None of us ever thought that there will be a day when the world will come to a standstill. It’s been more than a year since the pandemic inundated us with a series of unprecedented events and impacted almost every sphere of our life- the way we meet and greet people, the way we work and the way we travel. We made all the necessary adjustments in the way we live and gradually came to terms with it.
However, these dramatic shifts eventually reduced to a great extent and with the availability of vaccines and selective sectors of the economy returning to their workplaces, it seemed like we are going to return to normalcy soon. But then the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic hit us hard and we are in the middle of second wave now. Any prospect of ‘return to normalcy’ seems like a wild goose chase as of now, even after the distribution of vaccines. This can be ascertained by the intensity of the second wave we are dealing with currently.
With most of the states either under lockdown or selective restrictions in place, corporates have once again resorted back to the WFH model.
WFH model is a double-edged sword, it can be counted as a privilege- especially in trying times like these but at the same time it can also take a toll on your work-life balance. It is extremely difficult to concentrate and stay productive with so many distractions around especially when you are used to working in the formal setting with minimal distractions.
However, since WFH is the current reality, listed below are some of the handy tips you can follow to strike a perfect balance between work life and personal life and to stay productive throughout.
1) Choose the perfect corner: The first and the foremost thing to be considered while setting up a mini workplace at your home is to find a peaceful corner in your house, away from the chaos of the daily life. If you set up your table in some corner that’s close to road side, you would probably hear vehicles honking all the time, people bellowing at the top of their voice and who knows, you witness a dramatic roadside fight! But no, all these won’t be fruitful for you. It will rather be difficult for you to concentrate on your work in such an environment. You won’t be able to attend/conduct meetings smoothly. Also, make sure this corner doesn’t lie close to your neighbour’s window. A friend once told me that whenever her neighbour used to yell at her kids, her Canadian clients would stop the meeting in the middle and would ask her to tell her neighbour to not shout at her kids. She would often admit that it was a matter of great embarrassment for her.
Apart from peaceful and quiet atmosphere, you should also ensure that there’s ample natural light falling at your workstation. These are some of the minute details to be kept in mind while setting up a home office. These will not only save you from big embarrassments but will also help you in focusing at your work.
2) Prioritize Comfort: Uncomfortable chair or desk may not only impact your overall output but can also lead to some serious health issues. Working for long hours without proper support may lead to posture problems. Monitor should be placed 20 inches from your eyes and slightly below the level of your eyes. Hence, invest in furniture (preferably ergonomic chairs) that support your back and make working for long hours comfortable. Do not compromise with your comfort and health.
3) Set Targets: Whether you work from office or work from home, always set goals for yourself and reassess them regularly. Working from home can introduce you to a set of new opportunities altogether and can also pose a different set of challenges for you. Adjust your goals accordingly. Divide your goals into short term and long-term goals. Set daily targets. Determine your KPIs- Key Performance Indicators in line with your short term and long-term goals. Analyse your KPIs on regular basis. Setting goals will give you a direction and help you keep track of your performance.
4) Stay Disciplined: When you are working from home, the line between work life and personal life gets blurred. There are greater chances that you would be caught in situations where you end up working for longer hours to keep yourself free the next day or you may just binge watch Netflix and procrastinate. Doing so will ruin your work-life balance. Hence, follow a fix routine, stay disciplined while working and minimize distractions.
5) Organize Online Gatherings: Working in an isolated environment with absolutely no scope of recreation activities can make your schedule mundane and boring. This can affect the overall output too. Hence, it’s important for you to take some time off from work and indulge in some sort of fun games or breezy chill sessions. With current lockdowns and restrictions in place, organizing any such activity physically is impossible and isn’t safe too. Hence, to compensate for that short coffee breaks in office you can organize fun activities on zoom call with your colleagues or strike a conversation apart from work. These, of course, can’t replace your watercooler talk at your office or your constant fight for your favourite coffee mug but will definitely compensate for that.
Times are difficult and it goes without saying that this pandemic, undoubtedly, has taken a toll on everybody’s patience and mental health. But even in this scenario, try to identify the silver lining. No matter how much you hate the current situation, you can’t deny that WFH is a privilege very few can have. There are so many people out there who are in the frontline, risking their lives. Things are difficult but we all will have to get through this phase. We need to embrace everything that’s going on around us, feel thankful for all the privileges that we enjoy and try to look for the brighter side.