Working From Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak
For many, working from home is just the daily routine. For people unfamiliar with remote work, it can take some getting used to.
During the coronavirus outbreak, some workers are being be forced to work from home when they otherwise wouldn’t. This article discusses why preventive measures like working remotely are so important during outbreaks and provides tips for successfully working from home.
Why Is Working From Home Important During an Outbreak?
Viruses and other diseases spread more rapidly when there are lots of people together. Workplaces often have many shared surfaces and objects that can infect many people in a short period of time.
Proper prevention methods like washing hands thoroughly and avoiding close contact can help, but they sometimes aren’t enough to curb infections. In more serious cases, like the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations may ask that employees work from home or may suspend operations entirely.
Isolating workers from one another helps prevent the entire organization and its customers from being infected.
What Are Some Tips for Effectively Working Remotely?
If you’re not used to working from home, or if you struggle to stay productive in your own space, here are some tips for getting the most out of a remote workday:
- Choose a designated work area, such as a kitchen table. Working from your bed or couch can be challenging, since such locations are associated with sleep and relaxation.
- Plan and test communications. Testing remote communications might not be possible for last-minute remote work, but you should still know your options for contacting co-workers.
- Dress like you’re going into work. Your clothing can have a significant psychological effect on your performance. If you wear lounge wear, you’re less likely to be as productive as you would be wearing a business-casual outfit.
- Limit distractions. Working from home takes trust from both management and employees, so be sure to avoid browsing the internet or other activities not related to work. Sitting close to a window or near a TV can also invite distractions, so pick your work area accordingly.
- Take breaks when you need to. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t take breaks. Make sure you’re not spending more time at your workstation than you typically would in the workplace.
- Stay aware of your productivity. Working from home takes some getting used to. As you work, keep note of aspects you can improve and how your employer may be able to help. For instance, you might notice your choice of workspace is too distracting so you need to move, or you might realize you could use another monitor for your computer. If something you typically use in the workplace would aid you at home, be sure to tell your employer.
It’s important to stay in close contact with your supervisor to ensure you have everything you need to be successful when working from home.