Sometime back, well, actually its been 2 years now, I had written a post on my Working from home experience [as a freelancer], and then along came 2020, forcing the whole world to switch to ‘Work from home’ mode~ How has life changed for me? Is there any change? Read on to know…
Are you one of those who had to switch to work from home format? What is your take on it?
- Accepted it [cos no choice & happy to have work/something to keep you busy] or
- Hate it [cos no choice, but it’s crazy, no life-work balance] or
- Couldn’t care either ways [ you were ‘working from home’ couple of times a week even otherwise]
For those who aren’t used to working from home, or working from home this long period of time, the common issues are,
1. Spouse/Family nags they arent helping around
2. Kid/Dog/others constantly interrupting work/calls and demanding attention
3. They are unable to focus with all the distractions around [family, TV, balcony, etc]
4. Unable to focus cos there is no chatter around them [colleagues yapping away]
5. Biggest complaint has been the water and tea/coffee breaks, plus loo visits that get them away from the seat for a while…
6. For some, work has become a 24/7 thing, clients/boss expect them to be available round the clock [else the “what are you doing, cooped up at home only right, might as well finish this task statements are thrown around]
7. The number of calls, which ideally should have been a message or mail taking away a big chunk of their time.
8. Increase in screen time, suddenly you seem to be glued to the computer or phone much longer than before, working on documents, attending meetings, video calls, presentations etc..
Well, we need to accept that this “work from home” scenario is going to be the new norm, for a while at least. I know of companies and universities across the globe that have announced: “wfh till June 2021”.
Few things you could do to ease life,
1. Set a schedule & share it with those around you – Don’t expect them to hop on board with joy and respect the schedule, but set it up and make sure it is visible encroaching in your workspace.
2. If you have a separate office space /converted room then shut the door with a sign outside that says you are on a call, imp meeting [ you can use post its] or if you don’t, give some indication so others don’t disturb you [ I wear headphones and stare intently on the screen..lol]
3. Keep a bottle of water, and a cup of tea/coffee/juice when you get started on work. This way, you are assured of staying put for alteast half an hour without having to take breaks.
4. Be organised – keep all work-related documents, gadgets in one place so you have access to all that you need within seconds. If, like me, you use a notepad/notebook to write your daily to-do list in, keep a pen or two beside it.
5. Have a hard stop for the meetings/calls– it will help others to stay focussed and meetings will make sense.
6. Don’t try to do more than one thing/task at a time. Let’s face it, not all are good at multi-tasking. Instead, attack our to-do list one by one, starting with the top priority.
7. If you are a freelancer working on multiple projects [ like me], then create a schedule with time slots for each project. Unless something comes up or demands urgent action, do not wander about, doing half baked job across the board.
8. Take breaks. As many as you need, but be aware of them, get away from the laptop & phone, walk, go out, go play with kids/dog/spend time with spouse, etc …
9. Have a hard stop for the day– make sure to wind up work by 8 pm or 9 pm, or take a break at 7 pm, finish up dinner and get back to work. But have a cut off time, else you will be “working” all the time. Also, make sure to have a day off – Saturday, Sunday or weekday. Whenever you can take off, and be OFF work completely. Put that laptop away if possible.
10. Keep watch on your health – mental, physical and emotional. If ever you feel like it is getting too much, overwhelming or tiring, hit the brakes and pause.
Let me know what other technique has worked for you… Always looking for ways to make life easier~~