July 15, 2020
As we all well know by now, the current lockdown in South Africa has completely changed our lives. Unable to travel to work owing to the lockdown restrictions, many have had no choice but to work from home. But that requires a change in the way things are usually done at the office. Let’s examine some useful tips for working from home to make life easier.
Decide to follow a daily work schedule. If you find that difficult, pretend that your boss, a colleague, or some client is there with you in your “office”. Perhaps that could make the whole exercise more “official”, especially for those who are used to rigid office hours and protocols. You need to decide when to start and finish work each day, and how many hours you need to allocate to the task at hand.
Although you have a schedule in place, working from home does allow you to be a bit more manageable. Working at the office may mean you have to be out of the building by 17h00, whereas, working from home, you could work past 17h00 if necessary. However, it would be best if you also keep a balance between work and rest.
As part of your routine, decide that after you have made that cup of coffee, you will sit down and begin work. A certain amount of discipline is required because otherwise you’ll never get started. Some of you may only be able to start early in the afternoon for other legitimate reasons.
Your family at home need to be fully informed what your work routine entails, and when you can be disturbed, and when not. This is important because family members can unwittingly abuse the situation just because you happen to be at home. “Darling, please won’t you do me a favour and help me get those curtains down?” This could mess up your work schedule for that morning while working towards a deadline. In some cases, you may have to tell your family or whoever may be living in your space to pretend that you are actually not physically there. A severe crisis would then be the only exception.
If you are working away from your company office, it is essential to take the official breaks at home. You could take a quick walk outside in the garden once every hour and smell the roses. It is vital for the wellbeing of your eyes to give them regular breaks from intense computer work. Try not to use your mobile phone while having a break, because technically your eyes are still not resting. Don’t cut down on your lunch hour if possible.
If you can, a quick trip to the shops a few times a week for food can free you of that ‘cabin fever.’ It will freshen up your mind as your attention is focussed away from your work, and onto more mundane things.
These are just a few tips that will help you lead an enjoyable and balanced lifestyle while working from home.
Remember though, that during the lockdown and its current less-restrictive state, you may well have to use your car. Are you happy with the cover you have? Maybe consider getting affordable car insurance with PMD that includes unique benefits like reduce to zero excess* and fixed premiums*? *T’s and C’s apply.