Due to the rapid spread of the Corona Virus, Southeast Asia is on high alert. The Ministry of Health, Singapore has advised organisations to set in place Business Continuity Plans to allow teams to telecommute and diversify teams to work from different locations. For many people this will become the new normal where couples would be working from home and children would be on Home-based-learning. This can seem challenging because it is believed that teams work better together when they are seated together. It also increases team bonding which in turn increases productivity.
As a business owner and freelancer, I have been working from home since the past 4 years now. WFH is a 2 edged sword depending on how motivated and engaged you are. I tend to prefer working from home as it helps me put on many hats at the same time allowing me the flexibility of managing my own schedule.
Here are my top tips on how to productively work from home:
1. Time management:
I plan my time according to the clock. I allot time for everything which includes content creation, client meeting, internal meetings, nap time, grocery shopping, talking to my family on phone, exercise etc. I also make it a point to include some time for surprise meetings and travel within the city. I know it looks like a lot of work spent on planning but since I have been doing it for so long most of it is now routine work. This gives me the flexibility to do many things together.
2. Plan for goals not-to-do lists:
Having to-do lists is very pressuring and can be a distraction if you don’t really have the motivation to follow up on it. Instead have goals of what you want to accomplish within a day or week. Having long term goals is good but not very productive when you are working alone from home. It does not have the sense of urgency. Instead plan on having short term weekly or bi-weekly goals to keep yourself motivated. My weekly goals could be working on content, so I know by week 1 what percentage of content I have to complete. Some days I could have multiple client meetings which will not allow me to work on the content and that’s ok because I know I need to finish it within a week.
3. Work desk:
Designate a corner at home to be your workplace and treat it like a work cubicle. Decorate it with things that will remind you of a work cubicle. Make sure it has adequate natural light and is breezy. All these things will remind you to work! My workplace has a beautiful bamboo pen stand, an erasable whiteboard that has my goals and some motivational quotes that keep me going throughout the day.
4. Inform your team and family of your work timings
Let your team and family know when you will be available to talk to them. This way both parties are going to be aware of when to contact you. You will also be able to plan your day effectively and have enough time for work and family. My team and family have never had issues contacting me or getting my responses on time as a result of this.
You would be surprised to know how much more can you accomplish if you are rightly motivated and feel accountable for your own time, goals and accomplishments.
Let me know what else you would do to work from home effectively?
About the Author:
Geetika is a professional Career Coach with over ten years of experience in guiding professionals to overcome emotional barriers to job search, navigate mid-career transitions and changing their mindset. She has assisted many professionals in effective personal branding, getting through interviews and gaining clarity in their job search journey. “Be the Change you want to see!”.