Tips for Work-from-Home Setup
The enhanced community quarantine has made many office workers adopt the work-from-home or remote work set-up. From dealing with heavy traffic and crowded public transportations every weekday, office workers are now glued to their laptops and computer units in their pajamas while sneaking in snacks and naps in between.
The World Economic Forum said that before the COVID-19 pandemic, work-from-home is only for the affluent, but now, the majority of people are forced to continue working at home as a way to prevent the spread of the disease.
While some have already been familiar with working from home, say the so-called “knowledge workers” and people who work in front of computers, there will always be newbies in this type of work setup.
The following are some beginner tips to help you get by your first-time booboos:
Invest in tools and gears
Do not go to the battle unarmed. Start with investing in a laptop or personal computer with features fit for the nature of your work. Most importantly, sign up for a strong internet connection at home.
Rita Angela Fazon, a quality analyst who currently works from home, says that a strong and fast internet is a must.
Coffee shops and coworking spaces are great for remote work but when working from home, which is cheaper, by the way, having a strong connection is a great relief. “It’s best to have fast internet for you to do your tasks smoothly and efficiently. This will help you finish your tasks on time and work professionally,” she says.
Since internet connection in the Philippines is spotty in some areas, make sure to have pocket wifi and some load cards just to be sure.
Create a home office
Just like in normal office set-up, productivity is boosted when you have a table or desk solely for your work. Rather than working from your bed which may lead to random sleeping or in the kitchen which can make you check your fridge once in a while, a home office is a step closer to finishing your tasks. It makes you focused and it separates your body and mind from household activities.
It need not be grand though. For a start, you can put up a small table in your living room or even in your own room. It would be best if you have your desk near the window so you can still have a sense of the world outside. Let the sun rays peek through your working area or the air fill in your room. Add on some indoor plants too to keep the air fresh.
Familiarize yourself with virtual applications
Depending on the nature of the company, there are virtual applications your company may adopt to manage teams and oversee productivity.
Familiarize yourself with basic remote work applications for video conferencing like Zoom and Webex; instant messaging like Telegram, Viber, Slack, and Google Hangouts; time trackers such as Time Doctor; and real-time collaboration tools such as Trello and Asana.
Work on a schedule
For Excel Dyquaingco, a freelance writer and children’s book author, it is best to follow a routine. He suggests, “If you used to wake up at 7 am just to go to work, follow the same routine while at home. End at the same time you end work while at the office.” This too can prevent you from procrastinating and eventually building a pile of work in the next days. Let your family members know about your work schedule so they can also know when you are available to talk.
And while you are working on a schedule, take time to dress up as well. Pretend like you are going out and ditch those pajamas. It need not be blazers and slacks of course but casual and comfortable wear work wonders. Don’t forget to take a bath too! It energizes your senses and boosts productivity.
An obvious perk of working from home is that you can rest when you want to. At a certain time of the day, have a hobby of doing other things aside from work to rest your mind. You can go to the bakery or walk around your neighborhood for a couple of minutes. You can watch the daytime news, read a chapter of a book, or play with your pets. Allow yourself to spend a couple of minutes for your family members and housemates too for that human interaction from time to time.
Working from home has perks. But do not forget that just like working in an office, there are also downsides you have to consider. Take these beginner tips by heart and start your work-from-home experience right.