The coronavirus pandemic has already disrupted our usual work schedule as more and more offices are asking their employees to work from home. This is not a new concept – 43 percent of Americans work from home and the trend is also rising in Bangladesh.
However, those of us who are not used to it should be mindful of a few things before beginning to work from home. After all, some professional etiquette must be maintained regardless of where we work from.
Create the right ambiance
Instead of placing your laptop, files and other necessities on the bed – or slouching on the sofa – pull up a desk and chair to mimic your work station. Put everything you need for your work there.
Instead of sitting in the living room or the dining area, choose the bedroom or a secluded space in the house.
Turn off the TV, and lock the door if you can – make sure there are no noises or distractions around you. Tell your family members that you are working, so that they can give you the space to focus.
Wear usual office attire
Working from home should not be an excuse to remain in your pajamas. So, wear formal clothes while working, especially while attending video conferences and meetings. If not a suit and tie, at least wear a neat and clean outfit. The coronavirus might not be here for long, but you might still need your job!
Use proper communication tools
Working from home could require extensive use of phones and computers, so do a bit of research on how to use communication tools.
Google Hangouts and WhatsApp are some easy-to-use tools to make video calls. Make sure to mute your microphone when you are not talking.
If your department does not have one, create a group of colleagues in Facebook messenger or some other social media platform. Also, do not casually text or message others while talking to your colleagues.
Maintain your work hours
It is important to maintain work hours, even if you do not have to punch in sharp at 8am, or leave by 5pm. Try to begin working at a set time and wrap things up by the same time as you normally would do so at work.
A break from the usual routine might feel refreshing at the beginning, but you might also veer off-track from work if you work at unusual hours.
Take intermittent breaks
Taking small breaks inbetween work will help you de-stress and put your mind at ease. You can take a casual stroll nearby your house, or do a few stretches. Also, take your usual lunch and snack breaks to maintain your routine.
It is also equally important to remind yourself to keep calm, and try to mould your usual chores according to the new work schedule.