Working from home: Can you handle it?

Thursday March 19 2020

Having friends over is OK, but do not entertain them during your working hours. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH


As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of employees have been asked to work remotely. This has brought forth new challenges as individuals try to balance the demands of home and work life in the face of the fast spreading virus.

Indeed, working from home can be so much fun. You get to eat home cooked lunches every day and no distractions from co-workers. What’s more, you get to save on time and money spent commuting to work!

On the flip side, this arrangement can quickly get overwhelming especially if you find it difficult to concentrate at home, hence failing to meet your deadlines.

Here are some helpful tips to guide you.


Working virtually is different from being in an actual office where you can talk to your boss any time, and can provide regular updates to your colleagues about your work progress. This should not stop just because you are away from the office. You can request to have a virtual meeting every day with your supervisor or employer so that you can exchange useful information that can help you deliver on your role.


Select a good location

If you work from your bed with your pyjamas on, you may be tempted to go back to sleep. Select a suitable room within your house and try to make it look like an office. Avoid places that are close to your bed, the couch, TV or music system.

Create a daily work schedule

With an elaborate, daily plan of what you intend to do, you will be able to determine your progress and find out whether you’ve failed in your objectives. Without it, you are bound to get distracted.

Be ready for internal conflict

Even after setting aside a specific place for work and creating a daily work schedule, it may not be easy to adjust to working remotely. Convincing your mind to get on with that report instead of catching up with your favourite TV series might be hard at the beginning, but things will definitely get easier with time.

Do not let friends stop by

Have you ever noticed that whenever you are busy, all your friends want to come over to chat or to watch a game? Having friends over is OK, but do not entertain them during your working hours. Once you have created a work schedule, be strict and only allow them in during your free time.

Stay out of the kitchen

Long, leisurely lunch breaks and countless strolls to the kitchen to get drinks and snacks will only waste more time. If you want to accomplish your mission of the day, avoid the kitchen as much as you can. If that’s hard for you, consider keeping some snacks close by so that you can munch as you work.

Turn off the phone

It is quite difficult to concentrate when your phone is buzzing with funny Gifs and memes. Unless you really need it, turn off the phone until you are done working. You will be amazed to find out that nothing much changed while you were unavailable.

Get out

Do not spend the whole day indoors. Take a stroll, go swimming or join your friends for a coffee date. Point is, do something you enjoy.

Take regular breaks

Your mind and body need rest. You can use the break time to snack or make an important call. However, it is not advisable to use that time to perform household chores, as you may end up getting distracted.

Enjoy it

The good thing about working from home is that you are your own schedule planner. You get to know when you need to work and when to call it a day. Work when you can, and rest when you can. Enjoy this period, but remember to get the work done.