The world has seen an enormous shift in the way we work over the past year and most organizations are making a conscious choice to facilitate work-from-home options for non-client facing profiles. While this began as a boon to most employees, the blurring boundaries between personal and work life have caused chaos. What does one do when you are on a conference call with colleagues and a family member wants to watch TV which is in the same space? Juggling two such delineated aspects of one’s life needs careful planning and well-thought-out preparation to ensure neither aspect loses out; productivity is not compromised at the cost of personal chores or vice-versa. Here are some pointers to keep in mind for ensuring a balance between the two realms while working from home.
Maintain a designated workspace
Just as your demeanour and immediate priorities differ when you are at home versus when you reach office, having a separate demarcated workspace will help in a similar manner. If you have the luxury of space, you can set up your workspace in a room of the house which is not visited very often by other family members. This will help you focus on your work without social interactions and noise. When you are in your ‘work room’, your family will also be more understanding of the distinction and of any possible demands on your time during your work hours. Incase a separate room is not available, you can choose a nook in the quietest corner of your house. Keep your laptop, pens and diaries there so that they beckon you to begin work at the same place everyday.
Ensure you have necessary resources handy to avoid unnecessary breaks
If your work profile demands a calculator or any other device or service, keep it handy before you begin work for the day. An essential here is a fast and reliable Internet service so ensure that you arrange for one. Also, factor in uses of the Internet service by other members of the family such as children attending classes online.
Also Read: 5 Tips to improve productivity at work
Plan your meetings and breaks
Since you are physically present in a space where your family has access to you, they may need your attention at certain time slots of the day which are usually not required when you are in office. For example, if your family gets together to have lunch at 1:30 PM each day, aim to schedule meetings and discussions with the team before or after this time slot. This will give you a breather in the middle of the day and will also avoid any distraction when there is activity or noise around you and you are trying to focus. While there may be some days with unplanned meetings that require your presence, most days can be planned out.
Communicate your requirements clearly
It is imperative for you to communicate your boundaries and requirements during WFH. If it is difficult for you to receive calls from colleagues during a certain hour slot in the day, communicate it beforehand and unless there is an emergency, people will respect your requirement. Conversely if you have a 3-hour long brainstorming session with your team, tell your family members that you will not be able to tend to their requests during that time. Communicating clearly both sets respectable boundaries and avoids several unpleasant situations where you are left wanting.
Do try out these pointers and if you have any other go-to tips for working from home, leave a comment below and we will be sure to try them.