20 Mar 2020, Fri
Tips For Productivity and Sanity While Working In Isolation
Author: Erica Floweday
With the spread of the COVID-19 virus affecting everything from travel to the availability of toilet paper, business owners are trying to reduce the economic effects of the pandemic.
The main reason for many companies mandating or recommending that as many employees as possible work remotely is to stop the spread of the virus until a vaccination or cure can be found.
Everyone has thought about working from the comfort of their own home, missing out on that early morning traffic for a few extra minutes of sleep, a late jog or more time with family. Working remotely can be a double-edged sword — the bonus is that you get to stay home but the downfall is that in the beginning you generally find it hard to focus on getting down to doing your job.
Whether it is that quick two-hour binge on Netflix that you have been dying to finish or those few little things you have been desperate to do around the house versus getting to that important to-do list, staying productive at home can take a lot of extra effort. Isolation can be lonely especially if you are an extrovert used to being the office socialite, of course, there are always people, who would prefer to stay in the office.
Tips For Productivity
- Get out of bed, sit up straight at a table or desk, eat some breakfast, and put on some work clothes. This is the only way to stay focused on the job and to be mentally healthy while working remotely.
- Location: find yourself a comfortable spot to work that you can leave when you’re off the clock. It definitely helps if you have a dedicated office space at home.
- Shut out any distractions
- Get yourself a buddy in isolation, someone you can chat to on Microsoft Teams, hopping onto a social video call daily is very important. Humans are a social species and our social tribes enable us to survive and thrive, the psychological effects of working remotely with the correct modern workplace setup is essential for your mental well-being and team bonding as we humans are used to social interaction it helps facilitate cooperation and closeness.
- Have a plan when working alone: keep a daily structured schedule – use applications like Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Calendar to keep your day in a routine. A lot of our daily time and structure in the work environment is influenced by other people. Research has proven that time spent alone is better if it is structured time. Include some fun things like taking your dog for a walk or give them a bath or go for a walk in the garden to get some fresh air.
- Think about how you are communicating, ensure that you go beyond email and digital tools to replicate the in-person office experience. There will be a sense of isolation, this depends hugely on how well your team communicate or how willing your company is willing to up your tech tools besides face-to-face communication. Screen sharing is great to help get people on the same page. Teams can help you in a meeting to all work on the same document and toss some ideas around. Remember, GREAT communication while working remotely can help maintain relationships with fellow staff and managers. Don’t let anyone feel like they’re being dismissed just because they are not in the same room.
- Host a weekly lunch via video conferencing. Order the exact same pizza to be delivered at the same time to your teammates. This is an awesome bonding experience that will make you still feel like a team. It’s important to set up a rotation schedule, everyone gets a turn to do a weekly lunch buy and share.
Remember Everyone Works Differently
Please remember that not everyone is cut out for working from home, for some, it is a shift that can be very stressful. As businesses slowly move towards remote working and increasingly mandate that staff must work from home during the coronavirus outbreak, it’s key you communicate as much as possible and help each other especially those struggling with the change.
Giving each other as much information and as many tools as possible to ease the burden caused by the disruption of everyday life.
Remember this is the future of the modern workplace with or without Coronavirus, so we cannot just keep performing tasks in old familiar ways, we have to create new processes and adapt to new technology.