The contemporary tradition of working from home
From the beginning of human history until the late 19th century, most work was done at home — that was before the age of electronic communications, which indicates that the tradition of home-based work is well-established.
Then followed the era where off to work meant rolling out of bed, suiting up in business attire and grabbing coffee on the go. What it looks like now is sauntering over to a kitchen table on getting up from sleep, and firing up the laptop — the emerging face of work in the 21st century!
Today’s epidemic of COVID-19 may have the unintended effect of reviving that tradition of work from home, in fact, it has brought us back to normal. Unconventional workspace arrangements have become routine with regular, full-time employees working from home or on shop floors, coupled with on-demand or contingent workers like freelancers, contractors, and consultants, who own a major share of the gig economy.
Here is what you need to make sure that the unprecedented comeback of home-based work doesn’t intrude into your productivity and peace of mind.
1. Keep your routine and schedule: The most commonly anticipated challenge when working from home is the disruption to office routine and the solution is to replicate as many aspects of your office routine at home with a schedule that effectively allocates time for different activities.
2. Default to video: Phone meetings lack personal connection, the non-verbal aspect of communication can get lost and it can be hard to tell if the other person is even paying full attention. Fortunately, with the use of video call, you can still foster more connection with your team unlike a normal telephone conversation.
3. Create boundaries: Another concern some of us have when transitioning to remote work is that the barrier between work and home lives becomes nonexistent. The key is to take intentional action to separate your work from your personal life by creating a designated workplace for use during work hours.