The shift to a virtual world is the ‘talk of the town’. Everything everywhere has moved onto the virtual world. Education, religion, shopping, all of it has made this transition, then why should the commercial world be left behind. The thing that used to be an option around 4-5 months back has now been the only effective means of work. There is no wonder why millions of people have to educate themselves about remote working as they have to work from home for the first time. Of course, this form of work did exist in specific industries. During that time the people who would work at their offices had the opinion that work from home is a much comfortable and convenient means of working. But now that they are in the same boat, they realize, exactly how difficult it is to manage to work at home, and especially when every other family member is present in the house. But, you have nothing to worry, read this blog, and if you are a first-time remote worker, you will be all set to face this new challenge. A wrong concept that people at large had until now was that working from home was comfortable because the individual did not have to struggle in the trains and buses and other public conveyances. They did not have to bother about what to wear and how to look, they could conveniently work in their pyjamas. But that all this was a myth is broken and shattered, courtesy the pandemic. Having said that; I’d rather have people live with misconceptions about remote working than the outbreak of a terrible thing as the Covid-19.
It is now that people have to realize that only the location for work was different, but the efforts and the dedication had to be the same, else the work quality would suffer. But as I can gauge, having a realization is not going to suffice. What one needs is guidance on how to manage official work within the house efficiently.
So, the first thing that an individual needs to do is to chalk down a schedule. Be it in-person, or virtual, any working professional ought to be organized and disciplined. Otherwise, it isn’t easy to maintain a work-life balance. Hence, set things up on a sheet of paper, to begin with. Put it up somewhere, and tell yourself that it is not only to look but something that needs to be achieved every single day.
When you are done with the written work, quickly move onto some practical stuff. Set up your workspace in the house. You will not be able to work optimally if you do not get the feel of the office. Though most people do not function well under pressure, they are a few who do the contrary, thus, set up your laptop or desktop, at a place which others access very rarely. It does not necessarily have to be an entire room; it could be a small space in any room. Try and arrange for a desk where you can sit comfortably and work. Your bed or sofa is not the furniture that you should be opting. Make sure the desk is away from the bed. A drawing room or an open dining cum kitchen is not the place for setting the temporary office. The idea is to find a quiet location in the house where you can expect the least amount of distraction.
Just because you are at home, your pyjamas cannot become your office wear. What you wear often affects your mental status; that is why there are different types of clothes for every occasion. Your nightclothes can affect your psyche and make you feel lazy and not so fresh, which you cannot be when working at the office, right? So, you have to behave as if you are working in your workplace, it’s just that your office space is in your house, and hence you don’t need to travel. When your attire is fresh, clean and formal, you will notice that you will have an enthusiasm to work. It gives you the drive to function optimally.
GET UP WELL AHEAD OF TIME
Indeed you do not have to go out anywhere, but when you work from home for the first time, you may get a little lost. Hence, you’d best wake up a little ahead of the beginning of your working hours. This gives you time to prep for the new situation in your life. You may want to do some meditation or any other physical exercise, take a shower, have your breakfast and then set to work with a clear mind. Sometimes being a mother or father can demand you to carry out certain other chores before you sit to work. If you get up at the twelfth hour, it becomes a mad scene, and then you get worked up and anxious and end up becoming flustered early in the morning. And when the day begins chaotically, the rest of the day is also bound to go in the same way, hampering your performance significantly.
ENSURE THE INTERNET CONNECTIVITY
You are a newbie to the concept of ‘work from home’, and therefore it is always better to make sure all your quarters are secure. Make sure your wi-fi connection is in order and has strong signals; you might want to take the help of someone in case you face any problem. But all of this is to be done before the office hours begin. Also the day your job is confirmed, you should get all the gadgets you need immediately. Do not wait for the last moment for any part to be bought; it will only result in you panicking and bringing down the roof of the house. We, indeed, cannot ignore the fact that ‘first times’ are always very nerve-racking, can we? Thus, do a little shopping if required and get the best things that will help enhance your work quality and not give you unnecessary tensions at the time of work.
