06 Apr Monday Motivation
Whether you’ve always worked from home, or have only now started working from home during lockdown, balancing the needs of your partner, your boss, your employees, your kids, your animals and your household, may be somewhat frustrating and difficult to manage during lockdown (especially if no one is allowed to leave the house).
With an office of almost 80 employees, now all home-based, we have a few tips (which actually work) for productively working from home during lockdown:
1. Firstly, pretend like you are going into the office
The mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive, and there’s no reason that feeling should be lost when telecommuting.
When working from home, do all the things you’d do to prepare for an office role: Set your alarm, make coffee, take a shower and wear nice (or at least, clean) clothes.
2. Choose a dedicated work space
Just because you’re not working in an office doesn’t mean you can’t, well, have an office. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch (or like me writing this from bed) — spaces that are associated with leisure time — dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work from.
Have a place you go specifically to work. It could be a certain table or chair, some place that’s consistently your ‘work space.’ It helps you get into the right frame of mind and will help you stay focussed.
3. Create social media time (unless it’s part of your job description)
Social media is designed to make it easy for you to open and browse quickly. At work, though, this convenience can be the detriment of your productivity.
To counteract your social networks’ ease of use during work hours, remove them from your browser shortcuts and close any unnecessary apps on your computer.
Also consider working primarily in a private window, or close all social media accounts during certain times of the day and put off notifications so that you don’t receive them whilst working. This will lessen the distraction.
4. Keep the routine
Similar to “pretending you are going to work”, if you ordinarily have tea, lunch and an afternoon break at the office, take these breaks even when you are at home. Use the time to drop some laundry into the machine, make a warm cuppa to keep you energized, have a healthy snack and consider taking your lunch outside to get some sunlight in. Get back to your “designated space” on time and ready for the next stretch.
5. Be a flexible team member
If you have a partner and both or either of you had office jobs, the lockdown may be a tough challenge for you…add urgent deadlines, and kids and pets and household chores and lockdown anxiety to the mix – you are in for a hectic ride.
Consider breaking the day into shifts, where one person can get in a couple of productive hours “at the office” and the other can do some activities with the young ones or get some household chores done.
Be flexible with your schedule, allow some time with the kids or your pets (or your partner, your choice), but also be a patient team member and be aware that both partners’ roles are equally important during this time. Lockdown will bring out the best (and worst) of us.
By Alet Smit – Attorney & Group Head of Marketing