The global pandemic of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – that first broke out in Wuhan, China in late December of 2019 – has forced countries to lock down their borders and affected human activities all over the world, not to mention the massive effect on the global economy. It seems like more countries will soon be following the practice of locking-down civilisations in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. Australia has already reduced the limit of persons in non-essential gatherings and more lock-down measures could likely be implemented.
Many businesses in Australia have already adopted work-from-home practice for most of their employees in consideration of their health & safety, and many more are in the process. However, one question remains: how can you ensure you can be as productive as possible whilst working from home?
Remote work, however, is not a new term. Many businesses have successfully been incorporating remote work practices into their work culture, long before the world was forced to deal with the novel coronavirus. Working remotely has generally been more applicable to certain industries such as IT, telephone sales, customer support, and business processes where manual operations are not required on-site and the task outcomes can be transferred easily which has been made possible through the internet. Businesses are now being forced to consider ways to enable their employees to work remotely in the bid to ensure the health and safety of their staff whilst also reducing the need of travel which increases the risk of spreading the virus.
As the global situation is continuing to develop on a daily basis, working from home is a reality a lot of employees may be facing, and it might last for a number of months.
Set Your Home Office Environment Up Right!
We as humans have developed a culture of collaborating with like-minded individuals in creating and executing awesome ideas in the office environment for a long time. With businesses looking for ways to enhance productivity, office spaces have been transformed to help build great team culture, collaboration and comfort so does that mean that working from home now maybe, well… a little different?.
Think about this: businesses have strived to make office spaces less official and more comfortable, so why not, in turn, make your home space be as professional? All you need is a small area to set your workstation up where personal distractions do not interfere with your professional obligations.
Plan your workstation to be located away from the zones where there is a regular flow of children and your other family members and arrange to have on hand any essentials that your working style may require such as water, snacks etc.. Ensure you have adequate lighting and suitable furniture that will provide you with the level of comfort you need for your productivity.
You probably already know that you rely on technology more than ever when you start working from home. The meetings, discussions, and brainstorming sessions can be among the things you will miss while working remotely. This does not mean however they have to stop as whilst it is different, these things can still be done in a virtual world with the use of the technology now available for video conferencing.
Practice Until you get used to collaborating on online project management platforms, having virtual meetings on Google Meet/Zoom, and communicating with instant messaging apps such as Skype, Microsoft Teams or Slack.
Plan For The Right Furniture And Accessories Beforehand
No matter where you work from, your job responsibilities are generally going to stay the same. You know best under what circumstances you deliver your best performance so if you had a great workstation set up in the office you worked you can possibly just set up the same at home. You may even temporarily relocate the furniture from the office you attended to your home if your employer will allow you to do that.
Most of us overlook the importance of office chairs and their influence on our work life. While it is true that we spend more time sitting down than we should, a good office chair will make a huge difference in how you feel after a work shift. Ensure you get a good chair for yourself (like the one you have in your Office) while working from home because it can directly affect your wellbeing and productivity.
Additionally, think about what accessories are affecting your productivity in your office space and incorporate them into your home workstation. Small accessories and equipment (quality webcams, wireless desktop phone chargers, monitor mounting arms etc) can make a huge difference to your productivity. Ensure you are set up well so that you feel as professional as you are at Office.
Make Yourself Accountable
We all enjoy relaxing after work while we are at home, so working from the home environment can sometimes be conflicting in this regard. Working in an undisciplined manner can lead to excessive breaks and a waste of productive time on activities that should be kept to non-working time. The best way to deal with this is by making yourself accountable. Get yourself set up with an accountability partner, someone who will help you keep performing and you can help them with the same in return. Also, supervise yourself and evaluate your performance at the end of the day. Your performance today – under whatever circumstances – will shape your career tomorrow.