Working from home: Here are some best practices to know

Reta Lee
Editor-in-Chief, Lifestyle

(PHOTO: Getty Images)

Major companies around the world, such as Google and Amazon, have rolled out global mandatory work-from-home policies due to the coronavirus outbreak. While the company I work for, Verizon Media, has encouraged staff to work from home, those who wish to return to office are assured the facilities remain a safe place to work.

As a digital editor who’s had experience working-from-home (WFH), prepping for this practice is a breeze. But it’s always a good reminder to follow relevant tips to stay productive and positive.

For any newcomers or veterans to WFH policies, here’s what I think you could do, to organise your time and effort while working remotely.

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Update clients and partners

If you’re anticipating for example, an important document or a fashion press sample, do let your clients and partners know where to reach you, and schedule a drop-off at your address.

Keep your boss and team connected

There is a couple of messaging tools I use, that you might find useful as well. Besides Google Hangouts Meet (using video) and conferencing app Zoom, there’s also Slack, where you can set your status to visible, so your colleagues are aware of your availability.

How to manage your time

Coronavirus or not, you still have that project deadline to meet.

Dave Crenshaw, author and leadership coach in productive leadership, says when he teaches time management courses, he always asks clients questions on the “what, when and where” of their tasks. This is because the answers can “support your personal values or vision for your life. Second, it can support the values or vision of your organization. And third, it could be a necessary task to provide you or those you love with the necessities of life.”

Making a priority checklist will help you knock off your projects one by one. Also, updating your calendars to allow for scheduling of online meetings will be helpful. You might also be encouraged to share your calendars with your boss and team. Another good way to keep up your team’s spirits is to continue to celebrate and share wins.

(PHOTO: Getty Images)

Schedule home errands

Have that laundry you’ve been setting aside? Now’s the time to schedule pick-up and drop-off. There are a few online services you could use such as Sendhelper, Knockknock, Piing and Laundry Cares. I’ve used Laundry Cares before and I must say its friendly staff Mr. Ho always brightens my day with his smile and chat.

For groceries, while I have the liberty of living next to a wet market which I can pop by during the weekend for my supplies of fresh vegetables and meats, I rely heavily on home delivery services, Amazon Prime and Redmart. I normally stock up on two weeks’ of supplies, so this practice doesn’t change for me.

Take note of your working environment

A clean and uncluttered workspace will leave you feeling less stressed about finishing that deadline. I have a notepad, a pitcher filled with water and my drinking cup next to me. To rest my eyes, I take easy breaks from looking at my laptop screen, by placing some greens on my work table. Looking at plants will leave you feeling optimistic.

Take breaks like you would in the office

It’s always important to give yourself some time to stretch: get up and make yourself a cup of coffee or tea. Walk your dog or stroke your cat so you don’t get too agitated. Another good tip I try to fit in is slotting in some sun salutations, so I’m forcing myself to get up. Easy stretches can also be done on your chair.