Many of us are beginning to find ourselves in a position that we may not be used to – as business closures are being encouraged in many countries across the world due to the spread of coronavirus, working from home where we’re able is being heavily encouraged.
Remote working has grown in popularity over the past few years as digital-based work is able to be performed anywhere, but for those who have grown accustomed to their daily routine, finding a good balance in working from the home environment may seem quite difficult.
We’ve taken a look at the biggest difficulties you’ll face when changing your routine and taken tips from those who have found a way to stay motivated when working remotely on a daily basis – and as far as preparations are going, we could find ourselves in this for quite some time with estimations showing this could go on for a number of months. Be prepared early, and you can feel secure knowing your ability to work won’t be changed in your new working environment.
Remove possible distractions
We’ll start with the obvious one, but when you’re in the comfort of your own home it’s very easy to become distracted and start drifting away from your work. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll just watch one short clip, or just put on the T.V for a few minutes, and before you know it you’ve lost most of your day.
Luckily there are plenty of tools out there to help with this, many laptops any computers have parental controls available that limit the use of certain programs and applications for certain hours of the day, as well as many extensions such as StayFocusd for Chrome that allows you to block websites for certain times during the day so you can make sure to stay focussed on your work whilst at your computer.
For the distractions you may find away from your computer, things like removing the batteries from your television remote so it’s inconvenient to turn on may be all you need – if it takes additional time to follow an impulsive urge, you may be less likely to do it.
Designate a working space
In the office, you spend most of your time at your desk, in the same place every day. And while that can be a little dull and boring, it does a good job of keeping you in the working state of mind – you know when you’re at that desk you’re at work.
When you’re working from home, however, you won’t be able to find that same feeling at first – you may find yourself initially working while sitting on the sofa in front of the TV while lying in bed, or in a communal space with others around you.
Set yourself up in a little temporary office space, perhaps somewhere you may not usually find yourself on a day to day basis in your own home. If you’re able to find a space away from others who may be in your home at the time, or away from other distractions that you have, you can replicate a similar environment to that which you have at work, that when you’re in this space you know it’s time to get to work.
Keep your day structured
In the office, your day to day will typically follow the same path, and while you may not have an entire day of work blocked in to complete, you’ll find that you will probably find some other work to do during your downtime, after all, what else can you do while at work? At home, however, if you find yourself with some downtime, it’s extremely easy to get up and take a wander around.
Once you know the work you have to complete for the day, try and structure anything else you may have to do during the day for your work and plan it into periods of downtime. Whether you have some paperwork to get finished, some file management to handle, or just some general housekeeping on the work you’re currently doing – keep your working time as working time.
And while this is important for the working hours of the day, it’s just as important for the beginning and the end of the day, too – get ready for work in a fashion that you usually would and make plans for when you finish so you can distinguish between the end of your day at work and the beginning of your social time.
Remember it’s O.K. to take a break
We can count down the minutes to our lunch break or until the end of the day while at the office, but when we’re working from home, it’s to not want to seem as if you’re taking advantage of the situation and to overcompensate by working more than usual.
To go hand in hand with keeping your day structured, make sure that you give yourself time to have short breaks throughout the day to reduce fatigue and to stretch your legs, designate yourself a proper lunch break where you get yourself away from your temporary at-home office and also be sure that you get ready to wrap up your day of work as you get toward your finishing time. It’s especially easy to find yourself doing extra after hours because you’ve lost track of time, but staying on top of this is essential to prevent being burning yourself out and to keep a healthy work and home balance.
Interestingly, we’ve been taking a look at Google Trend data over the past month – the period where many countries have been in lockdown. The rise in searches for a number of terms have been both noticeable and sizeable. Here is the trend data for searches around the topic – ‘Online Casino’:
As more and more people are consigned to their own home, it would appear that people are looking to play online casino in their break period. It’s interesting data, as the uplift coincides with the period that the Covid-19 pandemic came to light.
Likewise, with online games in general, there is a recent upward trend:
Again, indicating that individuals are looking for some light entertainment in which to pass the time in between working hours. Again, this coincides with the worsening of the Coronavirus issues that the world currently faces.
And keeping balance is key – whilst this won’t last forever and you may find yourself back in the daily grind sooner rather than later, making sure you’re able to work effectively from home will help build a strong level of trust with your employer – if it’s something you find that you like, you may even be able to find opportunities when things begin to return to normal that allows you to work from home in the future, and if you find that it’s something you don’t like and can’t quite ever get used to, making the best of a bad situation and working to your best potential in an environment that doesn’t suit it could help boost your confidence in your working ability.