The world has seen many crises in its history. Much like the flu in 1968 and Cholera in the 1910s, to everyone’s disbelief, we are facing the Coronavirus pandemic and it’s spreading at a very fast rate. But unlike 1910, we are much more technologically developed and have the ability to keep the economy moving, even if at a slower pace, if proper steps are taken.
At Sticker Driver, 40% of our employees work remotely since the very beginning and starting this week, the rest of our team have begun working from their homes as well. Most companies in Bangladesh have taken or are going to take the same step as well for the safety of their employees and the country in general.
Even if working from home doesn’t sound like something too complicated, it can be much harder than it seems. Some have a drop in their productivity while others struggle with finding the balance between work and life. But following some simple tips may help you actually get some work done while enjoying the process.
Take some time for yourself in the morning. Just because you are working from home and don’t need the time to commute doesn’t mean you should oversleep and just roll out of bed at 10am to report for work. Take some time to prepare for the day ahead by having a healthy breakfast and preparing your lunch so you don’t lose time during the day. It is also essential to do some indoor exercise in the morning to keep your body fit just in case it needs to battle the virus. Having a slow and healthy start of the day will help keep your anxiety in check during stressful times like this.
Dress up like you are actually going to the office. This can be helpful for people who are struggling to find the start and stop button of their work mode. Being in loungewear all day will make your brain think that you have a day off. Instead, change your appearance and outfit in the morning and evening to let your brain distinguish between work time and play time.
Designate a space where you work everyday. Create the ideal environment you need for working. It should be a place where you can sit comfortably and get enough sunlight throughout the day to make yourself feel refreshed. For many of us, a designated room is an ideal but not probable option. However, even if you are sitting at your dining table with your laptop, the environment around you needs to be workable. Remove everything that you don’t need while working including your phone and the television. It might be harder if you have kids who are staying home too. In which case, try teaching them to differentiate between work and play time as well.
Schedule both work and break. When you are working from home, it’s easy to get distracted by doing home-like things such as cleaning or cooking. Schedule time for work and designate when you will take a break. Use your calendar, timer or journal - whatever works for you. One of the most popular methods for scheduling breaks is the pomodoro technique where you work for 25 minutes followed by a 5 minute break and you get a longer break after every 4 work sessions. Plan your lunch or tea breaks during the longer breaks and use the 5 minute breaks to physically move away from your desk and do necessary things like grabbing water or checking your phone.
Communicate. Isolation can be affective for our mental health if we don’t take the time to keep in touch with people who are in our team. And it’s easy to lose the feeling of progress and the vision of what you are working for when you don’t have regular communications with your team members and employer. Communicating with your colleagues and offering them help like you would do on a normal day in office will not only help get things done more easily but also develop a much needed team bonding making you enjoy the work even more. Schedule and show up to video conferences and meetings prepared. Slack and Skype are both useful tools to keep the communication flowing within the workspace.
The most important thing during the time of a global crisis is keeping ourselves and others safe while providing moral and emotional support to one another. Working together, we can win the battle against this virus and get out of the situation stronger than before.