We have all heard of the term “new normal” as we continue to navigate our everyday lives amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This buzz phrase has been used so much that we begin to associate this in what we do every day – working from home, planning activities, and celebrating life’s milestones, among others. In terms of pursuing our professional careers, working from home has now become the norm rather than the exception.
If you are new to the work-from-home lifestyle, whether due to COVID-19 or because you have managed to find a remote-based job, you may have found that you need to reevaluate your habits and daily routines to make working from home a productive setup for you.
READ: Can We Work From Home?
As we aspire to progress in our careers in whatever industry we are in, albeit in this new work arrangement, thinking strategically on how to adapt well is paramount. Here are 5 ways to make working from home a better experience overall.
1. PLAN IT OUT
When we work in an office or any semblance of a work location, we are usually around colleagues. These same colleagues generally influence the structure of our day may it be through meetings, alignment huddles, and the like. Even during quick breaks, we spend this time interacting with our workmates more often than not.
This is effectively taken away from us when we work from home. Hence, some may feel that their day is less structured because the things that they are used to do with others suddenly cannot be possible anymore.
This is where efficient planning comes in. We suggest keeping a more structured daily schedule than usual and stick to it to keep your productivity at a high level. Writing it down and sticking it somewhere you can easily see and refer to from time to time can be a good strategy. You may also try setting up personal calendar reminders to keep your day organized. Remember also to keep these plans attainable for that day to avoid burning yourself out or adding unnecessary pressure.
Working from home almost always requires you to communicate much more regularly than what you are used to.
Since you are not able to see your colleagues face to face every day, you are also not able to talk to them regularly most especially about important schedules, reminders, deadlines, and much more. This could also include informing them about upcoming leaves which could have an impact on certain timetables previously set.
Don’t be shy about communicating with them. Send them an email, a private message, or even a text. If you start to feel awkward, try mixing up the approach by jokingly saying that you have mentioned a certain deadline, vacation, or plan eight times already, then mention it again.
Being a strategic and efficient communicator while working remotely is surely an asset that will benefit you more than you know.
3. BE POSITIVE AND ENCOURAGING
In relation to the previous point, working from home usually means speaking with your colleagues through different team messaging apps like WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Skype, and much more. And oh, don’t forget about the traditional SMS and Email.
As with any conversation done online, misunderstandings are bound to happen if either party is not aware or sensitive enough of how he presents himself while talking online.
This is where being *extra* positive and encouraging come in. It may sound cheesy or overly gushy, but you could try appearing to be more enthusiastic and accommodating in your messages by playing around with punctuation marks (!!!), emojis 😁, and smileys. <3 Trust us, you’re going to need them. 😀
GreatDay HR has an integrated Internal Communications feature in its mobile app allowing employees to communicate with each other via the chat function. This is especially beneficial to smaller businesses because some platforms may require additional payment to access the full features of their standalone apps.
Apart from this, you can also share files, create polls, and post in your company’s Smart News Feed just like the social media platforms existing now, but in a more professional setting. With GreatDay HR, all these are included in the package, ready for you to use!
A good thing to know also is that getting this chat function becomes possible once you subscribe to GreatDay HR Pro for an affordable price! Apart from this, you will also get the benefits of automating your daily HR and Payroll processes while making HR management much easier.
4. FIND A ROUTINE THAT WORKS FOR YOU
Personalize. That is the key term. Different routines work for different types of people so try to find one that will suit you best and will bring out your most productive self. It is okay however to pattern or take inspiration from others most especially if you feel that your routine is becoming too rigid or rudimentary with the changing times.
More importantly, come up with a personal routine that is balanced. Eat on time, take appropriate breaks, and insert a few minutes for exercise so that you won’t feel burned out.
5. SOCIALIZE WITH COLLEAGUES
We all have different personalities. Some consider themselves extroverts while some are introverts. Introverts usually manage better in a remote setting due to minimal socialization. Meanwhile for extroverts, feeling disconnected, lonely, or isolated may take a toll on their work habits and overall productivity.
As we are living in a more technologically advanced world today amidst the pandemic, more collaborative apps that give way to online social interactions are becoming more prevalent.
GreatDay HR offers GreatDay Meet – a secure video conference solution with end-to-end encryption and can be accessed via web or the mobile app. Employees in a single organization can use this platform to set meetings internally or externally. Companies can use this platform to also hold monthly socialization events online in order to keep their employees engaged and acquainted.
The good news? This feature is already bundled once you subscribe to GreatDay HR Pro! This means getting the benefits of automating your HR and Payroll processes and managing the attendance, leaves, benefits, and much more of your team at an affordable price point.
All in all, we can surmise that working from home during this pandemic need not be a hassle or a major adjustment for everyone. We can always make room for changes and tweaks that can improve our overall experience and increase our productivity. Not to also mention that by working from home, we are taking that extra step of keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe.
By taking advantage of the technology available around us such as GreatDay HR where automating daily HR processes becomes much easier with its HRIS and Payroll solutions, while being bundled with useful must-haves like Internal Chat and Smart Feed functions as well as GreatDay HR Meet, working from home may not be a restrictive new normal after all.