COVID-19 has created an unprecedented crisis in our world today. With the rise of the number of infected so are the number of countries going on lockdown. People are mandated to stay indoors and as a result, a lot of offices have been forced to move to a remote work set up. Amidst these changes, we have learned a lot of valuable lessons that can likely be applicable in the long-term. Here are 5 lessons we learned in a remote work set up.
1 – Keep up with the routine
Keeping up with your usual routine will help you get into your “work-mode”. Resist the urge to skip taking a shower and staying in your PJs. Take the time to put on your makeup and wear some fresh clothes. Wake up early to eat breakfast and drink a cup of tea. These activities might seem inconsequential but doing so will help you increase your productivity.
2 – Have a dedicated workspace
It’s so tempting to just bring your laptop and work from your bed or your favourite couch. However, you are only 2 seconds away from lying down and taking a nap when you’re supposed to be working. To prevent this, have a dedicated workspace. If you don’t have a home office set up, just a small table will do. Make sure it gets plenty of sunshine and ergonomically designed. Having a dedicated workspace will help you focus more on your work during work hours.
3 – Strengthen communication
A simple, “Good morning!” or “How are you doing?” in the office kitchen can easily be taken for granted. However, in a remote work set up, these small chitchats reinforce the office culture and strengthen relationships. Even though working remotely presents some logistical difficulties, it doesn’t always have to result in a lack of communication. The key is to making communication more deliberate and constant. If something cannot be resolved in two to three text messages or emails, jumping on a quick video call should be done.
4 – Less time for the commute, more time for living life
Because you are working from home, you have saved time of the commute. You can take a few minutes in the morning preparing breakfast and eating with your family. Your meetings may run a little late in the afternoon, but you still have the time to prepare dinner and watch your favourite show.
5 – Taking care of the kids is part of work
Because the kids are also staying at home, they need to be taken care of. Not unless you have hired help, at the very least, you need to think about what they will eat throughout the day. If your days are very hectic, preparing meals at night can save you a lot of time in the day. Sort your tasks by the degree of difficulty and effort it requires and plot it strategically throughout the day. Put difficult tasks that require your full attention right after meals, when your kids are probably already settled down and quiet.
A lot of experts say that it may take many months before things settle down and not until a vaccine is discovered, we have to adjust and adapt to this ‘new normal’. These 5 lessons we learned in a remote work set up are lessons that we can also apply now and for the future.