BlogPersonal & Professional Wisdom

Work from Home Tips in COVID-19 Times

Working from home is easier for some and harder for others.

As someone who works from home regularly, I would like to share with you some of my favorite tips and best practices that I have learned and tested over the years to make work from home work for you.

1.   Play around with our schedule and energy.

What is the best about working from home is there is no commute, so we have extra time and also better flexibility with our working hours – a very good opportunity to experiment with alternate schedules and managing our energy.

Many of us are currently staying home with family, so it is important we plan our work hours in a way we are able to manage both work / family responsibilities while managing our energy.

The secrets are

  • finding our “biological prime time”
    • If you are an early bird, craft out some uninterrupted hours in the morning; if you are a night owl, find time later in the day when you can focus.
  • switching tasks / taking breaks
    • Energy can be systematically expanded and regularly renewed – by taking breaks and switching to different tasks we are able to get refreshed and recharged.
  • eating healthily and exercising regularly – pretty self-explanatory, right?
    • I am pretty good with eating healthily and still need to work on exercising regularly (and a colleague has recommended yoga).

Below is my rough schedule to give you an idea – the key here is I work a few hours before my 4-year-old wakes up around 6am, so I have a couple uninterrupted hours to get things done (also friendly hours for Europe). Then I break throughout the day to refresh and play with him. Then when he goes to nap, I have some more uninterrupted hours in my late afternoon (also friendly hours for Asia).

6:00 – 8:30am WORK Uninterrupted hours 2.5
8:30 – 9:30am BREAK Coffee and calls w/ Europe if needed 1
9:30 – 11:30am WORK Work 2
11:30am -1:00pm BREAK Break 2
1:00 – 3:00pm WORK Work 2
3:00 – 4:00pm BREAK Break 1
4:00 – 5:30pm WORK Asia Friendly / Uninterrupted hours 1.5

2.   Create our daily / weekly to-do list.

Part of staying on top of things when we are working at home is listing out what we need to do in a day and week. At the same time, we take care of the urgent and time-sensitive tasks, and we are making time for important work e.g. planning, so we are not always putting out fires.

3.   Cut ourselves (and others) some slack.

Some people could spend days in a one-bedroom studio; some have family members also stuck at home, kids getting bored, dogs wanting to play. Connectivity might be slower and there might be cats walking on the keyboard in front of the camera – just try to understand we are all doing our best to make working from home work for us.

I hope this is helpful to some of you. Good luck and stay safe!