10 Tips to Working From Home During the COVID-19 Lockdown

in Knowledgebase on November 1, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic undoubtedly changed the way of life of many people who spent many hours at work. Some found the perfect option to continue with their work, within the so-called ‘home office’ or work from home. However, for some, it is not easy when you were already adapted to a routine outside the home. The home environment, no doubt, is very different from an office environment. There are more amenities, but there are also more distractions. That’s why here are some tips for working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown

1.Get dressed! Don’t stay in your pajamas. 

For some people, being in their pajamas all day is the fascinating aspect of working from home. It takes away from the tedious process of getting ready to go out, but it is a ‘double-edged sword’ as this relaxation can reduce performance. Ideally, you should get prepared for a trip to work regularly (although you don’t need a tie or jacket either).

It has also proven to be effective in starting the day in the usual work clothes that you would wear in the office. So you also distance yourself externally and create an additional boundary. After work, it may be the jogging pants again.

2. Set limits for  working from home

An essential aid in the struggle for a structure is to set fixed working hours at home and, of course, to do so. You should first get an overview of the work involved to estimate how much time the processing will take.

On this basis, you can then specify your daily start of work, your fixed breaks, and your planned end of work. Do not consider this frame as variable, but as a rigid requirement that you have to stick to. So you also create a clear demarcation from your private life.

We agree that being home more than you should cause a gap in your pre-set times for sleep and breakfast, lunch or dinner, but there is a commitment to work, so ideally, you should still be able to keep to your work schedule. Report at the established time, leave at the indicated time, besides adopting a specific space to carry out these tasks.

3. Make sure that the family or the roommates assimilate the activity at home.

In the presence of family members or roommates at home, they must be made to understand that the person is carrying on a professional activity at home. This implies that they must avoid making too much noise or disturbing the person who is working and who will need to concentrate. It is even possible that the teleworker is required to participate in remote meetings and should not be interrupted.

Being brought to work from home represents a challenge, in particular, to have leisure and spend time with your family. Telework involves commitment and responsibility; you have to be professional, while being careful not to be interrupted every 10 minutes by one of the children, for example. Clarity and the establishment of a timetable are necessary, specifying the time slots where one takes care of the family and the house, and those where one must remain concentrated on his professional activity. A home workspace should be provided to delimit the professional space and indicate to others that frequent interruptions should be avoided once you are in this space.

4. Provide a workspace at home

As far as possible, it is recommended to provide a room dedicated to professional activity at home and which can be closed, to avoid interruptions and distractions. If this is not possible, it is enough to dedicate a space to transform it into an office with a table and a chair. It is preferable to a sofa where you can adopt a bad posture and be badly seated.

On the other hand, such a device will facilitate the establishment of video calls and online meetings with other employees and colleagues. For people who have a room for work, this will avoid disturbance, distraction, and noise. By reserving a space for work, the teleworker can place everything necessary for the execution of the task assigned to him, in particular a computer, a notebook for taking notes, a headset, among others. Such an organization makes it easier to work from home and saves time by reducing travel.

5. Take care of your look at home.

Certainly, when working from home, it is not necessary to respect the same dress code as in a business. This is one of the advantages of telework. However, you have to take care of your look and avoid hanging around in your pajamas throughout the day. It is possible to adopt comfortable and casual clothes that always put the person in the mood for work. This is important since homework will be adopted for several days, and a clear distinction should be made between working and relaxing times. And clothing contributes greatly in this direction. On the other hand, in the event of a video meeting, it is preferable to dress properly and inspire professionalism in its employees and managers. Also you can at your previous resume/CV for make it updated.

6. Adopt the right posture

In a professional space and with the evolution of CSR, concerns about well-being and ergonomics arise. In the office, we have a larger screen and an ergonomic chair that is easy to adjust to having a healthy position. However, at home, this is not always the case, but care must be taken to have a well-organized space and to keep a healthy posture as much as possible.

Sitting on a sofa with a bad postulation is very unhealthy, with the possibility of developing back and shoulder pain and even vision problems due to non-alignment with the screen.

Keep your back and neck straight, shoulders, and eyes aligned with the screen, in addition to your elbows close to 90 °. Hence the need to use a desk, a chair, and an extra screen, to adopt a position to keep your head upright and correct posture.

