The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus has shifted the way the world functions. With countries implementing new policies that limit social gathering and commuting, the work-force has had to change the way they approach work. 

The Jamaican government has now mandated that non-essential employees work from home. For some this takes very little adjustment, however, not everyone makes that transition as easily. Here are a few tips that will help make working remotely a little easier!

1. Implement A Routine and Schedule: With all the possible distractions around your home and household demands, it’s easy to go off track and not get any work done. This is especially the case if you have children at home with you while you work. Try to implement a routine that is close to your usual workday. By doing this you’ll be better able to focus and the transition won’t feel as drastic. Having a schedule for your children while they’re out of school will also help as they’ll be occupied giving you time to get your work done. 

2. Over Communicate: Though you’ll be working from home, you’ll have to maintain close communication with your team - may be more now than ever. It’s so easy for things to get lost in translation when sending an email or leaving a message so ensure your communications are as clear as possible. Pay keen attention to any ambiguity and always double-check that your message was clearly understood. If you’re on the receiving end of a message that you have any doubts about - ask. Better to over-communicate than to incorrectly assume. 

3. Use Digital Tools: Technology has provided so many great software and apps that will help bridge the gaps in having to work from home. Project management software such as Asana or ManageIt can help keep everyone accountable and give the entire team an overview of what’s in the works. For meetings, Skype and Zoom are great tools that allow you to have free conference calls to check in with each other. Once your internet connection is strong, you’re good to go! If you have a basic connection now might be the time to contact Digicel or FLOW to upgrade so you have a reliable connection.

4. Get Exercise: It’s easy to fall into the routine of getting up, working and then sitting in for the rest of the day. Be sure to go outside, go for a walk or a jog. Get fresh air and some exercise. Not only is it good for your physical health it’s also great for your mental well-being and will help with your overall productivity while you work. Find a way to make it a part of your new routine. While we’re under lockdown and it is advised to not go into any crowded areas you can walk around your yard or community. 

5. Feel Out Your Space: Where you work in your home will have a great effect on your level of concentration and productivity. If you can, avoid working from your bedroom and definitely avoid working in bed. Try to set up an area in your kitchen or living room at the table with all the equipment you need to work. Try to keep your work to only that area to create a sense of balance. If there are others in the house, find an area where you are less likely to be interrupted to avoid distractions. If that’s not possible, ask them to respect your space and time so they will know that during certain hours you’ll need to focus on work. 

We hope these tips will help get you into a new routine as we all adjust to the new ‘normal’. Do you have any other work from home tips to share? We’d love to hear them!