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Can working from home really work?

If you’re not used to it, working from home may present many challenges and temptations that could impair your productivity.

Our team of coaches have put together a list of tips to help you keep yourself on track. They are grouped into 4 categories :

  1. Self-Management
  2. Environment-Management
  3. Task-Management
  4. Your Support System

Self-Management

  1. Stick to your regular work routines : start, have lunch and wrap up at the same time every day. Some people find it useful to dress as though you are going to work.
  2. Create a ‘Preparation Ritual’ : this may include meditation, light exercise, breathing exercise, or a great cup of coffee. As you go through your preferred ritual, set your intention for the day.
  3. Give yourself a mini treat  when you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.
  4. Know that this social distancing is how you can fight this pandemic. Some are fighting for their jobs. Others are fighting to keep their families safe.

Environment-Management

  1. Create a designated workspace in the home. If possible, avoid the bedroom and kitchen. Yes, the RM 60 foldable table you saw at Lazada can work like magic!
  2. Make it a disruption-free bubble : have everything you need (coffee, snacks, plenty of water) within reach before you start so that you won’t have any excuse to leave your workplace.
  3. Avoid temptation : stay away from the bed or sofa, stay out of the bedroom and kitchen.
  4. Use your headphones. It’s the universal “do not disturb” sign.

Task-Management

  1. Clarity on Daily Tasks : create a daily to do list and stick to your timetable.
    Plan the next day’s tasks at the end of every day. This will help you to plunge straight into action every morning instead of trying to recall what needs to be done.
  2. Online morning huddles : check in with each other and get alignment on the day’s tasks and goals.
  3. Frequent Breaks : Break monotony by taking a 15min break every 90mins (exercise, take a deep breath at the balcony, check the view).
    Try the Pomodoro Technique ie 25 min focus then 5 min break. Good to have a timer. After 4 Pomodoro sessions, can take a longer break of 15 to 30 min
  4. Plan a day ahead
  5. Have a team scoreboard or Kanban chart (use Trello) to keep score on progress and accomplishments.
  6. Allocate time for household chores : when you spend more time at home, you’ll notice more things that need to be cleaned or cleared or fixed. Set a time for these chores so that you can focus on work without feeling guilty or conflicted.

Your Support System

  1. Your Family :
    • Make your working schedule known to all
    • Make it a family thing. Create a daily, hourly schedule for your children too.  Work from home = school at home. Get them to do their work / study too while you are working. And schedule  breaks together.
  2. Your Buddy
    Choose one of your colleagues to be your buddy. Declare your to do list every morning and support each other to get it done. Don’t buy each other’s excuses.
  1. Stay connected virtually.
    • Use a platform where teams remain accessible to one another.
    • Have a virtual “water cooler”. Come together as a team and just chill remotely. Turn on the video feed and have a virtual “water cooler” moment and chat about non-work stuff. Or turn it on at lunchtime and have virtual lunches together.

If all else fails, find a quiet coffee shop near home and make that your office!

We hope this helps. Stay safe, stay strong. This too shall pass.

Credit to Emi, Haryati, Illyaz, Jeremy, Jeffrey, Julia, Omar, Razlina, Shu-Tze.

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