7. Communicate remotely working from home

In a state of containment and the distance between the various employees, eaters, and colleagues, communication is crucial. You have to share your schedule with the rest of the team and communicate the progress of the different tasks to ensure that everyone is on the same page. The teleworker must also stay in contact with his manager and speak to him several times a day if necessary, in particular, to discuss essential elements and update the information exchanged. This type of contact makes it possible to break out of boredom and to keep eye contact with others at a distance while pursuing a professional activity in the best possible conditions.

Managers are required to ensure the smooth running of remote work, without intervening too much in the team’s working day. They must take care to manage their employees by establishing a pleasant climate of dialogue and trust. Communication can take place smoothly using free or paid tools and platforms like Asana, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Trello. Some of these devices are offered at low prices to facilitate work at home.

Other useful tools

Employees who work at home can use various useful tools.

Tools for collaboration with voice and video (video telephony with the option of sharing the screen):

  • The Zoom program is suitable for video chats with many participants. It receives a low-security risk because transport encryption takes place, and optional end-to-end encryption can be used.
  • Microsoft Skype (for Business) also offers a low-security risk. Security aspects are P2P communication, encryption, and MFA. This program is also included in Office 365 for free.
  • Google Hangout (Meet) / Chats is a medium secure communication tool. It only enables transport encryption and MFA.
  • Slack meets the same security standards as Google Hangouts but is very popular because many companies already use Slack for uncomplicated communication. Therefore, no new program needs to be installed.
  • Microsoft Teams is another video telephony tool with common security standards.

Whether and if so, which security level must be guaranteed should be determined beforehand to use a corresponding tool.

Other useful tools in the home office:

  • TeamViewer can help if access to a colleague’s computer is necessary during work at home during the corona crisis.
  • Google Drive is useful for collecting and organizing documents at home. A storage space of 15 gigabytes is available.
  • The Doodle program is suitable for arranging times for chats and video conferences. It suggests a period of time.
  • AppBlock allows messages to be locked on the smartphone to eliminate too much distraction.

    8.Exercise and be exposed to the sun

Working at home associated with the confinement situation does not mean not taking care of yourself. To start with, you must fill up with vitamin D by exposing yourself to the sun, just as you should keep regular physical activity even at home. Do not hesitate to take advantage of an outing to go shopping for a little walk, while respecting the safety instructions relating to the epidemic, in particular by adopting social distancing, regular and meticulous hand washing, and droplet protection. Exercising at home is essential to preserve your physical and mental health, and you just need to do some squats, push-ups, sheathing exercises and stretching. To stay dynamic and productive while working at home, inactivity should be avoided by staying in one position for too long. Sport is highly recommended.

You also have to take a break in your home office. You may have a lunch break and a coffee break in the office. After these times, you can also act in your home office. It is essential that you leave your workplace here and stay in other rooms or maybe take a breath.

If you stay at the PC, you will not find any relaxation. It is also essential to have a bite to eat during the break so that you can continue to work actively. Also, you have a goal because of the breaks.

9.To stay positive

The psychological aspect is of great importance in the case of confinement because of the coronavirus. You have to see the right sides of the situation, which is quite tricky, you have to admit. But it is also a way to try new ways of working and to test telework, which is a viable and very productive option. It is also an opportunity not to waste time commuting to the office and to spend more time with family and loved ones. You just have to find the right balance between personal and professional life. Positivity is necessary to keep morale and make the best in such a context.

There are other ways you can increase your productivity. There is, for example, the Pomodoro technique. Many people need a sense of control. Otherwise, without control, they tend not to be productive and push things ahead.

If you belong to this group of people, the Pomodoro technique may help you. There is a 5-step process that you have to follow. First of all, you take on your tasks and divide them into subtasks, which you then sort sensibly.

Now you set a time window of 25 minutes on your alarm clock. During this time, you work productively and in a concentrated manner and cross out all completed tasks. You can then take a 5-minute break. A second block follows this in the same procedure. In total, you do four repetitions. After that, allow yourself a break of 25 minutes.

10.Create a to-do list

It is essential to create a to-do list for yourself every day or even for a week. Then you record all tasks and projects that have to be done. The list itself can be arranged according to priorities. The most important tasks should always be at the top here. This shows you what workload is still ahead of you. You can also set your deadlines to increase your motivation and stamina. With the deletion of each point, you also get confirmation and satisfaction.

End of a working day

You already planned your evening off in the morning. You should also keep this appointment and shut down the computer on time. From there, your free time begins. Put on comfortable clothes, meet up with friends, or do sports. Do everything you did after work. It is essential that you no longer think about work. Otherwise, intervene too much in your life for homework, and you would not find any more relaxation. By the way, you should also no longer be available for colleagues or boss after work.

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