A Guide for Work from Home for SMEs during Corona Virus Pandemic

Smartchoice Editorial
March 31, 2020

Summary

  • The article highlights the ways and means through which effective work-from-home scheduled can be maintained without compromising on the quality of the work and a few quick tips to work with complete concentration.
  • The article also encompasses some effective self-development tips to spend the quarantined time on self-development which would help you to learn and hone your skills for career advancements.
  • This articles also talks emphasize on the time at hand and actual and strategic utilization of the given time and resources at hand.

Things are already heading towards a situation, a scenario that none of us ever thought about nor imagined it to be happening to us. Looking at the present scenario we can just assume that it’s about to more haywire and weird.
But, during this time of an epidemic spread and become a haunting reality, we need to keep our hopes and our morale up by remembering quotes and understanding that’ it’s not the situation that makes you a person you are but it’s the way you react to the certain situation shows the kind of person you are and how do you react in the face of adversity.

Keeping that in perspective, you need to ensure that during that period you are functioning positively and don’t become mundane and non-productive. So to ensure that we have spent some time compiling everything you need to remain a functioning and active member of society while working from your living room, bedroom, sitting room, etc. And when we say everything…we mean everything.

1st thing first: Stay Informed and updated

 

While living in the pandemic situation, when you’re living out your best socially distanced life or we can even say your quarantined life. You should always stay up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 news by visiting WHO, and other social media platforms and official statistics platforms through the internet or any other reliable and verifiable sources.

The most important thing that you need to remember is

You need to Stay Productive While Working From Home

From history, we have seen that Shakespeare penned King Lear while the plague epidemic had created a storm in the whole of Europe and due to which theaters had shutdown. Keeping this in mind, let’s find out ways how you can accomplish something that can be of benefit to mankind or anything of equal value for the generations to come.

Set a proper working station

It is recommended by many experts and researches that, “setting up a specific workstation” helps you transform into “work mode”. If the set-up workstation you don’t feel productive and feel that not able to generate the desired results change you’re chosen spot.
Few things that can help you concentrate and become productive, it would help you play the due role and be an essential part of the work-force
Scent: The aroma brings you a sense of peace and calm, open your eyes and focus on the tasks at hand, the scents we recommend are eucalyptus or mahogany.
Sound: play a sound or any music that creates an environment that enables happening of work and makes it easy and interesting to uptake work and be productive working from home.

Scheduling/Planning

Create a time table and schedule that gives you feel that you’re “in office” every single day, and be prepared to start your work at that time. Then, also decide on the time that you “log-off” for that day and mark your attendance for that day on your work calendar. Understanding and embracing time restraints would help you keep all four essentials going (friends, family, work, and health). Don’t forget to plan in…
Cooking and eating, so you don’t end up eating all the junk and the food you are not supposed to have, also make sure that you don’t take too frequent breaks to cook three-course meals (too fancy or elaborate meals).

If you are Leading a team

Simulate in-person contact: Set up virtual “coffee chat breaks” and “happy hours” more that you would usually plan/conduct normally when working from the office. Since working from home you can’t tap and pat people on the shoulder virtually, and it’s better and would be more conducive to the business is to save up your Slack ideas and feedback/comment/criticism for an actual conversation that you can have with you sub-ordinate later on.
One thing you can also ask employees to check in every morning at a specified time and to mention in their schedules when they plan to take a break or head off to have lunch.

Harvard Business has a list of resources to help you effectively lead amid COVID-19.

What should be the Things to Do When You’re Not Working

Many things can be done when you are not working, which will impact your life positively
One thing that can you up your game is learning of “new skills”
Spend your time productively while others are watching “Netflix and Chilling” we recommend that you should take up a new skill that would open your mind to a new world and would also help you to improve your life chances.

Follow artists and people sharing skills through social media videos or live sessions.

  • Tips for learning new skills fast: Take Short Breaks, Early And Often
    450 free Ivy League online classes
  • Free educational courses offered due to school closings.
  • Find some amazing courses on Coursera and Udemy which can aid your professional skills and help you become better at it, providing you the needed edge at your workplace.

Read Books

This is the time, take you the long-awaited list of “BOOKS-TO-READ” and start looking for the books, while everything is on lockdown you may not find all of your desired books but you might find some of the books online that would be a savior in the time of being inside and being in quarantine.
Books as said to be “Mans’ best friend” call upon this best friend today when you just need the right amount of distraction and deviation from all the gloomy thoughts that may cloud over your mind.

Exercise

Exercise is very important while being lockdown as well, as we have the energy that needs to be used ad channelized since the lockdown happened so sudden and quick that many of us were unable to stock up of some yoga mats or weights, but even if you were unable to do there are multiple alternatives to such items.


Spend some of your time surfing on internet to find the right replacement that is available at your home and start your day with 30 minutes of a simple and effective exercise plan, it will not only keep you alert and fresh for the rest of the day but would also help you feel fit while you are indoors and eating food untimely and not realizing it.
Also, you may find multiple apps on google play store and IOS app store that would facilitate your workouts with a proper streamed exercise routine…so just find the right exercise routine and go for it.
Being at home you can do Yoga, Cardio, aerobic and a few simple exercises very easily.

