Turning your home to an office
With some recent events, work from home has become a new normal for at least some percentage of employees. Especially those who are not really needed on the premise are asked to/prefer to work out of home. This may get carried on for a few weeks, if not a month; hopefully not more than that. How effective can somebody work from home? Let’s see the challenges and possible solutions.
- Time planning
Making your home the new office for a day or two, when you are in a temporary need, may not perfectly desire a full ’office hour to hour’ planning. This could be because you have some personal appointments or visits or due to some sickness… you may give a note to all co-workers about your out of work hours etc. However, in case you are to work for over a few days or weeks, and when other colleagues you work with also have to be in the same, timeliness is so critical.
Plan your day exactly as you do at your actual office. Check calendars for any meetings, sessions etc in advance, and do respond to it the way you do at the office.
Start the day at your usual time at the office. And make sure to end the day(of work), also at the actual time. Make an agreement with your team as well. Some may tend to start or end or both at different timings. If peer-to-peer discussions or any other such work is needed, keep an agreement about common timings.
- Healthy work from home
While you got the flexibility of working at your own den, make sure you keep yourself healthy and comfortable. If you have ergonomic chairs, tables and other equipment, use it to your maximum comfort. If not, understand it as challenge and take measures appropriately.
Like timeliness with work, you have to plan your breaks too. May be that’s the perfect measure to stay comfortable. Take lot of fluids too. If you have habits of walking or yoga etc, keep that at its time.
- Your distractions
It could be anything. A kid looking to change your plans, a mind to watch a series, to text or browse social media etc. Within a day or two, you must get to know what the major distractions are.
Since you are not going out very often and being at home gives the flexibility to spend a few mins with such things, instead of ignoring the distraction completely, I would say, you can plan for that too. Count a few minutes in each portion of your work, say morning half and afternoon for such things. Make sure it doesn’t affect your regular schedules of meeting etc. If you can spend a few minutes with your kid, both can get happy too.
- Communicating with co workers
This is going to be a super important thing. You are not physically present with them. Hence make sure you are available on one or preferably more mediums. It could be an office communicator, a mobile phone, or a meeting assistant etc. Your manager, immediate reports and other colleagues must know each ones connecting medium.
Based on your agreed working and available hours , keep the communicators on and active. Any breaks must be notified. A missed communication must be checked after a break and to be responded as needed.
- About resources
A point to take when you work from home is about your resources like internet plans, any virtual networks that could be needed, a laptop or a PC or any other devices required etc. Have in mind of the needs, availability and foresee any risk on it. Try to have backup plans in case possible.
Finally do not be lazy or overstretching on your time. Have enough breaks, walks and food in between. After all the precautions, there could be a new challenge that can come. The more healthy and recreated you are along with good work, you can fix those too.
Any change is a learning, once you learn that will be your normal.