“Take out the trash, prepare a meal, play with the children” … The first thing an employee will face when switching to remote work? – misunderstanding on the part of the family. Since you are still at home, you can be distracted for a few minutes to help with the housework. Minutes turn into hours, and the daily volume of work has to be completed at night, destroying not only the creative fervor, but also any desire to work … It’s even worse if the work is connected with communication with other people: partners or clients via Skype or phone. Will serious negotiations be successful if children’s voices or grunts from households are heard in the background? How can you explain to your family that you are locked in a separate room, not because you are tired of them, but because you need to complete the tasks set by management?
First of all, by defining clear boundaries of both their time and the working area. At the family council, announce that your company has been quarantined, that all employees have been transferred, albeit to a remote, but full-time, so you start working from home. Hang a sign on the door that at certain hours the room turns into an office. Disable your phone and family chat messengers. Installing a castle is a good idea – even with the best of intentions, relatives can distract you by offering tea or asking how you are doing.
The main thesis that needs to be conveyed to family members is that working from home differs from working in an office only in that you do not have to waste time traveling. In all other respects, your absence is as complete as if you were working on the other side of Moscow, from where you cannot rush home, because you need to take out a bucket or warm up porridge right now. And even if you and your family are separated not by several metro stations, but only by a five-centimeter interior door or even a thin screen – you are not at home. Are you at work.
Having decided on the boundaries of the territory, you need to designate the time frame of your “absence”. But both your family and you will have to observe them. You didn’t stay late at the office every day, did you? Do not linger in remote work conditions either. Your main distraction – your family – is also your main source of inspiration and motivation. She also needs your presence, attention and help. They need your support especially during these troubled times.
Therefore, make a cut-off signaling the end of the working day: it can be an alarm clock or a special program that minimizes working windows on the computer. Ideally, tie the completion time to the start of your favorite TV show or dinner together.
Tip: A fundamentally flawed strategy is trying to set boundaries through scandal. We do not rush in the office with colleagues, tearing us off from business, we don’t need to do this with households who are adopting a new way of life after you. Think of this process as a trial period in a new place – getting used to the team and new rules. Do not forget that all members of your family also experience stress due to the difficult economic and epidemiological situation and need your care, support and help.
Cut off entertainment
One of the most common mistakes remote workers make is the unwillingness to equip any work area at home. Why waste time and money on furnishing an office when you can start a project lying on the couch or sitting at the dining table? In addition, the quarantine is not eternal, it may end soon, and it seems that there is no need to reorganize home life for work needs. But this is not so: it will not be possible to focus on the tasks at hand in the comfort of the apartment.
The main task of a remote employee is to create a workspace that cuts off access to any temptations at home. Together with your household, you yourself must realize that, crossing the threshold of the office, you step into another sphere of life, teleport from home to the office, where there can be no favorite TV shows, interesting books, soft toys from childhood or TV. And your office should contribute to this awareness with its interior and functionality.
To do this, it is necessary to determine a place in the apartment that will be used only for work. It is not necessary to allocate an entire room for this, especially in an urban setting. Try to estimate how much space you need to work, what should be in your office, and what will be distracting. Based on this, separate part of the room and remove from there all items that are not related to work. You can zone the space with partitions, furniture or some design solutions: a different color, a step on the floor, a difference in lighting. This will make it psychologically easier to switch between household chores and work tasks. This approach will also contribute to the organization of work, allowing you to systematize work materials. You will be sure that your contracts, magazines or other documents are in the workplace and will not get lost in a pile of books or any photo album.
Organization of an office in an apartment will take only a few hours, but it can save you a lot of time, effort and nerves. And upon completion of the quarantine and return to the office, the room can again be “returned to the family.”
