- On Sunday, March 15, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, while announcing two more cases of the deadly COVID-19 confirmed in the country, urged employers, including the government, to allow employees to work from home to reduce chances of infection.
- Plenty of people fantasize about working from home, the thought of foregoing their commute in favor of more sleep sounds too appetising.
- Working from home is, however, not that easy. It’s a double-edge sword.
With the spread of the novel coronavirus rapidly spreading across the globe unrelenting infecting and affecting everything on its path from stock markets to dictating day to day human behaviours, it is slowly sinking in to millions of white collar employees that working from home is the new normal and no longer a privilege.
On Sunday, March 15, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, while announcing two more cases of the deadly COVID-19 confirmed in the country, urged employers, including the government, to allow employees to work from home to reduce chances of infection.
"Where possible, government offices, businesses and companies are encouraged to allow employees to work from home with the exception of employees working in critical or essential services," urged the president.
Plenty of people fantasize about working from home, foregoing their commute in favor of more sleep, family or exercise time. Going to the fridge to grab a bite whenever they want and to catch up with one more episode on Netflix in the middle of a task at the comfort of their couch sounds too appetising.
Working from home is, however, not that easy. It’s a double-edge sword — sure, you get to stay home, but it can be harder to focus on actually working. With great power comes great responsibility i swhat
However, it doesn’t have to be like walking across a minefield. Here are a few tips to help you get working.
Have a work routine
Many people think working from home means sitting around in pajamas the whole day with the television on in the background. Not true! Just like in an office setting, you have to set yourself up for success when working from home.
To do this try to stick to some semblance of your original work routine from before you started working from home. If you needed to be at your desk at 8 a.m wake up in time accordingly.
Just like before, wake up early, have breakfast and give yourself a little bit of time before starting to work.
Get a working desk
Just because you're not working at an office doesn't mean you can't, well, have an office. Having a boundary between work and leisure while at home is extremely important. It helps get you into a better mental space than you might think.
Find yourself a dedicated and comfortable spot to work that you can associate with your job and leave when you’re off the clock — that means get off the couch, and definitely out of bed.
While at it, get a monitor and separate mouse/keyboard so you’re not slouched over a tiny laptop.
Here’s the upside of it: one of the perks of working from home is being able to create a personalized work area in a way you may not be able to at the office.
Dress the part
Why bother to dress if you’re not going outside? You might ask.
According to a study that was published in Human Resource Development Quarterly by Researchers Joy V. Peluchette and Katherine Karl it was found that participants reported feeling more authoritative, trustworthy, and competent when wearing formal business attire.
“It’s a physical and visual distinction, and it helps me set boundaries. Otherwise you could feel like work never ends.” says Mason Donovan, author of The Golden Apple: Redefining Work-Life Balance for a diverse workforce.
Kristine Servando, Bloomberg’s deputy head of Asia digital in Hong Kong who started working from home when coronavirus broke out says “It makes me feel awake, fresh, productive, and less slovenly,”
“It was part of the mental trick of demarcating between work and the rest of your life.”
Above all stay healthy
While working from home it's easy to quickly add pounds since you are not walking as much so before you know it lethargy quickly sets in.
It’s therefore crucial that in your day as you work you also take breaks to stretch out and eat healthy.
If gyms go on lockdown, as they did in Asia, at-home workouts are a good option. Consider rolling out a yoga mat or doing a 30-minute high intensity set via online exercise videos.