By Karan Chhabra
The present Coronavirus global pandemic has caused immense uncertainly and waged a war against mankind. Even as cases have spread to over 200 countries and nearly 40,000 individuals have succumbed to complications caused by the virus, it is still weeks before things return to normal. In the meanwhile, responsible companies have understood people’s fear over their physical health and rolled out mandatory work from home (WFH) arrangements.
Of course, WFH is well in tune with social distancing and self-quarantine, each of which is necessary to ‘flatten’ the Coronavirus curve. However, there is a reason why office spaces exist in the first place (else, everyone would have worked from home!), and it can get difficult to manage time well from the home desk. However, as it turns out, all it takes is a few adjustments. Here are five ways to manage time effectively during the current lockdown period:
Communicate effectively: Keep the communication with your bosses, managers, and colleagues crystal clear. It is best to set daily goals and share it with them, and, of course, let them know if you are unable to complete a task. A good way to kick off the day is to schedule a brief call with your team.
Divide your day into chunks: Your day in office probably went a bit like this: A meeting followed by a lunch or coffee break, and then on to another meeting. At home, you are likely to work long hours at a stretch, without a break. This does not help boost productivity at all; instead, you lose concentration, and feel fatigued and sluggish. Therefore, divide your day’s work into chunks with small power breaks in between. Each time you resume work, you are refreshed.
Reconnect: Thank heavens for the Internet. With more time on your hands—as work from home obviously saves travel time—there is a lot you can focus on before and after work. At the same time, self-isolation from friends and family may make you feel lonely. So it is a good idea to use the power of 4G and video calling to connect with people close and reconnect with the not so close. Also, as many employees live with their respective families, it is a great opportunity for family bonding.
Upskill: No pressure here, but isn’t now a great time to evaluate your present skillset and perhaps strive for more? That way, when you are back to office, people will be impressed at how much you have improved and your bosses will admire your increased productivity. As you are not as busy as usual, there are so many online training courses and certifications that you can go for. (Especially those that you had previously abandoned due to a lack of time.)
Take care: This is the most important tip. Love yourself! It is a tough, stressful, almost debilitating time. And that is not going to change overnight. Here is where mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing becomes important. All this will keep you productive at work, and positive in outlook. While WFH often keeps people in their jammies and there is nothing wrong with that, one must exercise around work timings and definitely catch up on hobbies and passions that help relieve stress and build character. You could read books, garden, learn a musical instrument online, or maybe even engage in a heartfelt conversation with your spouse.
The author is the CEO of Servtel.