How To Work From Home During a Pandemic
Over the past few weeks, several changes occurred across North America resulting from Covid 19. With this global pandemic firing through the world like a wildfire, once an ineffective method is becoming an essential one.
Grocery clerks, nurses and customer service associates previously viewed by the community as the low working class are now keeping our community afloat. One of the biggest changes we are facing is working from home is becoming the primary and only way for business to operate and provide their services to the public.
As of late march, companies across the world are urging their employees to restrict their non-essential travels and to work from the comfort of their home. For most of the population, this is an unfamiliar territory and is forcing us to change our habits and our way of work.
Meanwhile, employers are looking for a way to balance the needs of their employees and to provide them with an equivalent to their former means of communication, financial security and access to their work tools.
This new method although temporary, may also become an alternative way of working. In addition, this method may be a blessing in disguise to help young adults with families or workers with health issues to stay in the workforce.
However, working virtually is coming with a new set of challenges; the main one being young families having to find the right harmony between their kids and work. Experts fear that may lead in a serious lack of productivity at work while we maintain active social distancing measures.
We live in an era where technology is at our fingertips and yet most of the population is still chained to the ideal of working in an office. As a society, the population must embrace what technology has to offer and embrace the changes that lies ahead.
In order to ease in a transition smoothly, here are a few changes that you may include in your day to day routine to increase productivity.
MAKING A SCHEDULE
It’s especially important to have a structured schedule that’s like your workplace. Having a sense of normalcy in your routine will keep you focused while the disruption of a new environment may unsettle your frame of mind. Without a doubt, a new routine may require some improvisation and may have increased disruptions, but it remains attainable with self discipline. This doesn’t only apply to work, but this also applies to all other areas surrounding you that wasn’t part of your routine in the office.
‘’ Every day is different depending on how we feel. We are trying to keep positive and not stressed. Some days are challenging, but routine is was is keeping us sane. We have a good blend of school time, work time and outdoor time’’ says Angie Webb, a young mother of four.
This may include a longer lunch time or perhaps morning and afternoon breaks.
The key is to establish your itinerary at the beginning of your day by taking note of meetings, external communications with colleagues and prioritizing tasks that require your immediate attention. Focus your time and energy on delivering results with high standards rather than focusing on the insights of short-term challenges.
SET UP APPOINTMENTS WITH CLIENTS AND COWORKERS
It is also important to have time available to meet with your clients and coworkers. This can easily be done by keeping set hours that you can meet with them. Even better is allowing them to automatically schedule meetings with you during those times. This can be done easily with tools such as AppointmentCare. Even better is that it can easily sync up with your personal or work calendars to set your availability.
KEEPING YOUR MORAL HIGH
Moral is the key to the long-term success of every company. During time like these, it’s especially difficult to keep your head high and keep motivation alive every day. Anxiety, stress and loneliness may all be contributors to your moral during this period of adaptation.
It’s important to do things or activities that rejuvenate your soul and keeps your mind sharp. Getting up at the same time every morning, having breakfast with your family, getting ready for work and go out to get some fresh air are all little things that can stimulate your mind.
While working from home requires adaptation, the small connections to our regular routine keep us sane.
‘’ I find keeping on a regular schedule helps my mental health immensely and I find comfort by the way I dress. I may not be as professional as if I was in the office, but I still wear my high heels because they give me power’’ says Leah Johnstone.
While physical maintenance is important, keeping regular communication with peers, friends and family by Facetime or Skype is crucial to stay connected to others. Your morning ritual can become a virtual experience with coffee and chatting over a newspaper.
With your kids or significant other being home, we need to compromise on our work space and day shift. We must acknowledge that a nine-hour shift without interruption while maintaining a home life isn’t realistic.
Whether it’s the basement side table, a corner of the kitchen counter or a desk, it’s important to have a dedicated work space. When space is an issue, a shared territory with other family members can also be a solution.
Having your own work space isn’t the only necessary change. Sharing the responsibility of caring for kids, housework and their education is essential in cohabiting.
‘’ We have just decided the week my daughter is home, the house will be a mess and that’s okay. We play, dance, create and answer emails on the fly or switch off to my partner when he isn’t in a meeting’’ says Teri Flemming, a co-parent of a young child.
Flexibility in work hours, the length of your workday and taking some time off is also a contribution to this compromise. Your workday may extend two hours with two additional breaks or you may just want to take an afternoon off. This new versatility also extends to all your immediate environment.
‘’ My husband and I each take a night off from parenting’’. He gets Tuesday nights and I get Thursday night here we each just take time to recharge. It has made a huge positive impact on our mental health’’ says Talia Elizabeth.
Understand that there’s no right answer to this. We don’t know whether we will return to our normal routine within weeks, months or even if we may ever return to normalcy. Embrace this new change with an open mind and create an opportunity to thrive during this period of uncertainty. Who knows, it may open new avenues for the future.
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About Karsen Lynn
Karsen writes for a variety of blogs on the internet on a lot of topics. We are pleased to have her writing for us as well. We highly recommend you check out her page at Our Shooting Star