The coronavirus pandemic has forced many employees all over the world to work from home. For those who are used to sitting in an office, this can be quite an unusual experience. No more foosball, no more free snacks, no more chats about the weather next to the coffee machine. However, there is one major upside that should make the transition easier. Pets.
Cat and dog owners have been posting pics of their 'new colleagues', and it's clear that the critters are pretty psyched to have them working from home. And it doesn't matter if they're taking over their humans' keyboards or snuggling themselves on their laps, they simply can't leave their favorite people alone and it's adorable as heck.
With the spread of the novel coronavirus affecting everything from international travel to local bars, mitigating COVID-19 has become a growing concern. As a result, many companies are mandating or recommending that as many employees as possible work remotely until the spread of the virus can be contained.
And while many of us fantasize about giving up commute in exchange for extra sleep, actually getting stuff done from the comfort of your home can be challenging. Maybe that pile of laundry suddenly looks more appealing than the call you have to make or maybe the next episode of the show you're watching on Netflix feels like a well-deserved reward after a long session of banging on your keyboard. Bottom line is, there are so many distractions when your home becomes your workscape, staying focused can take more effort.
So, first thing's first. Think about a comfortable spot for your job. And no, your bed and your couch don't count. “It definitely helps if you have a dedicated space for working from home,” Matt Haughey, creator of the long-running community weblog MetaFilter, and writer for Slack, told TIME. “I started doing this kind of work sitting at a desk in the middle of my living room of a small San Francisco apartment 20 years ago, and it was a pain to stay on task and not get interrupted.”
Next, consider finding a buddy. Durham University's Dr. Thuy-vy Nguyen, who studies the effects of solitude, believes the psychological effects of working remotely for extended periods of time don't get the attention they deserve, even though they're essential for our mental well-being and team bonding.
Mr Belarus Reporting For Duty. Working From Home? We Got This!
To satisfy the need for human interaction while working remotely, Nguyen recommends finding a colleague you can easily hit up when you want to chat with someone. If, for whatever reason, that is not an option, connect with a friend who works elsewhere but is going through the same experience. A video call instead of Slack or text isn't a bad idea, too.
Nguyen also recommends that you should keep a stricter daily plan when working alone as well. “Usually our time and the structure of our day are influenced by other people,” she said. “You're going to experience your day as lacking the normal structures that you usually have. People might have a hard time dealing with it. So one of the things that we found in our trying to understand solitude, is that time spent alone is better if it's structured.”
My Coworker At Home Isn't Adhering To Social Distancing Techniques. Please Advise.
Haughey also pointed out that it's important to think of ways to replicate the in-person office experience. “There will be a sense of isolation of course, and it depends on how well your team communicates, or how much they're willing to amp up communication using other tools besides face-to-face conversations,” he said. Haughey himself talks with his team using chat apps like Slack and videoconferencing services like Zoom. “Screen-sharing is another killer aspect of getting people on the same page. If I'm in a meeting to give feedback, chances are the host is sharing their screen as well so we're all looking at the same thing as we toss ideas around.”
And while employees are getting accustomed to their new working conditions, managers should keep in mind that not all of them actually wanted these changes. “If management actually forces people to stay at home, then that would add another layer of stress,” Nguyen said. “Giving employees as much information as possible can ease the burden caused by the disruption.”
Working from home for Bored Panda here with my trusty coworker Arizona
My Buddy Wanted To Help When He Heard I Was Working From Home.
Working from home with personal lap warmer named Didi.