With COVID-19 being rampant throughout the world, the corporate and business houses are switching over to “work from home”.
In view of the above, it will be quiet prudent to discuss how to remain healthy, happy, efficient and productive during work from home.
1.0 What is work from home?
Wikipedia defines the work from home as work arrangement, in which employees do not commute to a central place of work such as an office building, warehouse or a store. Some other names given by Wikipedia are telecommuting or telework, teleworking, mobile or remote work. In this arrangement, one works from home for some organization or individual, and in turn gets paid.
It is different from work at home, which we usually resort to, in order to perform our personal tasks, being at home. Those working from home may take a leave to do their personal tasks.
2.0 Advantages of working from home
We may enumerate the following advantages of working from home :
1. Very much comfortable for a lot of people. One need not commute to a central place , especially in big cities , where traveling is very arduous.
2. Employees may be more productive in their personal pursuits too. This is because they have extra time at their disposal. Hence, they may pursue their personal hobbies, beyond office hours of work from home.
3. Reduction in infrastructure and infrastructure costs of maintaining a central office. That is why big corporates are vacating their offices, and telling their employees to work from home.
4. It may help in maintaining a “healthy work life balance”.
If you want to know , how to have “healthy work life balance”, you may go through the following blogs, which, CHRMP has published earlier.
3.0 Disadvantages of work from home
Experts have the distinct opinion that work from home is the order of the day. But , as per author, it may also give rise to following problems :
- Monotonous daily routine.
- Cropping up of procrastination, as the environment is same each day.
- No standard method of measuring the output of employees .
- Loneliness and boredom.
- Lack of socialization and reduction in degree of personal bonds with co-workers.
4.0 General rules for work from home
Working From Home does not mean getting relaxed , and intermingling it with your household or family jobs. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts for “work from home”.
- Be in continuous touch with your team. If you are facing any difficulty in doing the assigned tasks, ask the concerned team member immediately.
- Dress appropriately , as you would have dressed up for office. May be meetings are done through video.
- Invest in the required equipment correctly. You must have a good laptop along with Wi Fi or internet connection , and uninterrupted power supply system.
- Make a place fixed in your house for working from home. You must make it exclusively special asper your taste,, appealing and aesthetic by decorating it.
- Be available always during the fixed work office hours of” work from home”.
- Don’t eat throughout the day, while working from home.
- TV should not be on in your room, while working.
- Do not sit on the couch or sofa or anywhere you feel like while doing office work from home.
- One should avoid household chores, during fixed office hours. However , you may do it during the lunch break.
- Other family members should not be around , when you are attending a meeting or working from home.
5.0 Tips to remain mentally healthy
Continuous monotonousness, same environment throughout the day, loneliness and lack of personal interaction with co workers, may create mental health issues. Some tips to deal with it are:
- Mark clearly the “work time” and “home time” in your daily routine.
- Fix a particular place for work in your home. This should not be your bedroom. Decorate it and make it appealing , asper your aesthetic flavor.
- Be in touch with coworkers. Don’t always talk about work, but make jokes and exchange pleasantries also.
- During home time , adhere to no internet, no phone, no TV. Keep the home time reserved for family members and friends.
- Go out of your workplace twice / thrice a day.
- Be positive , think positive.
6.0 Tips to remain happy
Remaining happy and relaxed is the key to success in working from home. Some tips to do this are:
- Start your day early , after going to bed early , and waking up early. You must have at least eight hours of sound sleep every day.
- Give at least one and a half hours daily to yourself for yoga, pranayam (deep breathing consisting of inhaling and exhaling through nostrils , as per ancient Indian technique) , and prayers or meditation.
- Have a strict schedule for “work time” and “home time”. This will help in accomplishment of tasks speedily , and lead to reduction in stress.
- Take a five minute break , after working for one hour and move out of your workplace.
7.0 Tips to remain efficient
- Find the prime time of your working hours. Prime time is, when you feel to be at the best of your performance , during doing work. Try to do the difficult jobs during this time.
- Make a “to do list”. Prioritize your work. Do the things as per urgencies.
- Plan breaks after making “to do list”. It will help you in maintaining the pace .
- Do not allow others in your workplace ,during the office time.
8.0 Tips to remain productive
Almost anything and and everything mentioned above, are also valid for remaining productive during work from home. However, we are providing some exclusive tips as below, for remaining productive.
- Your workplace should be exclusively for you, not for the entire family members.
- Avoid distractions
- Take care of hygiene ,take bath ,and be in office clothes, assuming as if you are going to office for work.
- Keep a notepad and pencil or pen , to take notes during meetings.
- Have a vessel filled with water near your working place. It will help you in avoiding wasting your time when you feel thirsty.
- Don’t see the latest news or events happening on , in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn , unless it’s related to your work.
- Have a good breakfast before start of the day , and light lunch during recess of office time.
- Maintain a healthy work life balance.
The author is of the opinion that you should change your place of work once a week.
If you have a garden and or terrace garden, sit there once a week, and do your work. But don’t get distracted due to change of place.
The author has listed the tips to remain healthy , happy, efficient and productive, while “working from home”. They may prove to be extremely useful for those “working from home”. It is the distinct opinion of author that work from home for employees , could offer one of the greatest opportunities, to affect the biggest increase in productivity in the 21st century.
Graduate, Post Graduate and Doctorate from IIT, BHU Dr. D. Rai has more than 46 years of research & academic experience. His career spans across the industry and academia from playing the role of Head of Department at Research & Development Center for Iron and Steel to being the Director for reputed management colleges. He has published 65 research papers and filed 5 patents and 7 copyrights. He plays the role of an Advisor and Chief Mentor at Ripples Learning.