More Malaysians are finding themselves working from home as companies set in place policies to safeguard health and wellness as a priority factor.
Who doesn’t love curling up on a couch at home in shorts and a t-shirt for work, instead of sitting through traffic jams and crowded morning commutes to brave the daily nine-to-five at the office?
But as anyone who frequently works from home knows, the giddy freedom of being your own boss can fade as constant distractions, productivity challenges and communication issues rear their heads.
These can be anything from screaming children, nosy neighbours and even adorable pets! Thankfully, there are some steps the dedicated home-based worker can take to keep things both productive and fun.
1. Set aside a space
Executive desk ornament optional!
Working from home can blur the lines between the personal and professional parts of your life. Keep those lines distinct by setting aside a room, corner or even just a table for your productivity needs.
This space should reflect your own working style, whether it’s lounging in beanbags or maintaining good posture with a standing desk. The goal here is to maximise comfort and minimise distraction.
Separate this space from busier parts of the house (such as the living room or kitchen), and if possible, place it close to your front door in case work comes calling! Platforms such as Atap.co or the Makeover Guys are also available to help you set up your home work space.
2. Stick to the schedule!
Time flies even faster at home. In your pyjamas.
The flexibility of working from home can also lead to temptation. Why work on that email when you can binge your favourite series on Netflix instead?
Stay strong by setting up a schedule and sticking to it. This can be easier said than done, however, with distraction just a mouse click away. Leverage on tools such as Google Tasks or Todoist to keep on schedule for your to do list for the day.
To reward yourself for a productive day at work, save that Bubble tea indulge for after you knock that client proposal out the park! If you aren’t too keen to head out, use GrabFood for their awesome deals and promo.
3. Don’t work JUST from home
The trick is to make yourself at home anywhere.
As the Spotify ad goes, why work from home when you can pretend to work from a cafe instead? Jokes aside, changes in scenery can do wonders for creativity and productivity. Inspiration can be hard to find cooped at home behind a laptop monitor, after all.
Third-wave cafes are popular hangouts for today’s mobile warrior. Some are just as happy working in public places such as parks or libraries. However, these come with the danger of bumping into old friends and acquaintances.
Fortunately, co-working spaces such as Common Ground, Worq and Colony offer hotdesk, cubicle and room arrangements for the perfect mix of flexibility and privacy. Whichever you choose, remember the universal language for “I’m Busy”: a pair of headphones over your ears.
4. Stay in touch
How else are you gonna catch up on office gossip?
How many of us have friends you only ever see on social media anymore? It’s all too easy to lose touch with the people around us these days, and that goes double for colleagues if you’re working from home.
The ease and familiarity which comes when you frequently chat with colleagues can make a world of difference when it comes to work. It can also stave off boredom if you’re staying alone!
So while it’s all easy to forget, take some time to catch up with your colleagues the next time you call to settle that meeting agenda. And remember – you only need to dress presentably from the waist up for those video huddles.
5. Get the right gear
Finally, the right equipment can make a job much easier. This ranges from something as simple as a few Pasu houseplants to oxygenate your home office to finding the right Jabra headset to keep in touch with your colleagues.
The Jabra Evolve series. So you can scold your colleagues “clear-clear”.
Working from home can be a surprisingly effective solution – both for companies jumping on the remote office bandwagon as well as workers seeking a little more flexibility in their daily routines.
Balancing productivity as well as keeping in mind the health and wellness of the employee.
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