You might have been working from home for a while time now, or maybe you’re temporarily doing it because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In any case, you find yourself struggling with unexpected challenges. Here are 5 things you need to avoid to keep your balance.
As many perks as it has, working from home can also be stressful until you get the hang of it. We build a work routine throughout the years and, all of a sudden, it is unexpectedly interrupted: of course we are going to struggle to adapt to a new reality. And that is ok.
We need to transform our house (that we probably share with our families) into an office and, at the same time, we have to keep the balance between work life and personal life but without switching from a workspace to a personal space. It is challenging.
Here is a list of 3 things that will help you make the transition as simple as possible:
1- Communicate and Coordinate
It is pretty easy to coordinate deadlines and workload if the team is working side by side at the same place. But when everyone is working from home, coordination and communication between peers or teams can be affected. The best way to avoid miscommunication is by planning a weekly call schedule and sticking to it.
If you are a boss or supervisor, a good practice is to share a call calendar at the beginning of each week, so everyone can plan their tasks around it. If you work in a team, you can set up three calls each week: at the beginning of the week, one to plan your tasks. A mid-week follow-up call and one last call at the end of each week to see where everyone is.
2- Avoid Distractions
The main challenge of working from home is avoiding distractions. Even if you have a separate room set up for that purpose, you are surrounded by all the things you usually do when you are not working, only that now you should be.
Try to remove distractions from your work area: avoid being close to a TV, remove books, and if at all possible, get noise-canceling headsets. If you live with your family, talk to them. Set clear rules.
3- Keep your balance between personal and professional life
Working from home will most definitely blur the line between personal life and professional life. The first thing you need to do is find a physically separated spot to set your work area. As separate as you can. Avoid working from your bedroom or your kitchen or any other area where you’d typically relax or enjoy family time.
If it is within your possibilities, use a spare room. If not, stay as isolated as possible within the area. Another huge thing you need to do is to define clear working hours and set your breaks. Use your regular office hours. Eat lunch at the time you’d normally would if you were in your office. By the time your shift ends, leave the work area as you would leave the office.