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Working from home in uncertain times

With COVID-19 locked-down, we are all disrupted from our regular daily routines of getting up, going to work, hitting the gym, etc.

For several people having to go to the office the change in the day-to-day routine, was possibly a change for the better. While they may not have to sit in traffic for an hour or two before getting to work, they now are faced with new challenges.

I am working from home permanently, and even my daily routine got disrupted, no more taking the kids to school, having them around all day etc.

Working from home comes with its own set of challenges. The experts suggest you still follow a daily routine to be productive:
• Get up, get dressed and go to work (your dedicated workstation at home).
o It is a temptation to sit and work in you pyjamas, working on your favourite couch; however, the experts argue that this will make you less productive.
o Just think what might happen if the boss suddenly wants to have a videoconference to get an update?
o It is also vital to have a dedicated space where you will have minimum interruptions and disturbances, especially if your kids are at home.
• Plan for the week (setting three weekly goals) and create a daily to-do list to break them down.
o It helps to get your priorities right and keep you focussed on the most important things.
o It also helps to set a steady pace and know you are making progress towards your goals.
• Get the right tools and know-how to use them effectively.
o There is nothing more frustrating if you are wasting time to get the technology working when you have to do a video meeting with the team.
o These tools can make working remotely a lot easier for you to deliver.
o These days there are many team collaboration tools like Microsoft teams and others that make the experience seamless. These tools can be enhanced by using tools like Asana or Trello.
• Take regular short breaks.
o Research suggests that you become more productive when taking short brain breaks since you can only concentrate for so long. As part of our study methods workshops, we recommend to our senior students to work for 30 minutes, take a 10-minute break, and then work again for 30 minutes.
o It is also good practice to limit interruptions during the 30 minutes, put your phone on silent and switch on the “Focus assistant” on your computer. Also, don’t look at your emails now and again. Instead set some time aside to focus on them. All of the above will help to minimise interruptions.
• Keep connected to your team.
o One can get lonely, especially if you are alone at home. Set up some time with a colleague to meet via Zoom and have a cup of coffee together. It provides an opportunity to discuss work or exchange some ideas.
Next time I will discuss: Threats for one may be an opportunity to others.

Visit our newly launched website at www.esterhuizenconsulting.co.za and leave your opinion.

Till next time.
Daniel Esterhuizen
082-773 6431

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