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COVID-19: How to effectively work from home

By Mo Zeitouneh

We are living in strange and challenging times. With COVID-19 comes increasing demands to self-isolate and the requirement for many of us to work from home. 

For most of us, this may be the first time we have had to balance living and working from the same place.

At first, glance that can sound very appealing – even fun – but being productive in this “new normal” can be tough.

Working from home amid COVID-19 is a brave new world for those that haven’t worked remotely before. Picture: Unsplash

Here are a few tips to help adjust to the new work from home requirement:

1. Establish clear boundaries

Suddenly working from home can be an upheaval for both your work and your home routines.  Start off on the right foot by asking for clear direction from your boss on what’s expected from you.

Also, speak with your partner and family members so that everyone is clear on what’s expected so that there are few surprises. If expectations and boundaries are established early there is less opportunity for misunderstandings and conflict later

2. Stay connected

Being physically isolated should not mean being socially or professionally isolated.

Regular check-ins and video conferencing/communication tools enable even the most physically isolated worker to stay connected with colleagues and management staff in ways that were previously impossible.

Want to connect with workmates – even family – try Zoom.Picture: Unsplash

One note of caution here: with more communication taking place via email, it’s more important than ever to carefully read and re-read the email and text communications to ensure that what you’ve written is clear and unambiguous.

Avoiding unintended meanings and misunderstandings is more important than ever now when we’re all under stress.

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Open, honest and clear communication should be a hallmark of professional communication at all times, perhaps even more so now as we deal with many unknowns in our personal and professional lives.

If work requirements or directives are vague or unclear be sure to ask for clarification and assistance. Look for where you can offer support and guidance and be ready to lend a helping hand where needed.

4. Don’t over-do it

One of the interesting comments I am hearing is that many people are feeling an urge to overachieve at present so as to demonstrate that they are genuinely working and focused while at home.

Pace yourself and set reasonable standards.

Work/life balance is difficult at the moment and it may well is appropriate to raise this issue with colleagues and management to gauge how others are handling this.

Those who have greater experience working from home may have helpful tips and guidance to share.

5. Reduce anxiety

Keep your anxiety in check by looking after yourself with movement, nourishing food and breaks. Picture: Unsplash

It is important during these times to maintain perspective and optimism. Remember – this too will pass.

When socially and physically isolated it is easy to slip into a rabbit hole of negativity, especially if you’re plugged into the 24/7 news cycle. Monitor how much news you’re consuming and balance your news intake.

Exercise regularly, eat well, take breaks and maintain contact with friends and family to keep a healthy balance in your life.

The ‘new normal’ of working from home requires some adjustments and changes in both our home and working styles but with some focus and care that transition can be made with minimum disruption and be successful.

source: rea.com.au

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