Businesses have been asking their employees to move to the remote since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown. Even though the quarantine regulations are receding, many still need to work from home, either by requirement or for safety reasons.
Remote work can be intimidating. Being away from your team and familiar environment can take a significant toll on your productivity and mental health. It’s, therefore, crucial to avoid letting it run its course and take charge of how you organize your working activity during the pandemic.
Best Practices While Working Remotely in Lockdown
Create a Schedule
It’s best to start fitting your remote work into certain boundaries from the very beginning. The fact that you’re at home doesn’t mean that you have to respond to a new email at 10 p.m. simply because you’re awake. Likewise, working all day long with no breaks to avoid appearing lazy—either to yourself or your colleagues—is the straight road to burning out in weeks.
Creating a schedule and sticking to it helps you draw a line between work and personal life, and it refines your focus on tasks at hand. Paradoxically, cutting your work hours from unintentional 12 to the usual 8 can boost your productivity, as it decreases your capacity for procrastination. In other words, when you set a clear rule against bringing work into bed, you become less likely to put something off during the day.
Get Dressed Every Day
It might be a no-brainer for some, but pajamas are not a particularly motivating attire. When you don’t need to go out, it’s incredibly easy to slip into the endless cycle of meaning to change and never getting around to it until it’s time to sleep again. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with spending a day in your PJs, your work can suffer greatly if it becomes a habit.
Instead of letting your brain take the easy way out, get dressed every day. It doesn’t have to be your full working outfit complete with makeup and a tie, but it does have to be presentable. First of all, looking the part makes you feel the part, which, in turn, helps you gather the will and do everything you’ve set out to achieve that day. Secondly, you will discover an encouraging improvement in professionalism during video meetings with your coworkers.
Related: 15 Things to do Before Lockdown Ends
Set Your Goals Every Evening
Mornings are disorienting for everyone. When you don’t have the additional structure of your office environment, it can get even harder to start doing something, because piles of tasks tend to get more and more insurmountable when you think about them for a long time. A quick hack to fix this problem is writing your objectives for the next day in the evening.
Jotting down a quick list of tasks doesn’t take more than a few minutes out of your evening, but it can help greatly. It reduces that intimidating pile that hits you in the morning to small, doable pieces. Additionally, it increases the sense of achievement every time you get to cross an item off the list, boosting your enthusiasm and helping you work faster.
Get Comfortable Using Technology
Remote work requires you to communicate with your teams and customers as effectively as in person but through the Internet. Simple phone calls won’t cut it. If you don’t use software for conferencing, productivity, and business communication frequently, now is the time to get familiar with it and incorporate it into your new daily routine. Read here to learn more about useful software for working from home.
Keep Your Working Space Professional
Not everyone has the luxury of transforming a whole room into a temporary office space. It makes it even more critical to keep the place where you work as a professional as you can. It doesn’t mean neat per se, but if your desk is dominated by empty mugs, magazines, and a tablet with YouTube open, you intentionally immerse yourself into an environment flooded with distractions. As a rule of thumb, try to keep your working space free of any items that don’t relate to your project.
The coronavirus crisis has shaped a new reality for workers in all fields. For people in many professions, working from home is the uncharted territory, and it’s crucial to start adapting to it as soon as possible rather than try and wait for the lockdown out.
Your comfort during a period of remote work comes down to keeping your activity as organized as possible. Create a schedule and don’t work late hours. Dress up every day to put yourself into a professional mindset.
Get familiar with the tools and latest gadgets you will use on a daily basis and don’t shy away from learning new technologies to improve the process. These simple but important steps let you gain control over this new “working from home” reality and help you remain productive, creative, and healthy.