As never before in our modern history, companies have closed down their public operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. In this context, smart work from home is the new normality. I wrote in a previous article that there are quite a lot of jobs that can be done from a home office.
This is a historic moment in the labor market, it is the beginning of the age of remote working. It is not easy for anyone, and we have to learn how to adapt along the way. For most of us, it's not the ideal way to work: Working alongside other family members, managing social distancing, remote teams and home-schooling.
Here are 5 tricks that will help you work smart from home, even during quarantine, and keep your productivity on high levels:
1. Technology is your best friend in these difficult times.
Before the lockdown, you probably used the phone more often. Now you need to connect with your team via video calls. It's similar to having a face-to-face meeting or delegating professional tasks in person.
Software like Zoom, Skype, Slack and Google Hangouts are the most common choice for virtual teams.
2. Set up your workspace.
Just like an office, you should have a designated table or place to store your computer or equipment. Ideally, this should be a quiet corner of your home, but given the current situation, you probably work next to family members who also work or study.
The dedicated place improves your productivity and helps you maintain a balance between work and family fun.
3. Set your schedule.
Your working day will look the same as before in terms of your schedule. You are available to your team, managers and customers as if you were with them personally. Synchronize your activity with the rest of the team.
Remember that many people feel anxiety and stress in these moments, so supporting your team or your colleagues is a sign that you care about them. Social distance has led us to fight together against this invisible enemy.
4. Coffee breaks are still part of the routine, but you meet virtually.
Do you miss all the jokes and stories your colleagues tell every day? There is a solution for that: Share a virtual cup of coffee and discuss the effects of social distancing.
This is not a waste of time, on the contrary, it will increase your productivity in the long run. Remember that you will need to take several breaks during your working day. You can also play e-games with your teammates and enrich your working day with some fun.
5. Show empathy.
During the small breaks at work, express all thoughts about the current isolation and the adaptation of others to this new normality. We are all in this together and everyone is facing a certain degree of challenge.
Pay attention to your colleagues and practice compassion. We all feel overwhelmed at some point, but optimism will help us, just as it did during the tough phases of our lives.
We don't know how long this pandemic will last, but one thing is certain: everything will change, including your personal and professional life. Working remotely is the first step we have to prepare for. Social distancing is not that bad if you think that it is the best measure today to avoid spreading the virus.
Have a productive working day and remember that being at home does not mean that you cannot work smart.
Stay safe and healthy, everyone!