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‘It’s been just a week!’ Depending on how you’ve been coping with #WorkFromHome – different people are going to have different emotions when saying this. For most working professionals, this has been a dream come true (yay!), for some others – not so much.
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Given how highly infectious COVID-19 is, this government-mandated lockdown is seen by many as a vital step in controlling the spread of the pandemic in our country.
The lockdown, however does not mean a paid vacation, though most of you may want to think of it that way. Na-uhhh. Most companies – start-ups and behemoths alike—moved quickly to make the transition to WFH for its employees as smooth as possible. For most of us this is the first time ever we’ve have had (let’s call it…) an opportunity to WFH. This is where it gets tricky. Fikar not – here’s the ultimate guide to nailing WFH:
1. Waking Up
- Good morning sunshine! It’s a brand new day, so let’s get to it. Keeping to that bright and early start will help you focus on the tasks at hand and plan the rest of the day. Most of us have our morning routines. That first chai or coffee, a quick shower prior to kick-starting the day. Stick to it. The first step is always the hardest, so remember, discipline is key.
2. Plan The Day/ Virtual Assistants – In these tough times, it’s understandable if one gets distracted given that you’re not only taking care of yourself but possibly other members of your house too. A simple way to make sure things get done is to make a to-do-list and check them off one-by-one. You don’t need hundreds of post-it notes or a diary to scribble things down. Tech got your back. Apps like nTask, Trello, Google Assistant, Microsoft To-Do, etc work across OS and sync everything to the phone in your hand.
3. Set Goals/ Time Management - Don’t be an enthu cutlet. Set realistic targets to achieve through the day. Use apps like Pomodoro Tracker, Toggl, Week Plan that help you break down your day into different sessions and set the time needed to complete the tasks.
4. Ready Your Workplace - This is critical. Find a spot and make it your own. Sturdy table, comfortable chair, extension cord (for all your gadgets) and anything else you made need. Remember to keep it clutter-free.
5. Collaborate/ Team Work - Unless you’re the Lone Ranger, most of us are used to working as part of a team. Ideas seem to flow like the Ganga in the monsoons when you’ve got your office best friend around. The atmosphere at home can get dull and monotonous – instant creativity killers. Video calling apps like Zoom, Hangouts, etc help you connect with your team or for that quick one-on-one with a friendly face to get those creative juices flowing. Other apps like Google Drive, WeTransfer, Google Keep, etc are some interesting apps that help you share/track projects and assignments.
6. No Distractions Allowed - Working at home comes with its own set of problems. Like the fan rotating above you suddenly needs your undivided attention just like those TikTok bloopers earlier in the day. Come on, you’re stronger than that! Tell yourself that just like at work, you need to stay focussed. Considering most of us will be working on an office laptop or a PC – apps like StayFocusd, Serene and the like help avoid distracting websites/ apps.
Note: Upgrading that Wi-Fi plan or Mobile internet pack might just help things go faster rather than you punching your computer. Also, you might want to consider being friendlier to that IT guy, just saying.
7. Breaks Are Important - One of things about working from home is that you tend to make yourself super comfortable and not get up, or worse, an avalanche of work suddenly traps you at your spot. Either way, in order to maintain productivity – a 10 min break just to unwind and refresh yourself is just what is needed. Use this time to wash your hands and face, stretch your legs, play with your pet (HIGHLY recommended), water those plants or grab yourself a glass. Make that kadak chai that always gets you going?
8. Eating Right/ Hydration - Yes, your bai/cook isn’t allowed to come over There, there. You can’t be snacking all day just because it’s convenient. Use some of your free time to go out and get some fruits, nuts, etc to beat them hunger pangs. There are loads of fitness experts on Instagram/ YouTube with simple to prepare healthy snacks & home-cooked food. Coconut water with its high electrolyte content is waaayy better than sipping on some artificial juices/ energy drinks. Shocking right?
Note: Check out this article on how to eat right while working from home
9. Communication Is Key - A half-heard instruction or worse – slow internet cutting you out of important team discussions can lead to a disastrous waste of time. Clear lines of communication between you and your boss/ team leader will help avoid redundancy. Conversely, bosses should be proactive and check on their team and offer guidance when they feel someone is stuck. You’ve been there before. Be firm but gentle. Share some of that hard-earned wisdom!
10. Boundaries - Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you are available to do things around the house. Talk to your family/housemates that during certain hours you are not to disturbed – to treat this as if you were actually are at work. Also because you’re WFH, doesn’t mean there is no end to the work, be clear with yourself and your boss. Having a definite in & out time helps keep the sanity and do other important things like having a life.
11. Unwind - Last but not definitely not the least - at the end of the day you have got to relax. We’re still in this lockdown, it isn’t easy. Taking care of oneself physically and mentally is something that shouldn’t have to be told but sometimes we need to told or shown things that are most obvious. Being plugged in the whole time stresses your mind and body. Find some time during the day for ‘Me time’. Listen to music, meditate, etc. Need help? Check out
Just remember, we have 2 more weeks of lockdown still to go and who knows what 2020 will throw at us next. Whatever that maybe, we must be ready. As apro Freddie Mercury once said - The Show Must Go On.
First Published: Apr 1, 2020 3:58 PM IST