Working from home during the COVID-19: A few tips from the Expat.com team

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Published 2020-03-24 12:20

New week for the Expat.com team. Unlike other weeks, however, we are all working from home because… well because of the COVID-19 outbreak, obviously. And, because a lot of you have probably transitioned to remote working in the last few days, we thought we would share with you how we are getting things done while working in the comfort of our homes.

Create a nice workspace

Choose a quiet corner of the house, maybe even a room if possible to install your desk, your computer and all the things you need to work as if you were in the office. Bring your notebook, pen, highlighters and everything else you might need… If possible, set your workstation by a window so you can see outsight, even catch a little sunlight from time to time.

It is better not to work in bed, in front of the television or lying on the sofa. Remember to keep your workplace clean and tidy.

Maintain a routine and good habits

Establish habits to go by every day. It is important to always set the alarm clock at the same time, take a shower and prepare a nice breakfast- just like when you go to work. The temptation to remain in your pajamas will very much be here but it is wiser to change- although you can choose to wear equally comfortable clothes.

Take the time you need for your lunch break but avoid any heavy food to avoid giving in to the temptation of the nap after eating. And drink water throughout the day.

Try not to go to sleep too late in the evening. Nothing prevents you from watching your favorite Netflix series under the covers but avoid staying awake until four in the morning. It is important to get enough rest to be productive the next day.

Prepare a schedule

It is important to have a work plan for the day, for the week or more long-term, depending on your profession. Do not leave anything to improvisation because you risk losing focus on your goals.

Create folders on your PC to sort the documents you are working on. Also, write down deadlines on a calendar so you're sure not to forget anything.

If you work in a team, stay in touch with your colleagues through a company chat, communicating is essential for passing information. If you are engaged in a common project, use Google Drive to upload files online and share them.

In all likelihood, you will have to learn to work without being constantly supervised, if you are concerned about this, ask your manager to help you organize the tasks you need to perform.

You might be tempted to check your work emails after dinner or while you are queuing at the supermarket, and you will be tempted to lighten the next day’s workload. Avoid doing it unless it is a question that requires a quick response. It is important to put limits and establish a right border between work and time to devote to yourself and your family.

How to not get distracted?

The advantage of working from home is that you can manage yourself and work comfortably but this can become a double-edged sword if you don't know how to organize your time effectively. 

So here are some suggestions not to distract you.

Avoid connecting to social networks while you are working

Every now and then you will be tempted to take a look at your friends' posts on Facebook or stories on Instagram ... do not give in to the temptation because this will only make you lose focus. If you divert attention from what you are doing, the quality of your work performance will be affected.

Mute your smartphone

Put the phone on silent and inform relatives and friends about your working hours from home, asking to respect them. It is important that your entourage understand the importance of not disturbing you because you are working and need calm and focus. On the other hand, if you were in the office, would they call you at any time of the day?

Separate your work and private life

Avoid getting up from your desk to hang out the washing machine or to make the beds, leaving a project or an email unfinished. Separate your day into three or four segments and establish times to devote to work and times to devote to your private life.

Be flexible

If you realize that you are losing focus and feeling restless, take five minutes to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. It will help you oxygenate your brain and recover with renewed concentration.

An advice

Don't get frustrated if people around you underestimate the importance and value of "smart working" at the beginning. It will happen that your parents, for example, do not understand that "working from home" is a job in all respects. Take some time to explain to them the tasks you do every day and the projects you are engaged in.

 

To conclude, you will have understood that discipline and willpower are needed to work from home. If you adopt the suggestions we have given you, and follow the daily work plan that you have set yourself, you will do it without problems ... and if you have advice to share with us based on your personal experience, enter a comment below!