The COVID-19 crisis is rewriting the rules of the workplace. One of the biggest changes that it has brought is the transition to a new remote working culture.
The Society for Human Resource Management published an article about the state of remote working during the pandemic. The article was written back in March, so the trends it cited have likely accelerated since then.
Before the pandemic started, remote working was not a major part of the modern workplace. Even though many jobs could feasibly have been conducted remotely, many employers were still apprehensive about the concept. Only 15% of employees had days where they worked entirely from home. An even smaller number of the population work exclusively from home.
The COVID-19 crisis has shaken things up in ways that employers and their workers never anticipated. One survey of 550 employers in the United States found that 67% of employers had taken measures to allow employees to work from home when they otherwise would not normally have done so. In mid-March, the study found that 36% of employers had started making all of their employees work remotely. Some national and global organizations had encouraged employees to work from home if they lived in hotspots.
While remote working has helped curb the spread of the virus, it has also created new complications for many employees. Employees need to understand the challenges they will face working from home. Fortunately, things have started to go a lot more smoothly for most people, because they have started to understand the learning curve.
If you are still struggling to work from home, then you might want to consider following the tips listed below. This will make things a lot easier.
Create a specific portion of your home that is solely dedicated to work
You are going to have a lot of distractions when you are working from home. You are going to be tempted to put your work on hold to do the laundry, prepare dinner or even catch up on one of your favorite Netflix shows.
You are going to need to learn how to filter out these distractions. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a specific portion of your home that is dedicated solely to remote working. The Houston Chronicle has a guide on creating a good workplace that you might want to read.
Ideally, this workspace should be closed off from any obvious distractions, such as your refrigerator, television and any clutter that you were tempted to clean up. The best option is to use any vacant rooms that might be available. If you have spare bedrooms that your kids used to live in before they moved out, then you might want to try using one of them as your workspace. You could also try using a small table in your living room. You might want to turn it away from the television, so you won’t be thinking about your favorite TV shows when you look up.
Work in an area with plenty of sunlight
Some people have thought about building their workspace in the basement. This seems like a good idea since there are not a ton of distractions.
The problem is that the basement is a rather depressing place to work. One of the biggest reasons is that there is not much sunlight. This is going to reduce your energy levels, which will make you less productive.
It is better to find a more pleasant area to work with plenty of natural sunlight. You’ll be a lot more productive over the long term.
Isolate yourself from your significant other and kids
Many people that work from home have said that their spouse was a tremendous distraction. Even though they are both working from home, they often attempted to chitchat with each other. This is often a problem because their busy and slow periods might not overlap. Therefore, when one spouse is bored, they might be tempted to bother the other when they are in the middle of an urgent task.
The best way to avoid this issue is to make sure your workspaces are in different parts of the house. You should also have an agreement that you won’t bother each other for things unless you would be comfortable doing so during a normal workday at the office.
Require clients visiting your home to engage in social distancing
Some people have to let clients visit their home since they can’t see them at the regular place of employment. This creates a valid concern about spreading the virus.
You need to make sure that everybody visiting your home follows proper social distancing guidelines. You might want to use social distancing stickers to keep people from infecting you and your family.
Dress like you’re leaving the house
Some people think that the best part of working from home is that they can work in their pajamas all day. Unfortunately, people don’t tend to be as productive when they just like they are going to sleep. You should dress like you’re leaving the house to get in the right mindset to be productive at work.