Advice: Inspiration and work spirit do not always come in the first minutes, and when working from home, a person often tries to find them, returning from the work atmosphere to the home. Making tea, petting a cat, reading a book, chatting with relatives … More often than not, this leads to the opposite effect – you no longer want to work. It has been proven that the maximum efficiency of the brain is achieved after 30 minutes of continuous one activity. No matter how close the home entertainment is, no matter how much I want to be distracted a little, so that further “flooded”, you have to endure and continue to work. Constantly distracted by your favorite household chores, it is impossible to tune in to a work mood. Even Alexander Pushkin believed that inspiration is the ability to bring oneself into working order.
One of the serious challenges for a remote employee is the lack of intermediate control over his activities. In the office, the employee’s working time is spelled out in the staffing table, and the effectiveness of its use is achieved by splitting the task and controlled by the boss. You will not have such conditions at home: in order to consult with colleagues, clarify the vector of work with your superiors, find out some information or find an important document on a shared server – you will have to spend a lot of time on calls or correspondence in messengers and by mail.
In such situations, an employee may encounter a phenomenon when he seems to have worked all day, but it is impossible to outline the result of his work – all his working time was spent on correspondence, calls, clarifications, clarifications … It seems he was tired, but nothing was done. I lost all my time on little things, not making a single step forward in my project. All of this comes from ineffective workflow planning.
Timing of project implementation is practically a guarantee of its implementation. The more detailed it is, the less time will be spent thinking about the next stage of the workflow. It has been proven that no matter how long the planning takes, working without a plan will take longer. There is a 10/90 formula, where 10% of the time spent planning before starting the task will save up to 90% of the time when solving it.
It is necessary to prescribe the stages of work for the day in the evening, laying in the plan both work and rest breaks. In this case, in the morning you will not have to dive into the process for a long time and remember where you left off the day before – just look at your work schedule
Tip: Whole lectures are devoted to effective time management and control of your own working day. Many practices and tricks have been created that encourage employees, including remote ones, to make the most of their working hours. The general conclusion is one: it is important to be aware of the completion of each stage of work. The brain requires certain cutoffs to symbolize the completion of a task. They serve as a kind of reward, give a sense of job satisfaction and motivate to continue creative activity. Such a cut-off can be crossing out an assignment in the diary or re-sticking a sticker with a task from the column “to be done” to “done”.
Finally, the household members realized that your work at home is a necessary measure, albeit a forced one, and cannot be ignored. The office is equipped, allows you to turn off household chores and concentrate on projects. The work is planned for the whole next week, operational communication channels have been established with colleagues and partners. At such moments, the realization may come: do I work from home or live at work?
Earlier, spending all day in the office, you missed home and your family, rushed back to the usual comfort and relaxation. And now, it seems, you are not very bored, and there is nowhere to return – you are already at home. Against the background of a general quarantine, when even shopping centers are closed, a person does not have the opportunity to change the environment, distract himself, relax and regain his creative mood. There is a danger of going into an uncontrolled peak – day by day increasing and increasing the intensity and duration of work.
To prevent this from happening, you must not deprive yourself of joy and entertainment. In addition, it is as easy as possible to do this with your beloved household members. Arrange joint games in the evenings: tournaments in polymath or what-where-when, organize a general screening of a film, invite neighbors to tea. By the way, quarantine is a good way to build friendly relations with neighbors! The virus will disappear sooner or later, and your family and new friends who have appeared during this period of forced work from home will remain with you forever.
“The labor market approached the general quarantine prepared,” comments Maria Litinetskaya, Managing Partner of Metrium (member of the CBRE partner network). – Almost 70% of Moscow office workers have tried or were considering the possibility of working remotely or working with a company as a freelancer. Not everyone is able to effectively perform the same amount of work at home as in an office environment. But with the help of loved ones, when setting up a separate office and organizing working time, almost everyone can switch to remote work without losing productivity. As you know, any crisis is a time of opportunities, and one should not miss potential opportunities today. It is possible that after defeating the virus and completing preventive isolation, we will see a boom in freelancing in the labor market. Employees who previously did not dare to give up their usual office have the opportunity to find out what it is like to work from home and choose this option of employment in the future. “
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