Hackernoon logoWorking from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Challenges and Tips To Help by@sophie-zoria

Working from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Challenges and Tips To Help

Sophie Zoria Hacker Noon profile picture

@sophie-zoriaSophie Zoria

Remote work and the associated social distancing is one of the ways to halt the outbreak of coronavirus - an enormous challenge facing the entire world in 2020. While more and more companies urge their employees to shift to working from home, and people eagerly accept the change to avoid public spaces, there are a wealth of concerns regarding what it will all be like:

  • Will those who have not worked online before be able to concentrate and avoid procrastination? 
  • Will they be able to resist panic and other mental health issues?  
  • How long will it take for employees to embrace the digital working environment?

These and other questions torment employers and employees alike, as no one can risk losing productivity amidst the looming financial crisis

If you feel confused and lost having to work from home during the coronavirus outbreak, the following tips will help you regain confidence and stay productive.  

Stop Thinking It’s a Temporary Measure. (Even If It Is.) 

Assuming that quarantine measures will last just for a short period of time, people start making excuses for uncompleted tasks and missed deadlines and postpone making important transformative changes. It is a sure way to failing your business. Here is what you can do instead: 

Organize a permanent working space in your home, separate from your leisure area;

Get all the necessary technology (if not provided by the company) and dig into all the features of team management tools your company is using; 

Make sure you have a reliable internet connection as well as an internet back up plan. For example, it would be sound to buy a mobile broadband modem or preorder the Nect MODEM that is going to ensure affordable and secure 4G LTE connection whether you’ll be working from home or from woods, away from the city crowd

Don’t put off the projects that were meant to kickstart after a business trip or any other event canceled due to the pandemic - try to settle everything through online means.

Expect that you will be compelled to work from home for the whole year or two, and you will quickly find yourself fully equipped to cope with the current situation. 

Set Working Hours and Stick to Them 

Working from home allows more flexibility. Still, it is important not to abuse this freedom if you truly want to stay organized and productive. Instead, follow these recommendations: 

Have a schedule

Unless you are a working parent and need to adjust your schedule to accommodate childcare-related tasks, you should better stick to regular working hours. This way, all the teammates can be sure that you are online and ready to attend to the business matter. 

Start early

Get down to tasks before your official “working day” begins. The case is, people often use commuting time to wake up fully and get into a productive mood. 

Without a clear transition from home to office, it is easy to find oneself relaxed and unfocused when the clock strikes nine. If this is the first time you start looking into your to-do list, you are likely to waste lots of time before you can immerse yourself in the tasks. 

Take breaks

Working from home doesn’t mean eating in front of your computer. Take a longer break for lunch and regular short breaks for coffee and chatting with colleges - just like you do while working at an office. 

Set time for news and social media

Do not let reading news and social media invade your working time - schedule a limited time for these activities during your day. Staying up to date is important, but attending to unduly sensational headlines and coronavirus statistics updates are sure to ruin your productivity and increase anxiety. 

Get Some Fresh Air 

Don’t stay at home - is a common recommendation for those who want to stay productive while working from home. The suggested alternatives are coffee shops, public lounges, libraries, and coworking centers. And all of these are either closed or not recommended to visit during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Nonetheless, leaving home is vital either for staying productive or for taking care of your precious immunity system. 

Despite the pandemic and quarantine measures, it is not only okay to take a walk (or go jogging, or cycle) but also necessary to do so to avoid mental and physical health issues and get the chance to air your home. A few rules to remember here are:

To keep a social distance of six feetTo avoid using elevators and public transport to reach parks or recreation zonesTo avoid touching door handles, elevator buttons and other potentially contaminated surfaces

Working from a quiet place in fresh air is a great idea too. Just your computer and a portable modem will turn the site into an excellent and safe office.

Find Meaning. And Other Concluding Ideas

In his Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl prominently quotes Friedrich Nietzsche saying, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”.

After all the tips and hacks on how to stay productive when working from home that freelancers have been sharing all these years, there were still many not-able-to-work-from-home employees and not-seeing-value-in-remote-work companies.

Now, when both parties have found meaning in working from home, tacking the associated challenges may be just a matter of time.


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