Wednesday, March 11, 2020
How To Work From Home in a Pandemic
Across the United States, employees are being told to "work from home" as an attempt to stem the flow of the Corona Virus, CoVid-19. As people do so, they are some techniques that can be employed to ensure that you actually accomplish "work" while at home.
You wouldn't report to workplace in your pajamas, nor should you report to your home work station in the same clothes you slept in. While you may not exercise the same dress standard as the work place, getting dressed is a psychological tool to differentiate between being at work, and working from home.
HAVE A PLACE TO WORK
Even if you have to clear a spot at the dinning room table, have a dedicated work station. Sturdy chair, flat surface, lighting and ventilation are the hallmarks of establishing the invisible boundary from home and work. Coaches, beds, and floor space are not work stations.
KEEP A SCHEDULE
Your mind functions better if it maintains a schedule of events. If you are an office worker with office hours, maintain that schedule while you work from home. Your employer will still need to reach you, your co workers will need to collaborate with you and your subordinates will still need to report to you. While you may no longer have to clock in and clock out to the minute, don't be the guy who misses the video conference because you weren't "at work".
This is, in my opinion, the most important. The access to you by other family members may be taken for granted, or that movie you haven't seen may be starting in ten minutes. When you are "working from home" you're no longer available to attend to the domestic chores or ask, and a television should never be on in your work space. It is too tempting to be distracted b the comforts of the home when you should be working.
In the workplace, you walk between offices, the lunchroom, maybe tour the facility in order to get your steps in, or to stretch out from your work station. Maintain this approach and ensure that during your "work day". that you try to maintain the same level of physical activity. Walk the dog, leave the car in the garage if you have to go outside, but make allowances that let you continue to exercise. Long hours sitting at your desk and hen flopping into bed is counter productive.
There's a method to how I work from home. I maintain the same schedule: rise, breakfast dress and report to my work station prior to 7am. Email are no more than 15 minutes as it's too easy to be distracted. I break for lunch at noon every day and return about 30 minutes later. Around 1.30pm I get up and walk the dogs, come hail, rain or shine. Returning about 2pm, I check emails one more time and write till about 4.30pm. There is no television near my work station, although I have a CD player I occasionally put on low volume.
Jacob, the cat, is my sole co worker at home, and I often engage in workplace conversations with him. Though working from home can be a solitary assignment, there is no reason why you have to be "alone".