If you don’t know what kind of workout you want to do, here are some free apps with plenty of options: Try Aaptiv or Neoufitness for 30 days, and Peloton’s not-just-cycling app or ASICS Studio Fitness’s trainer-led classes for 90 days.
Sites: Classpass is free and unlimited right now.

Stay connected to others: connection is the key

The WHO has shared some tips on how to deal with anxiety and apprehension. Here are a few things mentioned that you can do if you are stuck somewhere alone or even if you are stuck at home.
Ask and get to know how your friends and family are doing, are they doing okay, because as you need someone might also need someone to check on them and make them feel better.
Find ways to play your part in society and also how you play your role remotely in this time of crisis.

Staying home with “Family” make each moment count, this may be a blessing n disguise to spend time with your family that you have been unable to do so due to work and classes. Take a minute to appreciate your loved ones and spend some super amazing “FAMILY TIME” or we sat, bring back the “HOUSE PARTY”.

Cooking

Explore the inner you, cooking can be something of a hidden talent/power of yours. Go and find it, it should not make you a gourmet cook but it can be as simple as cooking a cheese omelet or making lentils and beans.
You can learn cooking via Instagram/Facebook by following some channels and also might have access to free online classes to cooking.


Learning cooking does not mean you go out each day to get things for your meals, try to minimize your grocery trips as much as you can, try and create pantry and freezer-friendly dishes and meals that can be stored and would lessen your exposure to the external environment.

Clean up your life- add and subtract, add good things and subtract negativity

Digital: Delete old and redundant data, so that you have space for the new data, delete things that are old and taking up space, also you can transfer some of the old data to your laptops/desktops for archives purposes
Clean up your desktop (since you have time on your hand, delete the files from your desktop and make proper drives, add relevant data in relevant folders to make sorting and searching of the data easier)
Delete unused apps and material, update your software.

Physical: Clean out your closet and drawers, discard the unused and if giveaway extras or something which you would not like to wear to the poor/needy.
Clean your room and your personal space, the more clutter around the more occupied you are mental.

During this time it’s also just okay to have some Fun

Watch…movies any genre that you prefer, listen to music-anything that brings you peace or tranquility, listen to the podcast, watch your favorite series on Netflix and Amazon Prime, play video games, enjoy corona memes, use social media and keep yourself updated and up breast with the recent happenings around you, increase your cultural knowledge, take upon the favorite writer and read.
Do anything and absolutely everything that is fun and you enjoy doing in your free time (the time in which you are not scheduled to work)

So many people are working from home, some of the luckier lots have gotten off from work and are not required to be active and working on their assignments, if you are an employee and if your employees are now working from home or in some manner working remotely, many of you must have already worked out the infrastructure curves: Between email, phone calls, texts, and messaging platforms (Slack, Microsoft Teams, zoom, etc.), communicating and collaborating may not be perfect and 100 percent on point… but you’re making it work, keeping the situation at hand in mind.

This on-going situation provides the picture-perfect opportunity since you don’t have any choice to shift to a more effective and operational leadership style.

So don’t be desirous to create a comprehensive and descriptive list of expectations, guidelines, procedures, policies and worst of all, potential repercussions or consequences.

Your work from the home policy can be as simple as, these three short sentences:

Get your work done.
Be available.
Over-communicate.

Yep. That’s it and you are good to go….

You need to trust the process and the evolution that comes with it, remember that How people work? When they do their work? Whether and if they’re incredibly efficient and able to get all their work done in the given stipulated time, or whether they relatively take longer and take more hours than they should be working… except any intra-day deadlines, who cares, right? The main concern should be the work done and the results required.
For example, Bill Gates used to memorize employee license plates so he could look out the window to see who was still at work. Eventually, he realized that managing by results was more important… and much better use, as a leader, of his time.

So don’t worry about things like how many hours your employees work? Lead and manage by expectations and deliverables/results, not by virtual micro-management and how many hours they have spent sitting in one-place doing a lot or nothing.

What matters is and important is to get work done.

The employees should also realize that its the same for the employees as well that they should be “AVAILABLE” and some active link of “COMMUNICATION” is established during the work hours, if the work and organization require their presence should be mandatory. It should be without having said employees should communicate problems, issues, challenges… as well as ideas, suggestions, and opportunities.

One should pro-active in their approach towards the work and team so just say that. “This is a challenging and perplexing situation, and everyone needs to do best in their parts, especially if they have ideas that make the situation better.

Aside from that? One thing that needs to be remembered is that treat your employees like the professionals they are. The belief that they know the situation and understand correctly what’s at stake.

It’s time to trust them and have faith that they would step up.
Something we all consciously or subconsciously know those good employees don’t need policies. They just want to know what needs to get done.

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