How to Make the Most Out of Working From Home
By Mina Ayoub, Communications Executive at EFG Hermes.
Challenging times call for challenging measures, and with challenging measures comes greater responsibility. Your office is most likely your second home and your desk your altar; but during stressful times for companies, it is not uncommon to find yourself working from home for an extended period of time to maintain the composition of the collective employee body. Whereas for some people this could be the Holy Grail of productivity, others might find it difficult to adapt and make the most out of the situation.
The key to getting the best out of working from home is like most other things, finding a balance. Here are a few things to keep in mind while connecting your laptop to your home’s IP address.
Consult the Computer Wiz.
As with all times of change, it’s always best to prepare beforehand. In a case such as ours, it’s best to make sure you have the proper tools set up on your laptop. Consult your IT department or your local IT savvy friend on installing and setting up the needed programs for communication such as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, etc. If your company uses a local online portal or shared folder, make sure you can access it from home. Try to create a plan for the all your deliverables before heading out and make sure you have the programs you’ll need installed and launched.
Get comfy, but not too comfy.
Working from home has it’s benefits, like getting comfortable in a work setting of your own design and even away from the distracting hustle and bustle of the office. However, let’s not fall into the trap of working from your bed. To the brain, the bed signals associations of sleep and relaxation so once you’re in your bed, don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself drifting away or feeling a little lazy. Put on your pjs, sit in a sunny room at a desk or table, put on your music without having to use earphones and enjoy working in a setting that might be a little more freeing from the stress everyone back at the office might subconsciously put off around you.
Commit To A Schedule.
After preparation, comes the real work, but almost. You’ve set up your computer and schedule, set up your work station, now it’s time to set up your expectations. Working from home can easily cause us to compromise timelines more than anticipated if not tackled head on. More so, it’s easy to get too relaxed with work, so it’s important to give yourself a timeline / schedule and commit to it. You know what you’re supposed to do, all you have to do now is give yourself a comprehensive, detailed and thorough deadline sheet for everything and follow through on it. There’s no shame in asking someone to support you by gently reminding you of your dues, it’s a different circumstance after all and it helps to keep your eyes on the bigger picture.
Teamwork Away From the Team
Working from home can pose challenging when it comes to maintaining team work but thanks to the digital age, not nearly impossible. At times when most (or everyone for that matter) is working from home, maintaining frequent team reviews is pivotal to keeping things moving along smoothly. Unmute those whatsapp groups and capitalize on them, have weekly (or more if needed) video calls, create an open platform of your choice to ask all the questions you might have. Know your team and trust them, know who to contact when the need arises. Above all else, dominate the teamwork mindset, it’s not a time for the “this doesn’t fall under my scope of work” attitude. More than ever, have each other’s backs.
A for Attitude
As easy as it may be to fall prey to the “vacation” expectations, it’s important not to. Working from home is still work and so demands and deserves the proper attitude. You may have an extra hour’s sleep but from 9-5, or whatever your working hours may be, you dedicate them to the work. Always remember, many entrepreneurs, freelancers, designers, programmers, bloggers, etc. have already reached levels of success without the need for stepping into an office, through their dedication to the time. Ask your family members to respect your working hours that still apply, enjoy being with your pets but make sure not to get too distracted, don’t give the nanny some time off just because you’re working from home but explain to them the situation. It’s a great opportunity to be around loved ones, but balance is always key.
During times of distress when measures such as these are put in place, it’s important to not be discouraged and see the silver linings, enjoy them and appreciate them. Learning to balance between work and family has never been more crucial, or beneficial. Capitalizing on digital platforms can make life a whole lot easier and adopting the proper mindset might even allow you a more productive nature when you’re soon back at the office, just make sure not to miss the home cooked food too much.