As South Africa is about to embark on a national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many people will have to work from home. Essential services like hospitals, banks, pharmacies and grocery stores will continue to operate. Everyone that doesn’t fall into that category, such as various careers in tech or entrepreneurship, will have to work from home and practice social distancing as much as humanly possible. 

Most companies under normal circumstances do allow work from home days, but most of us have never had to work an unprecedented three weeks from home. It’s no easy feat and it requires a lot of discipline to be productive and get things done. Here are a few tips on how to maximize your time when working from home: 

1. Have a plan

Map out your daily tasks and meetings so you can tick things off as you go along. This will help you remain focused and have a sense of accomplishment when you’ve completed your whole list of to-dos’. Our business email can provide you with the necessary collaboration tools to work as a team, even when working from home. With features like calendars, tasks and group chat plus having a professional email, your team can still harbour a collaborative culture. Use a task manager like Trello or to keep track of your projects and break them down into bite-size tasks. 

2. Get dressed

Get out of your pyjamas, beloved. Getting dressed will help you get your head in the game. Plus, you’re most likely going to video call into meetings. 

3. Find a dedicated ‘office’ in your house

Try to not work on your bed. Rather find a dedicated spot in your house to work at every day. Keep your bedroom sacred and a place for rest. Sleep expert Dr. Sophie says the danger of working from your bed is that “If you start to merge the boundaries between work and rest, one will intrude into the other”. It’s important to create healthy boundaries between work and relaxation, even if work happens in your home. 

4. Wake up early and take a proper lunch break

Sleeping in will be your undoing while working from home. It will lessen your productivity and mess with your sleeping patterns. Try and wake up at a timely hour and start your day right. 

Taking a lunch break when you’re working from home is as important as when working from the office. Stand up, stretch, take a walk around the house and make a healthy satisfying lunch. Don’t eat in front of your computer, instead, savour your lunch and relax a bit.  

5. Cultivate a routine

Humans are creatures of habit and having a set work from home routine will enhance your productivity. Start working around the same time every morning, take your lunch break and when you’re done working for the day switch off. Don’t check emails here and there or do something work-related quickly. Knock off like you usually would and enjoy some relaxation. 

 The Coronavirus epidemic has forced us all to re-imagine the way we work, interact and deal with a global crisis. The way you or your business handles the next few weeks will make a big difference in shifting mindsets about working remotely or from home.