How To Get WFH Right

Many organizations are adopting optional or compulsory work-from-home programs following the latest coronavirus pandemic. That means many of us face an uncommon challenge that is, Work From Home or WFH.

But unless you’ve done it before, working from home may feel like a whole new world. This might be here and there for an extended period of time rather than a day (and you are not at all sure how long it will last). It involves your whole business. So you can not actually socialise outside the workplace in person.

These tips should help ensure that you are effective, both in doing your job and in maintaining your mental wellbeing:

Dress up

It may sound like a common tip but it’s a critical tip. You don’t have to dress as professionally as you would for work, but the simple change of clothes acts as a reminder that it’s time to get up and get things done. It makes you feel human [and] confident and helps draw the line between being at work and being at home.

Getting dressed also extends to other things that are focused on appearance: take a shower, brush your teeth, and put on makeup if that’s what you would usually do. You don’t have to head out for the morning as much as you can if you don’t want to, but waking up and taking care of your appearance will go a long way to making you feel like you’re taking care of yourself.

Set ground rules

Set boundaries in your home with other people, or who share your room while you work. If you have kids coming home from school when you’re still working, they need clear rules about what they can and can’t do during that time.

Break is needed

Allow yourself the appropriate time to step away from your computer screen and phone throughout the day. One of the keys to doing a better job is knowing when to pause. Take a break when you start to feel overwhelmed, then reassess yourself and refocus. It doesn’t just serve as a reward, a quick break will help make your mind clearer.

Keep your focus

Distractions can be both internal and external, so start with an inside look. If you are all over the place, ask yourself what is going on exactly. Which is the root of your anxiety or flightiness? What does it take you to focus on in your life?

Look at more external triggers once you have your internal goals figured out. Was it the setup for your office? An intrusive team-mate? A lack of talent, ideas or time to do something that you need to do? Burnout, then? You can fix the result if you can recognize the cause.

Designate a workspace

If you’re used to going into an office every day, the difference between work and home is physical, so you want to try to replicate it with a dedicated physical workspace at home as much as possible.

Seek to make your workroom comfortable with a chair that you can sit in for eight hours a day. If necessary, consider a place with decent natural lighting. Even if you don’t normally spend a lot of time outside, you will start weighing on you easily by missing out on the time you spend outside during your drive, and it will only happen faster if you don’t have natural light coming in.

Define your work hours

Much like your physical workspace is marked and segregated, you will be specific about when you are operating and when you are not. If you stick with your daily hours, you can get your best work done and be most prepared for the transition back to the workplace. Plus, being on the same schedule as your colleagues make things much simpler if your job is collaborative.

The isolation is much more important if you live with other people. Communicate with the people you live with and create boundaries so that you can eliminate distractions during the workday and then relax and devote your full attention to the things you care about. Getting a separate amount of time and workspace would allow you to be more involved in your home life.

Socialize

Loneliness, disconnection and isolation, particularly for extroverts, are common problems in the remote work life. Organizations with a remote work culture prefer to provide ways of socializing. They may have chat channels, for example, where remote workers would talk about shared interests, meeting ups for people in the same area, and retreats in person.

Figuring out how much engagement you need to feel linked and included is crucial. Also if you’re extremely introverted and don’t like socializing, try some immersive opportunities and familiarize yourself with them if you ever decide to want them. You may need to be more cautious about maintaining relationships if you are not in a organization with a good remote community.

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