Working from home is going be the new norm for us with the extension of the circuit breaker announced yesterday.
It is a joy to gain a few hours to squeeze in a morning yoga or whip up a delicious meal with the time saved from commuting to and fro your office, and to be able to work comfortably in your PJs and bed hair. However, trying to settle into a routine while working from home may not come naturally to everyone. And if you are feeling a drop in your work productivity, fret not, you are not alone.
If you are finding the transition a little challenging with all the flexibility and distractions at home, here are 5 tips for you to create a routine for working from home to make sure that you are as productive as you were in the office setting.
1. Establish your working hours
Decide on your work hours and stick to them strictly on your workdays. If you are a lone ranger whose work doesn’t involve a lot of collaborations with colleagues or partners, you are free to set your work hours any time you like. Nobody will really be affected by your 3 am to 12 pm workday as long as you complete your work on time. However, if you need to liaise and hold meetings with your colleagues and clients, it is still best to stick to your usual work hours so that you are contactable by everyone and you can respond quickly to queries. Regardless of what your hours are like, stick to it so that it becomes a routine for you, and avoid doing other distracting stuff during your work hours.
2. Set up your workspace
We know, our living spaces are tight in Singapore, and it is not feasible to expect everyone to free up a room for use as a home office. In fact, you don’t have to. Over the past two weeks, we have seen many innovative work stations that Singaporeans created for themselves at home, ranging from using ironing boards as work desks (which is a brilliant idea since its height is adjustable!), and occupying the whole sofa and coffee table for a comfy workspace.
Regardless of your set up, what’s important is that a designated workspace puts you in a “work mode”. Put only things you need for work there and remove other distracting items to up your efficiency.
3. Dress up for work
Many of my friends and colleagues swear by dressing up for work while we work from home to keep a sense of routine. Looking the part can differentiate work time v.s leisure time and get you right into the work mindset. If that works for you, by all means, do that. For those who are doing great wearing PJs all day (yes, that’s yours truly…) I don’t see why you can’t do PJ-all-day too, except for the fact that your friend who dressed up can sneak a selfie in the middle of the workday, but you can’t, or well, may not want to.
4. Check your work progress
Do up a task list and decide on what you need to complete for the day, and keep checking if you are on track since you longer see your boss around to keep you on your toes. It will help to organise your work schedule and help you prioritise important tasks. You can use collaborative tools like Trello to set up a daily task board with your colleagues so that everyone knows what each other is doing for the day.
5. Stock up on healthy snacks
The kitchen is now your office pantry. If you have the habit of getting a mid-day snack in the office as a little treat or to keep yourself awake, remember to stock up your fridge (we recommend healthy snacks but #JustSaying) so that you don’t get frustrated when you want a little bite during tea time.