When the pandemic first hit the world in 2020, everything went haywire. People were forced to coop indoors, and businesses bore the brunt of lockdowns. But things quickly turned better as companies embraced the remote work model. The work-from-home experiment was perhaps the best thing for organizations amid the disaster. The success of the remote model was unprecedented as it did more than only keep companies afloat. It ushered in a new era where businesses managed to save millions on operational expenses without compromising productivity and efficiency. The immense success of WFH inspired many companies to embrace it for good. While hybrid work is a norm, countless business owners have decided to let their employees work from home permanently. As a part of the workforce, you may find permanent WFH alluring and challenging simultaneously. The good thing is that the upsides of the model far outweigh its downsides, such as isolation, boredom, and distractions. Moreover, you can embrace some measures to overcome the challenges and give your best as a remote worker. Here are some proven tips for surviving and thriving in a permanent WFH setup.
Upgrade Your Home Office
Much has changed in the pandemic, and life is not the same in the new normal. You will probably not want to work from your couch or the dining table, knowing that WFH is a long-term arrangement. Upgrading your home offices sooner than later is an excellent way to get ready for working from your living space. Consider converting a spare room to a fully-equipped home office with ergonomic furniture, optimal lighting, and storage space. You can enhance the vibes of the area by personalizing its decor with awards and certificates, family pictures, and your favorite plants. Also, remember to ensure a distraction-free zone.
Seek Assistance with Your WFH Setup
Sending people to work from home is smart for employers as they can save rent, utility bills, and recreational expenses. When your company saves so much, they must give you the necessary facilities to work efficiently. Some companies provide employees with a budget to set up a home office, while others send essential gear to ensure comfort and productivity. You can seek assistance by connecting with your HR manager, and they will probably be happy to help.
Create a Realistic Routine
Working from home sounds easy, considering you can ditch the long commute hours and save money on fuel. But the other side of the picture is that you may end up slogging without the boundaries of space and time. Getting ready for permanent WFH requires creating realistic routines. Seek clarity regarding the expected timelines and scope for flexibility. Also, create boundaries because WFH does not mean taking office calls and scheduling client meetings outside work hours. At the same time, establishing a routine, and schedule time for breaks, and exercise.
Leverage the Latest Technology
Remote operations are primarily about technology because remote workers need apps to manage time to work on projects, communicate with co-workers, and track their productivity. But adopting the model permanently takes challenges and expectations a notch higher. Fortunately, you can leverage the latest technology to address both and give your best as a long-distance employee. For example, you can use a screen mirror app to connect video conferences and Zoom meetings from your computer to your TV screen. The technology is great for dealing with Zoom fatigue, as you can see the other callers on a big screen.
Strengthen Your Connections
Social isolation is perhaps the most daunting challenge of working from home, and it becomes even harder knowing that you will never return to the office. But you can deal with the feelings by strengthening your connections with your colleagues. Since the virus is no longer a threat, consider meeting your co-workers beyond office hours. You can ask your managers to organize team bonding activities to meet your team members in person. Continue with virtual coffee breaks and team activities as usual.
Working from home permanently may not be the same as a temporary arrangement. You may feel anxious and bored eventually as you stay home with no interactions with your co-workers. The best way to deal with the challenges is to foresee them and plan to address them with relevant solutions. For example, you can consider going out to a co-working space several times every week. It gives you a change of scenery and enables you to meet people. You also get the chance to build a robust network that helps in finding better opportunities in the future.
Carve out Optimal Work-life Balance
If you think that work-life balance is easy when you need not spend hours commuting to the office, wait until you get into a permanent WFH arrangement. Your employer will expect you to invest in longer work hours, and clients may call you randomly. The remote model can even ruin your work-life balance unless you consciously try to maintain it. The best way to stay is by creating boundaries for employers, clients, and co-workers. You must also get alone time, even if it means creating boundaries with your loved one. They will surely understand your needs and support you, provided you are firm and reasonable with your approach.
Permanent WFH Setup – Final Points
Permanent WFH can be a boon or a curse, depending on how you manage things at your end. You can make the most out of the convenience of working from your zone, but you will surely miss the office during the journey. The good thing is that you can get the best of both worlds by embracing the right mindset. Meeting your colleagues every now and then is a great idea, but you must do your best to enhance virtual connections. Also, ensure that remote work does not deprive you of your personal space and time because you deserve it as much as a person commuting to the office daily. Follow these simple tips to stay on top of productivity, efficiency, and sanity in your WFH setup.