“Work from home” is now a common phrase as a result of the current pandemic – #CORONAVIRUS. Who wouldn’t agree that the outbreak of COVID-19 has brought upon the Business world a whole new level of change to work pattern. At the exit of COVID-19, corporate bodies and businesses will likely adopt this new approach to work, not all news will be bad. This article is not travel related, however, in the wake of COVID-19, i thought it will be of great help to share my experience as most people now work remotely from home. #stayhome to #staysafe.
Prior to now, some owners of small, medium and even large businesses, including myself, have been working from home. Truthfully, it may be quiet challenging to stay focus and productive when working from home as several distractions stare in your face constantly as oppose to traditional office space. It can be done, with adjustments made here and there overtime.
Let me share with you some simple techniques i have applied over time that helps me to stay not only focus but productive.
1. Most preferred
When i left my 9-5 paid job to start my entrepreneur journey, working from home was an option i made as regards to work space. My home was going to be my office, thanks to my line of Business (travel and hospitality) bulk of job function is pretty much online.
What i needed more was to run-up on technology and run-down on human resources. Operational cost such as rent, power etc was also a factor that i considered.
2.My work space
My work space is my rented home apartment! i created a space in my dinning section, currently, i am re-designing hence i have no pictures to upload now. Not to worry, i will let you sneak in once completed. See what i found when i sneaked into a fellow blogger home office online, you bet i will be incorporating several stuffs from there. I am doing it myself #DIY, i recommend designs that brings seriousness to your work but with lively finishing to create the right ambience. Personally, the space i spend a good part of my day shoould motivate me to look forward to each day.
Some of the things i used previously will definately be retained. I am looking at adding wall frames, life plants, some splash of cool colors, I need ideas though. Just do whatever works for you.
I am the real paperless boss, so i intentionally have little space reserved for papers. I rather save documents on files and hard drives.
3.My work routine
I follow the model of how i used to work in my past 9-5 job, and i really liked it. I draw up my next day schedule on the eve or close of business of the previous day, but of course i am flexible and make room for necessary changes when the need arise. A planner keeps me on track to plan for daily, weekly and monthly tasks, meetings and events.
My office hours starts at 9am and close by 4pm then to resume at 9pm -10pm then i close out for the day. In between these hours, i take minimum of 10mins – maximum of 20mins at intervals for like 4 times to check on my kiddo, rejuvinate mentally and physically, chat with colleauges & friends, sneek into facebook, twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn.
I would suggest flexiblility and ablility to adapt easily to situations that may arise is a plus. Somedays can be pretty distracting with ittle activities of life that may spring up, which will get me off track. Its perfectly okay to deviate, it haapens even in traditional offices, my resolve is to always get back and keep moving.
One advantage of working from home, is that i am able to juggle home task even while working.
4. All work! All swag!!
I bring my “A” game to work each day, the right attitude does the magic even though some days might not just be it – #undertheweatherdays. When i go shopping, i still pick out work clothes even though i work from home. I have a wardrobe for work, never heard of it before, well, you just did right here. I often take it further by wearing lipsticks, cocktail of perfumes, who does that? well i do. I take my work seriously by grooming accordingly just like its done in corporate world.
Exercise is a big part of my daily living, not just to keep fit but great for mental health. My preferred exercise are activities that are outdoor (i am not a gym girl). I walk around my neighborhood usually at mornings or evenings, my walking partner is my cute son in his stroller, awesome bonding times i cherish wholeheartedly. Another thing i do in between work that i recommended are few minutes off work for physical hard stretches, i mostly do quick run up and down staircases.
I work better with music playing sofly in my background, my choice of music pretty much goes with my mood at work. Varieties from afropop,rap, jazz,pop to rock, i stay in touch with events around the world by watching CNN and Channels Tv news, several programs that i also like to watch (i call content) are good distractions.
5. Marketing and Meetings
The principal to source for new market is same, so i do it like is done in traditional offices. I search for potentials offline and online, attending and participating at formal events is part of my KPI. Most of my meetings are held in places that is suitable for both parties. I use skype, zoom and even whatsapp for online meetings.
Becuase my home is my office, places i use often for meetings are my co-working place, reaturants, cafee. Digitally technology has made life in the Business world easy, they are tremedous tools for working remotely from home.
I like to tell start-ups who are looking to work from home, to get a co-working space that they go to work aside from home. I have a co-working space that i go to twice in a week, i find out that co-working space is a new game changer that complements working from home. You are able to socialize more with people, another plus is partnership,collaboration and new market opportunties. My co-working space is bae!
7.Minimize distraction for productivity
Its so easy to get distracted when your office is home, more displicine is required than the formal. Your friends and family might feel that because you work from home, means you are available for personal use which is not only distracting but also disrespectful to your job. Come to think of it, do you receive parcels for neighbours in your work place, so treat your home office like same.
For me, i ensure i tell my neighbours that i work from home and i would appreciate they respect my work time.
I make my friends understand that i do not welcome visits during business hours. I try hard to be firm on my decision, fortunately members of my family feel the same way too.
Aha! although my toddler is exempted, he constantly cribs into my work space for his hugs and kisses.
8.Work life balance
Like i mentioned, i try to check out from my desk several minutes during working hours to balance my work life. These breaks could be for ice tea,lunch,check-in on family or call on a friend or colleague.
My weekends are strictly for family and friends in this particular order, even so, i still check into work to read emails and respond to urgent request.
My plan for the weekends are usually lite, no dull moment, all work and no play makes Vera not just a dull girl but selfish mummy.
I see more companies adopting this style of work at the exit of #CORONAVIRUS pandemic. Working remotely from home is equally as productive as traditional offices. Changes like this could bring huge ripple effects such as reduction in cost of operations and decongestion of rush hour traffic.
I work from home, and I own my ARENA!