Your Guide to Working From Home During COVID-19
- Back to Work, Working Women
- 26 Jun 2020
Remember the time when it wasn’t a crime to meet people outdoors and celebrate the little things? Turns out, it’s now the time to celebrate the little things more than ever before.
It’s the time to dig a little deeper and address the most pressing issues that we go through especially during uncertain times like these. Mental health, anxiety, homeschooling, self-care, managing home and working-from-home...and so many other issues are surfacing, forcing us to adapt to the new normal.
And while we grapple with the outcomes of coping with the COVID-19 situation, it is important to stay grounded, keep control over our decisions and develop immense resilience.
Here are some tips to stay emotionally balanced during this time.
Working From Home: A Boon or Bane?
The work-from-home routine has eased out several problems, commuting being the biggest one of the lot. And as they say, time saved is money saved. Traveling to and fro to your workplace and back home would probably take away a few hours of your time, which you now spend on productive activities.
The idea of remote working, even a year ago, was not considered given that we believed in the greater advantages of face-to-face communication in getting work done faster and more efficiently. Today, there’s a twist to the plot.
Remote working is the need of the hour to ensure the health & safety of individuals and the smooth functioning of organisations. On the flip side, a work-from-routine brings with it several other responsibilities and a drastic change in routine.
1. Self-Care During the Pandemic
Yes, we’re all working from home. Yes, we no longer need to think up lunches and dinners a week in advance, because we’re all at home - all the time! But we do need to take care of ourselves to be able to cope with the huge change in lifestyle. We run the risk of lethargy, anxiety due to erratic work schedules and homeschooling plus household chores, and worse, the feeling of being left-out and depressed.
It is essential to fit in at least half an hour of self-care time in our daily routine. No, we’re not talking about a fancy work-out or aerobics or zumba. It could be as simple as reading a book or indulging in a prayer or meditation or even a conversation with a friend or family member. The idea is to get a few minutes alone, to assess where we stand, what needs to be done and what needs to be achieved.
2. Discipline During a Work-From-Home Routine
Managing personal and professional duties seamlessly requires more than just time. It requires discipline and a certain amount of steadfastness to adhere to a set routine.
Why is this important?
Until a few months ago, we indulged in multitasking like goddesses — prioritising home responsibilities + school activities + professional commitments + me time — sometimes achieving more than what we set out to, and some other times struggling to keep up with the demands of a busy life. Discipline at a time when the home has turned into a school AND an office is crucial.
Schedule a task for a particular time of day and adhere to it, come what may.
This will help take those multitasking skills to the next level. With family members all at home, transferring the load (of responsibilities) is also a great way to ease the burden on just one member.
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3. Handling Homeschooling to Keep Coronavirus at Bay
For those with children, this can be an uphill task given that we not only have to adjust to our children learning from home but also work around our own schedule to make sure we’re around them as they’re going through this change too!
It’s a concept that children and teachers are getting used to, so patience is key. And it doesn't matter how old or young they are.
A whole new process of learning, with absolutely no human contact, this is perhaps the hardest phase for children who, by nature, love to be outdoors and spend hours with friends, chatting incessantly about everything and anything (perhaps this holds good for adults too!).
Giving them and ourselves the time to understand and adjust to this process is just as crucial as bringing in discipline in our child’s schedule as well, which is easy to do if we already have one of our own.
It’s also a great opportunity to spend ample time with them after the daily grind. The only commute we probably need to make is from one room to the other! Let’s make the best use of this ‘traffic-free-hassle-free’ time to bond with our children and family, indulge in a game or two, a movie, and of course cooking.
4. Keep Calm and Carry on
The only lesson that we need to carry through this process is ‘This too shall pass’ and that ‘Change is the only constant’. Being resilient and tiding through it all is the true test of this pandemic.
It not only makes us stronger, it teaches our kids to be strong as well. Keeping a journal would seem cliche, but nothing works better than penning emotions down; reading them at a later time when we’re feeling lighter helps to ease the situation somehow.
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5. Get on the Hobby Horse
That might seem unrealistic when we’re already confronted with so many changes to a seemingly easy work-from-home routine.
But a hobby doesn’t have to be something that is elaborate and social-media worthy.
It needs to be something that we draw satisfaction from; something that brings out an unknown side to us; it can be something that stems from a craft idea, a recipe, gardening or, better still, DIY interior decor ideas that will transform the home into a gorgeous space to live, now that we’re in it 24x7.
6. Make Social Distancing Work
The idea of not meeting loved ones is in itself daunting. More so during a lockdown. Even while we are aware that it is in the interest of the health & safety of family members, it can be particularly hard to stay away when you need each other the most.
And that’s why it’s essential to maintain contact with friends and family and co-workers. Returning to your office space might be a faraway dream, but that doesn’t mean we don’t prepare ourselves for what lies ahead.
Most companies are toying with the idea of an indefinite remote working schedule, but many others are also limping back to life as it was a few months ago. Preparing to return to the office after all this time of working from home can be an ordeal in itself.
It means that we will need to turn the clock back and start functioning as we did but under a new set of rules & regulations. Whatever the case, the only thing we can do is adapt.
Make your work-from-home time work!
COVID-19: In It Together
A pandemic — a disease that is prevalent over a whole country or the world — is a sign of an inevitable change across all levels of society and the economy.
We are a piece in the larger puzzle, and each of us has a part to play in holding each other together. Let’s treat this as a learning experience and move on while gaining some interesting insights into our own lives and making it better for us all in future.
Let’s nail the work-from-home routine so that it is advantageous for us and the companies that are slowly but steadily coming to terms with this new normal.
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Here’s to your resilience and commitment to make a successful career!
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