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How to stay on top of the game while working from home

3 minute read


As in the rest of the world, the Singapore government has introduced certain regulations regarding the current situation with the COVID-19 outbreak. Among these are the regulations pertaining to remote working.

Employers have to allow their employees to work remotely as long as possible. Should the employers not comply, they will face penalties. Of course, this only applies to industries where it is possible to work from home.

But not everyone is used to remote working, especially not those who have worked in an office setting for the majority of their careers.

If your sector is affected by these regulations and if you are having problems trying to adjust to remote work, keep reading. Below you will find the tips you need to work from home in Singapore and remain productive during these challenging times.

Overview:

Set daily goals

Employers have to allow their employees to work remotely as long as possible. Should the employers not comply, they will face penalties. Of course, this only applies to industries where it is possible to work from home.

But not everyone is used to remote working, especially not those who have worked in an office setting for the majority of their careers.

If your sector is affected by these regulations and if you are having problems trying to adjust to remote work, keep reading. Below you will find the tips you need to work from home in Singapore and remain productive during these challenging times.

Keep fit and healthy

To preserve both your physical and mental health during such times like Covid-19, it is important to work out regularly.

Fortunately, when you work from home, you can schedule activities during the day that you usually can’t do in a traditional office. And this is where exercises come into play.

It is easy to stay in your chair when you work from home. Even when you make meal breaks, you stand up and go to the kitchen only to prepare a meal that you eat while sitting.

Being this sedentary is no joke. It is terrible for your muscles, it is awful for your motivation, and it drains the life out of a person.

So, plan out a trip to the gym every morning or evening. If you can’t do this, try to find some exercises that you can do in the house.

Jogging is generally a great option since you just need to go outside and find a good path. This cardio workout and a shower will refresh you and you will be sharp once you sit down again to do some work.

If you are not a fan of cardio exercises, maybe you should try yoga. If not, you can simply walk every day and spend some time in nature.

Whatever you choose, it would be wise to schedule workouts in advance just to make sure that you don’t miss any of them due to additional job duties.

Log your time dedicated to work and log the time when you work out. This is a sure way to stay fit and healthy.

Create an effective and regular routine

To create an effective routine that feels natural every morning when the alarm wakes you up, you should be disciplined and responsible.

First, you need to visually imagine the day ahead. You can also sit down and put it on paper if that works better for you. Buy a planner if you have to, it will be worth it.

Block off set times to do certain work tasks and block off other times for your meals, housework, personal calls, and so on.

When you spend all day at home, it is quite easy to get distracted. The day tends to blur into one long workday, and that never works well.

Set aside times for specific tasks, determine your work hours, and stick to them. You don’t actually have to start logging those hours every morning at 8, but try to follow a timeframe you set.

You most likely do all work on your laptop or computer, so try to shut it down and stay away from it once you finish the daily tasks. If you don’t do that, it gets easy to wander off to YouTube or somewhere else and spend another hour or two sitting behind the screen without even knowing what you are doing.

Also, try to dedicate only one room as your ‘home office’ while you are working remotely. Do not bring the laptop downstairs or to the living room, as this will make you feel like you have some work to do all the time, but that is not true. You are actually swamping yourself with distractions and slowing down the daily progress.

Hence, stick to one room and eliminate distractions. Keep your activities on track and control yourself. Failing to do so can seriously harm your daily routine.

Eliminate unnecessary distractions

The first step towards eliminating everything that keeps you from being productive is identifying the distractions.

Logically, the factors will vary depending on your situation. For instance, if you have children running around the house, you will have to make a deal with them.

Checking your phone

Just don’t. Your phone is a very useful device, you can do almost everything with it. But when you are working, that should be the only thing you are doing.

With phones, it is easy to get lost. For instance, one moment you are checking your inbox for new emails, and the next thing you know, you are watching a video on YouTube that is 10 minutes long.

It is fine to pick up your phone and check a message or use the phone for fun during your breaks. But do not let that take up too much of your time.

Chores

Just because you are working from your home does not mean that every dull task can be postponed by a household chore. You can clean up the dining table or vacuum the living room once you are done with your tasks at work.

Some people really find it difficult to resist the urge to stop and complete chores when they are supposed to be working. Do your best to avoid that practice.

No TV

Nowadays, the majority of offices have no TVs. At least not the ones that are used for commercial channels. There is a good reason for that.

Firstly, when you hear someone talking about something on the TV, the chances are that you might subconsciously start listening if the topic is even remotely interesting. And if you give in to it, you could spend countless minutes glued to the TV not doing the work you are supposed to do.

So, if you can hear the TV in the background, go farther away until you are working in silence, or simply turn it off.

Take breaks

Many people undermine the importance of taking breaks even when they are working from the comfort of their own home. Breaks are an important part of the workday. It is really simple — a big part of working hard is knowing when it is time to step away. So, breaks need to be there.

Each break will bring you back to your work feeling refreshed both mentally and physically. This helps you avoid potential burnout. And when you take regular breaks, you actually grow more satisfied with what you are doing. Your job will feel easier and more pleasing.

Breaks help separate work from personal time

Remember all the distractions mentioned above? Why not use the time you have during the breaks to distract yourself?

Instead of mixing personal and private things during the work hours, spend the breaks on personal stuff. Check your phone, pick up your child, talk to a household member, have a cup of coffee. That is what breaks are for.

Separate work from personal time. That is the formula for lasting success. Remind yourself that working hours will end by taking breaks regularly.

Productivity boosters

Breaks are actually small productivity boosters that will give you what you need to get over the finish line on the tough days. When people transition to working from home, it can be difficult to get into the same productive rhythm as they were used to at the office.

However, once you adjust, you shouldn’t forget about taking breaks. Do not skip breaks just because you are feeling it. Working well can turn to feeling awful if you don’t allow your body and your mind short periods of rest.

Instead of burning out early by working for a set of hours straight, break up the day between a few breaks.

For instance, start your workday with two hours of work, make a short break, and carry on. After you reach your fourth or fifth hour, it would be wise to grab something to eat. And once you finish that break, continue working.

Also, keep in mind that the final four hours should be the time where you slowly loosen the intensity until you bring your work to a complete halt.

Final thoughts

We hope these tips will help you be more determined and focused when it comes to working from home. Stay safe and healthy!

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