Remote work, especially long-term, isn’t for everybody. Some individuals lacking self-discipline, self-motivation, and organizational skills may quickly find themselves in shambles. Certain people simply perform best when provided with a strong, external frame. On the other hand, there are those, who excel being given more freedom. Not only do they possess the character traits I mentioned earlier, but they also keep reinforcing them under the conditions of remote work. Here’s how to stay productive and bring your A-game while working from home during quarantine.
You may find this post particularly useful if this is your first stint of doing remote work. If you’ve been here before, well, this COVID-19 situation may be a good time to work on yourself, develop new, positive habits, and perhaps even rethink your attitude towards certain aspects of your life.
The tips I provide are based on my own experience of several years of remote work.
These are major points applicable across all types of businesses, intended to provide you with a much-needed structure in what is perhaps a whole new ballgame for you. Don’t let these days go to waste, stay productive, and come out victorious at the other end of this.
Me, well, I pretty much get excited about waking up feeling great and being able to get out of bed just fine. It’s the kind of gratitude everyone needs, especially during this coronavirus crisis. If you’re not a morning person, or you’re not feeling your best for whatever reasons, is there anything else you may be looking forward to in the morning?
Simple, little things in life matter. You have to start somewhere.
What I also get excited for are my eggs and bacon plus sweet coffee with half a spoon of cocoa and milk, which I can just enjoy without knowing I have to rush out in however many minutes to be at the office on time.
Maybe you’re excited to spend more time with your partner or kids? Maybe you don’t like the commute? Maybe you wanted to start experimenting with some breakfast items? Whatever it is, find something that will give you that extra boost during this pandemic.
Somewhat to my previous point, maybe you love to dress up in a suit and that’s something that gets you going. I have no problem with that. If flaunting a different shirt every day for home office is your thing, go for it.
However, if wearing a suit jacket isn’t the favorite part of what you do, don’t force yourself to in order to keep the pretense of oh I’m so on the job.
Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Well, unless you have to zoom with some Fortune 500 CEOs, I suppose.
Have a plan
Getting comfortable doesn’t mean getting soft. You still need to bring that achiever attitude. Create a schedule and stick to it.
Working from home, it’s tempting to relax and drift away from your usual duties. Even though you’re not being constantly watched by your colleagues and superiors, make sure to keep high work-ethic and be goal oriented.
This is the time when the true you comes out.
It’s a good idea to actively manage your time by creating slots during the day, in which you’ll be focused solely on work. Obviously, you won’t spend whole eight hours at the desk, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, but make sure there are a couple of 2-3 hour stretches filled with productive work.
So far, so good but here’s the tricky part.
When WFH, you’ll be exposed not only to the usual distractions of social media and various types of online content in general, but also the people you live with and certain minor activities you’d probably not perform at the office like chilling on the sofa or constantly going to the pantry.
This is a time when your willpower and attention span will be put to a test. Don’t beat yourself about it if at first you’ll fail, but at the same time make sure to work on them.
Getting the job done by working efficiently creates the feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction – much needed in this time when we’re bombarded with bad news every hour.
Working remotely is largely about independence and taking responsibility for your actions. It truly is a time when you can develop positive habits.
The degree to which you have to stay connected with your colleagues during a WFH stint will vary greatly depending on what you actually do and where you sit in the hierarchy, however, you’ll most likely not be a completely isolated island.
A tool that comes in handy during a crisis like this is a group chat app.
It’s faster, less formal, and more fun than email. Instant messenger for business will facilitate your day to day team communication and can serve as a social hub, helping everyone involved do their job more efficiently while also staying social.
If that’s something you’d like to try out, please consider Chatwee. It’s used by a variety of communities and organizations to stay connected and engaged.
Remote work is definitely an interesting experience. Some may even find it to be their preferred mode of operation, with an increasing number of businesses starting to understand its benefits.
Although it may seem like it at first, home office isn’t an easy ride.
You need a solid structure and be self-motivated. Some level of planning will surely help you get things done, even with all the distractions lurking. The remote work hacks I discussed in this post can be applied not only to your daily work, but also to life in general.
Create good habits, schedule your actions, and communicate efficiently. Something good is going to come out of this!