Smart Strategy

Best practices for working from home

Best practices for working from home

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Dr Malini Saba

Saying that the pandemic has changed the way we live and work is old news. However, years of the traditional office based working ecosystem is deeply ingrained within us and we are still learning the ropes of working from home. 

While it does cut down on the commute, working from home has led to a rise in the rate of burnouts, breakdowns and stress. While some may have returned to their normal work routine, many continue to work from home or are undergoing the work routine in a phased manner. 

For those who find it difficult working from home, you are not alone. Here are a few practices that can be implemented every day to take away the ‘woe’ from ‘working from home’. 

1. Set a routine and stick to it

When working from the office, there was a set routine and the appropriate number of hours that we used to give to our work, the most common timeline being the 9-5 hours. It is important for employees to set boundaries and stick to them to ensure the stability in their mental as well as physical health. 

Consider the following factors when setting up a work schedule 

  • When your boss requires your availability.
  • Seamless communication with your team members
  • Your most productive time of the day

2. Dress the part

It is very important to look good to feel good. While we may be at the peak of comfort in our jammies, the casual wardrobe tricks the brain into relaxing rather than working. Therefore, before you start the day, put out your work clothes, take a shower and dress yourself the way you would if you were to go to the office. 

3. Keep your workstation clean

If you are lucky to have your own work corner, then it is your responsibility to look after it as well. At your home-office, you are the owner as well as your janitor. Declutter your space and pick up the trash as you end your day. This will help you start your next day on a clean and positive note. 

4. Plan your breaks

All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. It is easy to lose yourself in deadlines and forget to take a breather. It is important that you schedule breaks as they will not only help you take a breather but also determine your rate of work flow. Try Pomodoro technique where you work for 25 minutes and take 5 minutes off. 

5. Switch on an instrumental

The state of flow is often described as the best state of mind where you are most productive and do some of your best work. For some, achieving this flow is a piece of cake. For others, it is recommended that they tune into instrumental music as they tap away at their keyboard. Binaural beats, classical instruments are some of the flow inducing music. 

6. Stay connected 

Working remotely is a lonely process. The feeling of isolation is all too common and we might end up being less productive as a result. Have virtual coffee meet-up with your colleagues, plan interactive game sessions and much more to keep the gloomy moments away.

7. Be kind to yourself

We continue to live in unprecedented times and often, it is too much to handle. Be kind to yourself during these difficult periods and remember that it is okay to make mistakes. Do things that make you happy. 

The writer is Founder & Chairman, Anannke Foundation

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