How to work from home efficiently while in quarantine

Because being financially sound can help you survive these tough times
By Kaydee dela Buena

How to work from home efficiently while in quarantine
Working from home may have its challenges, but you can easily adapt.
With the country placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine, most businesses have ceased operations altogether. Some, however, have adapted work-from-home plans. The choice to telework has shifted from being a mere option for employees to a necessity given the severity of the situation. 

Working-from-home may not be ideal for many?—some find it difficult to concentrate—but it’s better than exposing yourself to health risks when you head outside. Here are tips to make the work-from-home arrangement more efficient and productive for you. 

1. Stick to a schedule

Even as you stay at home, work within a routine that will help you create a sense of “normalcy.” Maintain a routine to increase productivity. A tip is to list down all the tasks you need to finish within the day, including breaks for mealtimes and coffee breaks. If by chance you’re in quarantine with other people, set up “office hours,” so that you won’t be bothered, for example, when on a conference call. 

Part of setting a routine means having to get up at a specific hour. Set an alarm in the morning and take breaks if necessary. Even if you divert from your “working schedule,” it’s all forgivable as we’re all trying to adjust the best way that we can to these trying times. 

2. Dress up

The key is to pretend you’re actually going to work. Put together a decent outfit, do your makeup, or fix your hair for instance. Simply put, don’t work in your pajamas. Dressing up (hopefully) will make you feel just a little more enthusiastic about accomplishing your tasks. 

As far as professionalism goes, this tip is particularly helpful especially if your company does virtual conferences daily. Imagine going into an e-meeting with unruly hair, while wearing ratty shirts, yikes! More than just about taking care of your looks, this is about making yourself feel good despite the unusual circumstances. 

3. Plan your meals

To save time in the morning so you can get right to work immediately, opt to prep your food at night or on the weekends. By doing this, you’ll know what actually goes into your food and control your portions. Pre-quarantine, you were probably accustomed to dining out or eating late. This is a great time to form new habits, as we prepare for the “new normal.” In addition to prepping your meals, stock up on snacks, too! Brain food like berries, nuts, and whole grains can improve memory and boost productivity.

4. Create a proper workspace

If possible, try not working in the same area where your bed is. You might find it difficult to resist the urge to crawl under your sheets and sleep. If not, the least you could do is to tidy up. Designate a conducive area in your home that is free from distraction and noise. You can also try setting up your laptop or computer near a window to get some sunlight and Vitamin D. This will help you stay energized throughout the day. 

5. Get moving 

Being stuck at home for an extended period of time means having low levels of physical activity. Don’t use isolation as an excuse not to get moving. You don’t always need a complicated routine or even equipment to exercise. The simple act of walking around the house is enough to get your body and brain energized. And since you’re working, you’ll probably spend lots of time sitting down, so don’t forget to stand up and stretch. Moreover, there are dozens of workout classes available on the internet, from yoga to light aerobics and intense HIIT routines. You’re bound to find something you can enjoy. 

6. Drink lots of water

As we’re in the middle of a health crisis now, our immune system is more vulnerable than ever. Make sure you stay hydrated to boost your immunity. We’re also in the middle of summer season so drinking plenty of water can give you great comfort.

7. Stay connected 

Working from home means you’ll be relying on digital tools more than ever to get work done. During these times, it’s crucial you maintain contact with your colleagues. Schedule e-meetings regularly to check in with your team and align goals and deliverables. Make sure you’re also reachable via calls, just in case virtual messaging causes a mix-up. 

Working from home may have its challenges, but you can easily adapt. And given the situation, this new arrangement offers the most safe and practical means for the community to continue working while staying secure and protected. 

Productivity can only be achieved if you plan your day right and prepare yourself to be optimized for work.