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COVID-19 Tips: Quick Work from Home Tricks For the Busy Professional

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COVID-19 Tips: Quick Work from Home Tricks For the Busy Professional

Work from home – that’s it, those are three very dreaded words for a lot of professionals out there. Sometimes, we just can’t help but want to work in an office. It might be because of the ambiance, the equipment, and maybe the excellent internet connection we can use to talk to clients and do work faster. With the threat of COVID-19, a lot of us professionals have to take work at home and do much of our tasks in front of our personal computers. If we’re in a house with streaming services, a ton of gadgets, and even gaming consoles, we might be distracted from our duties at work.

And as busy professionals, we may even have a lot of things we have to get done. We have tasks involving online meetings, negotiating with clients, or even doing a bit of research. How do we maintain – or even improve – the efficiency of working in an office at home? Here are some quick work from home tricks:

  • Create your ideal workspace at home. Once your company starts your work from home policy, you should assign and create your ideal workspace at home. This is important, as we often consider home as a place of “rest and relaxation.” As such, we’re psychologically predisposed to think of the home as a place that work can’t penetrate. If we work from home, we might feel bored because of this. 

 

    • Choose a place at home that’s not your bed as your workspace. If possible, maintain your bed as the one place at home where you’ll actually be sleeping. And make sure your workspace or workstation is something you dedicate solely for your work duties. This is important, as you don’t want to associate your work with your place of rest, as this might bore you. Whereas, having allocated space – be it a desk, or a whole room – can make you feel like you have your own cubicle at home. 
    • Install the right applications and programs in your PC or laptop, phones, and other gadgets that are needed for your work. These include your communication apps, your editing applications, and other essential work documents.
    • Select the gadgets you need and make sure they’re always within reach of you. Aside from your computer or laptop, check if you need your mobile phone, earphones or headphones, or even tablet for your work. Make sure they’re close by, alongside their chargers and other accessories. This makes sure you don’t leave your workstation to get them, as leaving your workstation might make you have a detour to the fridge, to watch Netflix, or just lose your focus at work.
    • Sanitize your devices before and after you use them everyday. This ensures they’re in tip-top shape, and that they don’t become elements of risk when it comes to spreading COVID-19. 

 

  • Organize your schedule very early on. Just because your work from home setup will likely have you work at 9-to-5, it doesn’t mean you should “roll with it” with your schedule. If possible, make your schedule as efficient as possible to make sure you tackle all your work-related duties properly and still have time to take breaks, eat food, and not feel “overwhelmed” in general. You need to be able to use this opportunity to work from home to take a well-deserved break from the usual 9-to-5, so form a schedule very wisely. Here are some tips: 

    • When your company decides on a work from home schedule, do clarify things in terms of your schedule and your working time. Are you going to use special applications to record your time, or for you to clock in and clock out? Get this information on hand, so you have the time to install the necessary applications and make certain adjustments to your gadgets at home.
    • After determining your work setup, try to make your day-to-day schedule. Decide on things you want to do outside work that you want to do at home, such as playing games, working out, and even just taking a nap. Once you have these things in mind, try to integrate them into the schedule you’re making. 
    • Include daily sanitation and cleaning in your schedule. Make sure you dedicate time not just in cleaning yourself, but also making sure you maintain your workspace as clean as possible. Make time to also do your part in cleaning the household, so as to make sure your home quarantine is spent wisely. 

 

  • Make interactions virtual as much as possible. A huge part of our day-to-day lives as professionals has to do with interacting with people. We talk to co-workers and bosses for our tasks, we talk with clients to secure deals, and we interact with other people during our commute. This is one of the biggest concerns of businesses when we work from home, as we still need to find ways to meet with people we work with. As per the World Health Organization, businesses need to be able to adjust their workplace policies and day-to-day interactions to accommodate work from home setups. Here are some tips for you to follow:
  • Organize your meetings as online video conferences. Try to coordinate with your co-workers, decide on a schedule, and use conferencing platforms such as Messenger, Loom, Slack, and even Discord to conduct voice calls or video conferences to meet on relevant matters. Platforms like Skype provide screen sharing options, allowing you and your co-workers to present relevant documents and slideshows to peers. 
  • When communicating with clients and coworkers, don’t hesitate to rely on voice messages and chat conversations to reach out to them. Don’t forget to use formal language to maintain a professional atmosphere. Make yourself available in various long-distance platforms, such as the landline, video conferencing, voice calls, and even direct messages on social media platforms. 
  • If you have to interact with some people physically (say, in the case of deliveries in a Vespa for sale, or other services), do sanitize yourself before and after the interaction. And if there are documents to be signed, ask if you can rely on e-signatures instead. This ensures you have the least social interaction possible to avoid the risk of being infected with COVID-19. 

 

 

  • Take some time to improve your skill set. Even if you work 9-to-5 at home, you’ll likely have some extra time you would have to spend at home. And while the first few days of watching your go-to series at night can be fun, it gets tiring and boring the longer you do it. Instead of just resorting to a good round of binge-watching, you can use your spare time to improve your skill set. This can be something you’ve always wanted to learn or a skill that can be helpful for your work or career in the long run. Here are some pointers you can take note of:

 

    • Consider taking free online courses on various skills you want to learn. A lot of websites provide free certification courses or degrees on different skills across various industries. For instance, free websites like Alison offer courses on things like Business and Psychology, with each course consisting of short readings and exams that, when finished, earns you a “certificate.” If you want to get a copy of your certificate, these services offer these as PDFs and printed versions for a small fee. 
    • Some universities and colleges also offer online courses you can partake in by paying a small fee. Like the aforementioned free certification courses, these paid online courses are often administered and provided by legitimate institutions. Completing these courses give you legitimate “points” in these courses, as though you’re taking a degree that has that course in it. 
    • Aside from taking up courses, you can also just rely on tutorials – video or otherwise – online. A lot of people, experts, and other professionals share their knowledge in the form of PDFs, webinars, and videos that teach audiences how to do various things. You can learn things ranging from marketing, to graphic design. 

COVID-19: Maximize Your Time at Home

With the above tips in mind, we should consider that while COVID-19 has affected our daily lives (and dare we say, our livelihoods), we may use this opportunity at home to be able to refine our skills and even do a lot of the things we haven’t been able to do on a 9-to-5 schedule. Thanks to this work from home system, we now have a more flexible control over our time, and we can do a lot more things for work and our professional lives without the pressure of being stuck in traffic, being in a hassling commute, or having our bosses breathing down our necks. Hopefully, the above tips will be able to put you in a position of bettering your career even as we face this coronavirus pandemic.

If you have some other tips and tricks for your fellow busy professionals, feel free to suggest them in the comments! And if you have things you want to discuss regarding working from home, let’s have a meaningful discourse!

Image Sources: 

  1. https://pixabay.com/photos/ipad-tablet-technology-touch-820272/
  2. https://pixabay.com/photos/laptop-apple-macbook-computer-2557571/
  3. https://pixabay.com/photos/apple-coffee-computer-cup-girl-1851464/
  4. https://pixabay.com/photos/girl-young-board-phone-mobile-3718515/

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John Lambert is a racing lover at heart - in fact, he could consider himself a frustrated motorcycle racer. With a dad as an auto mechanic, John has been enlightened in the world of automobiles and racing at an early age. Thanks to his writing degree, John has been using his writing skills to write everything about cars, motorcycles, racing, and everything in between. And hopefully, when he earns enough, he can buy his own motorcycle and go pro.

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