With the pandemic situation, one thing that has been undergoing significant pressure is an individual’s mind. So, you have to make sure you work out your official hours, to maintain your sanity. Many people are being seen working for many more hours than they would have otherwise worked. Right at the onset of this new tradition of corporate culture, it is essential to create a ‘work window’ for yourself. This term refers to the assigning of precise hours for work, beyond which you will not exceed. The brain too gets tired, and whether you work from home, or within an office space, it also needs some rest. Therefore, talk it out with your recruiter during the interview itself that you would prefer stipulated hours of work and do not wish to work round the clock, or for uncanny extra long hours. If you start right, you will not be bothered about the future. Sticking to your principles is always important.
STAY IN TOUCH
Working from home can be very taxing in terms of not being able to understand specific functioning, it is hence best if you can stay connected with your immediate senior or your team leader. They can guide you through untravelled roads and help you work smoothly. It is thus your added responsibility to get to know which digital communication media your team is using and practice using it before you start to work from home for the first time. Arranging or asking permission for video conferences or meetings is also suggested for you to feel a sense of belonging to the group into which you have newly enrolled.
MAINTAIN WORK-LIFE BALANCE
You ought to be aware that while working from home one can be comfortable yet the tendency to overwork and lead to a burn-out is relatively frequent. It is because of this that right at the beginning, you should limit your work time and allow yourself time to indulge in other activities that make you happy and satisfied. Taking breaks for at least 10-15 minutes is thereby recommended on workdays. Weekends should be a time to unwind and socialize. We all know that socialization in the present times has to be done while maintaining social distance, therefore arrange for video conferences with your relatives and friends, where you can talk about everything else other than work. You could use your garden to engage in some activities or look for some other exciting activity. Getting hooked to binge-watching is not a bad idea either, and if you are a parent, then you will not need to look out for any fun-filled occupation. You will, in fact, not even realize when the time has passed.
DON’T BE HARSH ON YOURSELF
This lifestyle change is a huge one and will take time for one and all to adjust; so don’t be harsh on yourself. Give yourself the grace time to get a grip of things and put up with the changing way of life. However, do not give up but persevere. Not all things in life are quickly learnt; it is totally okay to be wrong. Nothing should prevent you from being vulnerable; after all, that is what makes you a human. Come forward and share your difficulties, be eager to accept your shortcomings and to learning. In the bid to pick up something as new as this, don’t forget you have a life of your own where you need to eat and do other things of necessity as well. Keeping this in mind, fix a lunchtime for yourself, in case you are not allotted one already. Never shy away from asking for things which are rightfully yours, so what if you are a newbie? And not just your lunchtime, you should assign yourself certain activities for every time you take a break so that you can just cut off from the work while you are taking the leave.
Whether you are a veteran at this form of work or a new person on the block, the same rule applies for all, do not overwork yourself. At times you need to just cut yourself off from what you are working on, it helps you function better when you get back to work. At times you should give yourself the time to not think anything at all; you must learn how to go blank and thereby successfully dislodge your mind. If necessary, keep your phone away as well; we are all aware that the phones are a significant distraction.
Just like you will be making a schedule for the work, you should be organized in the physical space as well. Make sure that your work desk is not cluttered; it directly affects the psyche of the individual. Keep notes with the note markers and stick them somewhere you can easily see them. Have your pens and other necessary accessories neatly sorted into pen stands or drawers, so that you do not have to hunt for every little thing and lose time. Irrespective of how big or small your work station is, you need to keep it neat and tidy to avoid confusion. So, as soon as you have logged off for the day, make sure you settle all the stuff on and around the work station. This will ensure that the next day you come into a clean working space.
Following the above-said tips, you will indeed become a pro in handling the work from home situation proficiently. But at the same time, you shouldn’t consider this to be a permanent arrangement yet. There are chances that people will get back to the traditional way of taking their career ahead; it is, therefore, that you should be prepared for the tables to turn at any time again. As of now, enjoy this phase of life instead of panicking about it; the journey always becomes more comfortable with acceptance.
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