Work from home is more convenient than office work in more ways than one. What appears to be a significant issue for collar workers is – lack of socialization.
The good news is - communication has never been going stronger than nowadays, with the only difference being it moving to an innovative setting, namely online. This would be the first trait to keep when things return to “normal.”
1. Use online communication apps
Many people use apps for communication on a daily basis. Some have relatives and friends abroad, and others work remotely… but these are only the most obvious of reasons. Even if you don’t fall into one of these categories, you should get used to the convenience of the at-a-click communication. Why?
At the most basic level, being privy to the wonders of the internet makes no sense if all one does is waste time checking emails, clickbaits and trivial all day long. “Unwinding” has gotten a whole new makeover and has become almost synonymous with slacking off.
Why not use communication apps to make new business connections or host a celebration online?
Here’s a first-hand example. I used to meet weekly with a mixed and varying group of people before the quarantine. Now that this has become impossible, the meetings have moved to Zoom. In spite of the obvious disadvantage that people aren’t physically together, I beg to differ when it comes to complaints about the setting being “artificial.”
I am sorry extroverts, but some people simply don’t handle crowded places well. The noise, the rush, the mingling… it’s hysterical rather than relaxing.
Next on, business meetings are way more convenient online. For one thing, participants are more relaxed and for another – nobody has to spend hours getting ready for and commuting to the meeting place… in which you’ll no doubt recognize another benefit: extra time.
2. You have more time than you think – use it well!
Many people have only now realized that they normally waste 3+ hours every day on tasks they don’t even count in their busy schedules. Taking a morning shower, getting dressed for work, having breakfast, and commuting alone account for at least an hour – and that only if you’re rushing things. Add to that lunch breaks, meaningless tasks, and commuting back home after doing some after-work grocery shopping, and you’ll see that you can easily spend all that wasted time in a more efficient way… and I’m not referring to job-related tasks.
The average eight hours spent working can be easily boosted by drafting a schedule listing the tasks by importance. Important tasks with reasonable deadlines should always come first. Leave the rest for later, including the breaks in-between.
Once the quarantine is over, keep this habit. Not only will it make your working hours easier, but you’ll also enjoy the satisfaction of success. Not to mention that, in this way, you’ll get to keep the extra hours. By leaving the less important tasks out for the moment, you’ll maximize the efficiency of your work and get a well-deserved break to do whatever you want, for example, exercise.
3. Keep working out
We all know there’s nothing easier than slacking off when it comes to exercise, especially when we’re confident we have “all the time in the world.” How exactly we’ve all turned to modern Scarlett O’Haras in a mere matter of weeks is a wonder. It only goes to show that we tend to postpone some activities in favor of others in the name of “unwinding.” Usually, the latter turns out to be wasting time in front of the screen, in one way or another.
Regular exercise keeps stress levels low, if nothing else. Even beginners should give a light workout a chance, especially now when there’s a multitude of free plans online and when there’s plenty of time. Even 15 minutes a day is better than nothing, so there are really no excuses.
Keep this trait when all this is over. Nothing keeps one more relaxed and ready for the daily challenges like a regular routine. The choice of the workout doesn’t matter; anything that suits you is just fine.
4. Keep new work-related routines
Obviously, not all routines can be kept, especially if you’re temporarily working from home, but many others can – and should!
Remember to sort out daily tasks by importance. This alone will keep you stress-free throughout the day. Apply any other helpful tips you learned while working from home, including taking regular breaks. Enjoy them! Now that you can or soon will enjoy lunch with your colleagues again, you’ll begin seeing things in a new light. (Remember, you used to talk only online for a while.)
The lessons learned during the quarantine are likely to stick around forever. The key is in turning them into pleasant memories and applying best practices to your “normal” life. We all work too much. No matter what your boss is telling you, your salary is there to help you enjoy your life - not make it a misery in the name of a better life. Schedule, hang out online, exercise, enjoy home-cooked meals, and – memorize the quarantine jokes!