We are living complicated times. The pandemic we are forced to face is not a first in the history of mankind, but it is unprecedented in the sense that we have never been as technologically advanced, as virtually interconnected and digitalized as we are now. We can speculate the effects the pandemic will have, like forced digitalization, but we cannot know for sure how it will impact the way we work. However, when faced with such a challenge, it is best to find ways to adapt fast than to waste energy on opposing the changes it brings. From this perspective, people that can keep things running while working from home are the lucky ones.
Nevertheless, working from home has its own challenges so we have prepared a short guide on how to turn WFH into a smooth process.
We are constantly bombarded with `breaking news` that only talk about the corona virus. People become numbers and the articles and reports become overwhelming. It is okay to keep yourself updated on what is happening out there, but don’t let yourself sucked into the gloominess of it all. You don’t need to watch the news all day long. You can get your facts from 2 or 3 reliable sources, once or twice a day.
In times like these it is important to stay grounded. In order to do that, find a balance between the `now` and the `after`. Now you must stay safe, but you can still make plans for when this is over. Business plans, trips and vacations, outings with friends and loved ones. Keep a healthy perspective.
We are used to communicate with our team and colleagues face to face. We generally feel the communication is more effective when it’s done face to face than in writing/chat or phone. And it’s true. Communication is 7% based on spoken words, 38% based on voice and tone and 55% on body language. We are marketing people; we know how important communication is. So, turn on that webcam and connect with your team through video calls. Not only for the sake of your projects, but for maintaining interpersonal relationships, the group dynamic and flow creativity. Whether is a group video call or a one-on-one video call, stay close to your team.
You might be as efficient working from home as working from the office, but not all of us are built that way. Up until now, most of us probably kept work and home apart. Two separate environments that suddenly are now mixed and intertwined. How to deal with it?
-> Create a special setting that is meant for work only. Arrange everything the way you like it. Make it comfortable, but keep in mind that it’s the setting you’ll be using for the video calls as well.
-> Change your clothes. Yes, the pyjamas need to go. Although it’s tempting to work in your bed clothes, changing into something else helps you get in the `work mood`.
-> Create a routine. Or adapt your old one from the office to the new situation. For example, if you used to set aside time for yourself in the mornings, keep doing that. Have your coffee while reading the news or your emails, respect lunch time and don’t forget to take mini breaks from time to time to rest your eyes, or to stretch your legs and back.
-> Plan your day ahead. Planning gives you a sense of clarity and order. Check your calendar, create to-do lists, prioritize tasks and mark each one as soon as you solved them. It has a positive effect on being productive.
-> Working from home can sometimes feel like we are on vacation. We are not. It is an extreme measure to a difficult situation that will have an impact on the global economy. Now more than ever we need to be alert, pay attention, get involved and give our best.
Watch out for the burnout
Last, but not least, take care of yourself. Physically and mentally. Working from home is a double-edged sword. You can easily fall into the trap of working yourself into a burnout. No, it’s not downtime but it’s not a marathon either. Your health is more important than anything.