What to Do and Expect When Working from Home 

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What to Do and Expect When Working from Home 

The widespread of COVID-19 taunted companies to come up with a new working scheme for their employees. Today, employees are working remotely or commonly known as work from home (WFH). This is done to ensure safety and prevent the spread of the virus. This transition looks easy and comfortable at first because you will be just at home and there is no need for long travels and on-site work. However, the longer this new working scheme goes, the challenges are also in its way especially in motivation, productivity, and communication.  

As you read along, we will show you a good glimpse of how working from home looks like. We will also give your ideas on how to keep you healthy, productive, and motivated.  

Maintain your Productivity 

Work from home is quite convenient because you do not have to wake up so early to prepare and go to work. You do not have to experience heavy traffic congestion during rush hours. No more late nights in the office during overtime. While we have these perks, working from home has also its downside that affects our productivity throughout the day. Distractions such as social media, house chores, pets, and watching TV eats a lot of your time unnoticed. To maximize your time, you can do these things: 

 Dress Up 

Even if you are working at home, you should still dress up like you are going to the office. Wearing a house and sleeping clothes affect your mood. When you are in pajamas, you are tempted to roll over the bed and sleep. The dress you wear will keep you motivated to do your tasks at work.  

 

 

Make a routine 

The best way to maximize your time is to establish a routine to make time for everything, whether it is office work or house chores. Routines will set the boundaries of working from home and living at home. You have to establish how long is the working hours and your home hours. You can use a calendar or your reminder to keep you posted with your tasks. Prioritize your tasks, update your team, and keep track of your progress if you are just right on time. In between working hours, take regular breaks. Eat, stretch, and find a time to rest your brain.  

Have healthy breaks 

Breaks are needed. The human body, especially the brain needs to rest for a while after long working hours. Working for too long affects your productivity and quality of work. Now that you are working from home, resting and healthy breaks are more convenient. You can try these exercises during your breaks to relax your mind: 

  • Short walk 
  • listening to your favorite music 
  • doing a short yoga 
  • meditate 
  • read a book 

 

Check how to have healthy breaks here: https:

Set-up your workspace 

It does not matter if it is big or small, a corner will do as long as you have your workspace at home. It is important to separate home space from the workspace so that you have a proper mindset when you are in a certain space. In your workspace, you are designed to work and this boosts your productivity. 

 

 

 

Communicate with your virtual teammates 

Communication is the foundation of a good relationship and teamwork. Every once in a while, conduct video meetings with your team to check on them and how they are. The new technology now allows workmates to stay connected with each other despite the distance. Make sure video meetings run smooth, you need to: 

  • Check your unit if it is working well, this includes checking the camera, microphone, and speakers so that you can communicate properly with them. 
  • Maintain professionalism. Even if you are at home, you are still in official business at work during specific hours. You can set-up in a place with a formal background or you can use applications that provide virtual backgrounds. 
  • Turn-on your video if possible as this improves the understanding during the meeting. Use formal and appropriate words in the meeting. 

Do not overwork 

When you work for too long you get burn-out. When you are burn-out while you may finish tasks but the quality is poor. To prevent these tendencies as you work from home, set clear boundaries between work and home time: 

  • Turn off your computer after your working hours and leave your workspace.  
  • Do not entertain emails and other messages concerning work after the working hours unless it is an emergency.  
  • Follow your schedule strictly. 
  • Have a small talk with your virtual co-workers during breaks. 

Make Communications meaningful and efficient 

Miscommunication is one of the common struggles in the new normal. The unstable internet signal, distractions from the environment, and unconventional form of communication are identified barriers of communication that greatly affects your productivity. Address your concerns properly and in private as much as possible. 

Lead and follow remotely 

As they say, a good leader is a good follower. The challenges are present, whether you manage on-site or remotely. The new normal is on its soft transition, where everyone is still adjusting. Hence, as a leader, you need to plan, communicate, and perform one step ahead of your team. 

Once you impose rules, make sure you follow it too. Be a good leader by example. These are some ways to do it. 

Check this out:

  • Plan your tasks with clear instructions.  

Planning is an essential part of leadership. You cannot just give a task on the spot. Your tasks for a week or month should be according to your goals as a whole, depending on a short- or long-term goal. Ask yourself, what does your team need to achieve? When is it needed? How many people should do this?  

You can use different applications to plot your plans. Google and Microsoft have developed application bundles. It is a one account application that has different apps and functions. In a bundle, you can have your personalized email, calendar, announcement post, and video meeting apps. You do not need to open and install too many applications and make different accounts.  

You can use this is giving out your instructions to the team and automatically it reminds them of their tasks and its deadline. Write your instructions using a clear and simple language. Inform them that they can ask you anytime in case they have questions on how to do the task. By this, you will have a smooth week to achieve your goals.  

 

  • Follow-up your team one by one 

Just like on-site work, a leader follows up his teammates every once in a while. This is a good way to know your teammates and check their progress in their tasks. You can do this remotely by emailing or video calling them by schedule. Ask them how they are doing, are they having difficulty and how can you help them. By doing this, you can prevent the growth of bigger issues and delays. In this remote set-up, employees appreciate a one on one session with their leader.  

Value and improve the virtual professional relationship 

Surviving and getting successful in working from home could be difficult and confusing as you need to start again and get used to the new ways of working. If you are feeling anxious about this, do not be too hard on yourself because almost all employees who were asked to work from home experience this.  

As a leader, you are expected to handle and manage the work from home well. As you lead your employees, the most important way to keep them motivated, productive, and healthy is to make sure they have good working experience in this new platform.  

  • Be more open in discussing issues and concerns of your employees. Remember that everyone has a different way of coping. No rule fits all. As they say, not all are comfortable working at home. 
  • Conduct a scheduled meeting, for the whole team, for each department, and a specific person. Make them feel prioritized. Avoid inviting them to meetings where they are not needed because this will only waste their time on more productive things. Cover only topics that are appropriate for your audience. 
  • Be a support to your team. Attend on your scheduled one on one meetings. Ask them open-ended questions and find ways to assure them you are here to help.  
  • After knowing their status, start facilitating the solutions. Be a mentor and unlock their possibilities at work. Believe in the abilities of your team. Let them work and explore while you mentor and guide them.  
  • Give feedback. This could be in the form of reminders, appreciation, and also warning. This will give your employees an impression that you are watching them, you care and you appreciate their works. Let them know that you are on the same page and prevent surprise problems during the deadline.  

 

Written by Ariane Negishi

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