy. Getting work done is the hard part!
You see, at home, you are the master of your element. Port a pay-working environment that rarely sees the four walls of your domicile, and you get all sorts of distractions, unplanned mishaps and even the occasional tech glitch that keeps you from connecting to your video conference. That, and you could be forgiven for the unforeseen embarrassment of standing up in your shorts while your boss discusses navigating the nuances of a challenging P&L via live stream!
Discipline is key and while we’re all humans and our minds adjusts to various circumstances differently, we are still working – albeit from home. It’s salary driven, position driven and a necessity until we revert back to normal life. Complacency and the “new normal” is also a killer. Exciting at first, mundane as we progress. So how have I managed? Juggling my 2 side Gigs, freelance projects, 3 cats, 1 dog, the wife and a job? Here are my 10 tips to better manage a work from home environment:
- Feed yourself! Unless you are on some diet or program, feed yourself a good breakfast and lunch. Avoid the snacks, smokes and too much coffee. Buzzed and overweight at home is a long term disaster. You may not be able to walk it off or go out altogether. So eat sensibly, nutritiously and well.
- Sleep! Waking up late is not an excuse. Working have asleep is no good either. I’m usually tucked nippy by 9 and up at 4. Whatever works for you, get your 8 hours. It also helps maintain your immune system and heath.
- Set your working hours: Set them and keep them. If you’re doing an 8-5, then its 8-5. About 2-3 breaks for coffee or to move around and an hour for lunch.
- Inform the family: You’re earning a living. Your employer still treats this as a office environment. You are therefore expected to produce and deliver. Keeping family members aware of your expectations and your time is key. Let them manage everything else.
- Your Workspace: A room or the roof is not relevant. What is relevant is that it’s your working space. Get it setup and connected. Avoid running around several rooms to get what you need.
- Stay Organized: Keep time and stay organized. Have a schedule of what needs to be done, priorities etc… I am assuming you would do this anyway at the office. It’s no different.
- Stay Focused: or get fired. We’ve got redundancies left and right. Thank the lord you are earning and have a job. So don’t give your boss or client an excuse with poor or late deliverables. Replacing you will certainly not be an issue in this economy.
- Play the Part: Dress up and act like you’re in the office! Avoid working in your undies, jammies, etc… I tried and never got the vibe going. So be serious.
- Reasonable You Reasonable Boss: Everyone wants to prove a point to keep their job. Overworking yourself will prove nothing. If the CEO needs to be home and spend time with his/her family, so do you. An abbreviation is not a justification for a burnt out employee. Neither is an economic downturn or a virus. Manage expectations and set them against proper deliverables. If you deliver on time, there is no reason to compromise on your personal time. However, recognize that there may be times you need to be flexible. Depending on your role, location of offices, etc.. working odd hours may be required. Adjust accordingly.
- Have Fun! YES! Have fun. This is a time for you to rethink your working structure. How can you make things better, what do you need to improve and certainly – how can you remain consistent. Put a smile on, have a coke and put some love into it. Your passion and emotion will be contagious and it will show in what you say and produce. God knows we need as much uplift as possible so be a driver of Positive energy!