by Dita Utomo, Lead Product Researcher at GudangAda
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all witnessed a major shift in how we conduct our daily work. Working from home (WFH) has become our new normal now, and it’s likely going to stay this way for a while. So how can we work from home effectively? Here’s a few tips to help you optimise WFH and stay on top of your game:
Invest in quality internet provider
This goes without saying, but to be sure, the internet is a non-negotiable need for us who work for home. Take some time to identify what kind of internet connection you need for your work (Speed? Bandwidth? Stability? Excellent customer care?) Once you know what you need, do your homework and find the best internet provider that is within your budget and available in your area
Invest in quality office equipment
Go ahead and order that standing desk, ergonomic chair, noise-cancelling headphones, desk lamp and other equipment for your home office! Having adequate supporting items will give you the much-needed comfort and boost to your physique and work performance.
Set clear expectations and communication
In the absence of face-to-face interactions, many things could and would be lost in translation, misunderstood, or simply forgotten. Take care to clearly communicate any reminders, deadlines, expected deliverables, meeting plans, leave, and any follow-ups given or needed. If needs be, have a list of things that you need others’ participation, involvement, or approval for.
Set clear boundaries
It’s easy to get carried away working the whole day and night when we are working from home. This is not healthy and will only set yourself up for failure and burnout. Set up working hours as determined by your employer, and stick to it.
Schedule in breaks and actually take them fully. Close your laptop, get away from monitors, get a good meal, do some stretching, and if possible, go outside and look at some trees. Your work will still be there when you return, promise.
Make water-cooler chats in meetings
WFH meetings could sometimes be unapologetically serious and straightforward. Remember to take a few minutes to casually chat, catch up, or even crack some jokes at the beginning of the meeting, like you would in real life. This would help set a positive tone amongst the meeting attendees and the meeting itself.
The mental health:
Set up good routines that spark joy
In the morning, do the things that would help you get in the mood and be ready for work. It can be as simple as a cup of hot coffee, a hearty breakfast, a stroll around home, a playlist of feel-good songs, or a light home yoga session.
Cultivate empathy towards yourself and others
Working from home presents a whole new set of challenges on top of regular work challenges. The opportunity to optimise working hours at home could mean higher pressure to produce more output and outcome. Being away from your co-workers could mean longer lead time in getting answers or the support you need.
When you find yourself working on that doc for a minute, but then switching to an e-commerce site just to browse idly, don’t reprimand yourself too harshly. Ask yourself if you would do the same thing in an office setting. If the answer is yes, cut yourself some slack, and get back to work.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought waves upon waves of stress, anxiety, worry, and pressure to so many people around the world. It is now more crucial than ever to extend the same kindness and forgiving attitude to our colleagues, clients, and bosses. Remember, we don’t know what happens in their lives and also their home work environment. Be kind to one another.
• • •