Sometimes certain situations develop that force you to work-from-home. Most of the time, it is because of a health problem with you, your child or an elderly family member. But it can also be due to an unforeseen incident assuming alarming proportions like a natural calamity or an epidemic outbreak, like the current Coronavirus outbreak. Regardless of the reason, working from home poses its own set of challenges. Here are some tips that you can keep in mind whenever you are working from home, to make your work smooth, tension-free and filled with cooperation.
Demarcate your workplace – If everyone is mature and grown-up, there will be no problem to designate a particular area in your home to work from. However, small kids or senior and ill family members might prove to be difficult to handle. In this case, you can discuss with your neighbors to set up a co-working space – which can be a vacant house or the community hall in your apartment complex – to lessen the disturbance. 4-5 people can sit and work in this space together that will also give a workplace feel. In this way, you can be away from home and avoid interruptions. But do take care to sit at least 2 metres away from the next person and to allow natural airflow instead of using the air-conditioner, for safety purposes.
Prepare your ecosystem – Since crèches, day-care centres and schools have been shut down for some time now, the children will be scurrying around, playing, screaming and demanding your attention. In homes where both parents are working, you can divide your time so that you can take turns to look after the kids and elders, spend quality time with them, while also cooking, doing the household chores and doing your office work.
Try flexi work timings – If you have a desk job and your work does not require you to operate from 9-5 everyday, then flexi-schedules can be a life saver. Work during early hours of the day when the children or your parents are not up and around; you can do the same during late hours of the day, and also during their nap times. This will help you complete your work and also pay attention to your home, kids and the elderly.
Use hands-free devices to avoid add-on health troubles – Since you are not able to attend office, there are bound to be numerous phone calls. Avoid sticking the cell phone to your ears all day; use the speaker phone. Video calls are also advisable, so that you can also see the person you are speaking to. It can help simulate a virtual office environment. In turn, you will also avoid health problems like headaches, earaches, vertigo, etc.
Feel at home in your new work environment – Its perfectly fine to have your kid talking, pet dog barking or the pressure cooker whistling in the background while you are on a voice or video call with your team. After all, you are human and it’s universally acknowledged that every person plays multiple roles in life. Start feeling comfortable in this new environment, and even try enjoying it!
Working from home is soon going to be an indivisible part of life, with or without any unfortunate situation to trigger it. It just might become the new norm. And while you are at it, do remember to observe safety, health and wellbeing guidelines. Ensure that there are no unreasonable targets or longer working hours than usual. Stay focused and grounded.
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