Work from Home – The Best Practices

Covid-19 has changed the world as never before. The changes are deep-rooted. Social distancing, stay home, stay safe, wear a mask, and wash your hands are the new rules to counter the coronavirus. Work from home is entirely a strange phenomenon that the corporate world is facing now. It is a newly learned corporate buzzword that has taken the status of a rule of thumb. Working from home is a total shift from the regular 9.00 to 5.00 office routine.

You are no more in a strict office discipline. You enjoy the freedom to sit in bed, connected and working. Your laptop and the smartphone are your new office. The dark side is that you are isolated, missing the office ambiance and the colleagues. For many, the home office is a blessing that makes them happy to work with more concentration. They are the king of their mood. Anyway, the work from home is a truth of time. It has to stay for a longer time. 

Following are some suggestions to make adjustments to align in the situation. 

Get the Gadgets

A bad workman quarrels with his tools

Make sure that you are not the one. List all the equipment that you need to set an effective office at home. Arrange the quality gadgets and install them at arm’s reach from your seat. Leaving your desk every time to access a device is a sheer wastage of time. It is also harmful to your concentration.

Network is Net-worth 

The most important is to stay in contact with your team, vendors, and clients. The lines of communication should remain as open as a formal office. Start with a “good morning” message. It is a way to tell your colleagues that you “reached” the office. Your timely presence means punctuality among staff. A strong message goes down the ranks. Getting connected is vital for decision-making in uncertain situations. The presence on the network ensures your availability to resolve the issues instantly. 

Here are a few resources to help you stay connected to the office:

  • Phone — Nothing is powerful than connecting through your voice. 
  • Email — Immediate replies to queries and questions help to boost the productivity of your staff. 
  • Video conference — video communication is the best option for connecting with remote offices and outlets. Many apps in the market offer smooth, state-of-the-art solutions at affordable prices. RingCentralGoogle Hangouts MeetSkype, and Facetime are some solutions. 
  • Instant messaging — Use instant messaging instead of email for short communication. Apps like SlackGoogle Hangouts Chat, Skype, and WhatsApp offer reliable services.
  • Webinar — As an alternative to the seminar, the webinar is getting popularity. Webex has features to satisfy the relevant requirements. 

Meetings Matter 

Conducting regular meetings helps to understand the issues. Live discussion is the best way to develop consensus. In the Covid crisis, video conferencing is the most effective alternative to live meetings. It needs a powerful data stream and a cozy noiseless, quiet, and interruption-free seating space. A crisp communication alone can help to conduct a meaningful video conference. Make sure that a video conference is nothing different than live meetings. You must have an agenda for the meeting. Maintain a high level of professionalism by giving a personal touch while communicating with participants. The video conferences must end with an effective action plan.

Maintain a Check List 

Working from home usually means a lot of distractions. Try to remain cool and calm. Overcome the anxiety caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Becoming panic and wasting time in checking the pandemic updates will not decrease the intensity of the situation. Make a checklist at the end of each workday. It is your work plan for the next workday. Taking the tasks one by one reduces the workload as well as the mental pressure. Set the priorities and then follow them with religious zeal. 

Design a Home Office

The bed is no more a resting place. It is a new home office for many. Though not recommended by the experts, many people prefer to log in to the office from the bed. Office work needs a certain level of concentration. Only a suitably set office space can serve the need for productive office work. A dedicated fully-equipped space can put your mind and body in proper working mode. Find a peaceful nook in the room corner or at the extreme side of the living area. Place a desk with accessible peripherals. Better to have a partition for noise reduction. Make sure that all you need during work is available at your desk. Your office table is a place to stick for the rest of the office hours. 

Follow a Schedule

There can be two extremes when working from home. 

1- Lathargicness overcomes your work routines.

2- Spend more time working and develop a habit of workaholism

Both are not a good sign for productive working. Set the schedule, strictly follow it and complete your work according to the work schedule. Never compromise on your habits of regular office days. Wake up at the same old time, get through the workout, take breakfast, and reach your office table. Leave the table at a set schedule, complete all your regular life routines and live a healthy family life. 

Take a Break

Taking small breaks at different points of time increases productivity. A short off helps you moving and maintaining physical health. Better to make a cup of coffee yourself. Let the sunlight and fresh air pass through. Go outdoor for a while to refreshes yourself. Recharge your soul. It is a proven fact that a refreshed mind is more productive. 

Photo by Serpstat from Pexels

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  • Umar Hayat
  • The author has rich management exposure in banking, textile, and teaching in business administration.