The coronavirus pandemic has upturned the world economy. Airlines stocks have been pummeled, companies like Zoom have seen their valuations rise manifold. Thousands of viable businesses, including restaurants and theatres, have shut down. The Olympics have been postponed. But the biggest change that’s happened for millions of employees around the world — and one that many feel could last well after the pandemic is over — is the widespread adoption of working from home.
Employees across the world, in all manner of industries, are now working from home. This is true as much of big companies — Google, Facebook and Amazon have announced that their employees will work from home till the middle of next year — as small companies. Some companies have gone remote-first altogether: Shopify and Quora have said that they’ll work remotely henceforth, and not have permanent offices.
All this means that millions of people, hitherto accustomed to working from offices, are now working from home. Intially, this had seemed like a welcome change — employees were saving the time they’d have normally spent on commutes, and were also able to work from the comfort of their homes. But as the pandemic drags on, some burn out has set in. Here are some ways to effectively work from home and stay productive whatever happens: there’s no telling how much longer you might have to do it.
1. Get yourself a nice workstation: While it might feel like a good idea to lounge on your bed and work, it’s not something you can do long-term. Make sure that your home office has a proper desk and a chair. Not any chair will do: make sure your chair is ergonomic, and supports your back. If possible, buy a proper work chair. It’s an investment that’ll keep paying off: not only will a proper set up help you be more productive, it’ll also help you remain healthy, and avoid the nagging back pains that can result from improper posture.
2. Get yourself a proper internet connection: One of the big perks of working in an office is the internet: it’s fast, it’s reliable, and there are no usage caps to worry about. An important step to being simulating your work environment at home is to invest in a good internet connection. There are many plans to choose from, but get a plan that’s fast, reliable, and has high bandwidth.
3. Take breaks: Working from office means that there are regular breaks, intentional or otherwise. A colleague might walk up to your desk, you might be called into a meeting where you really aren’t required to contribute much. Working from home, on the other hand, can be a lot more busy. So it’s important that you take regular breaks when you’re working from home. Go for a walk, listen to some music, cook a meal: make sure you aren’t burning out.
4. Spend some time away from the screen: In office, you get regular breaks from your screen. You can chat with colleagues, and spend time in meetings. All that now happens over the computer. This can be harmful for your eyes: make sure you take breaks from your screen every hour or so. You can also consider using eye drops to help relax your eyes: consult your optometrist for which ones you can take. If your eyesight is deteriorating, you should book an eye test as you may need glasses or contact lenses. Myday daily lenses are often a popular choice for those required to wear lenses.
5. Set working hours: Many corporate employees have reported feeling burnt out after long periods of working from home. This is because there are no fixed timings to work when you’re at home — employees are working longer hours than ever with no fixed timings. You must impose some timings on yourself to be able to work from home long-term. Set a deadline: even if you’re at home, make it clear you won’t take meetings or work beyond a set time. This will help you effectively detach from work, and prevent you from burning out.