Remote Working during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Personal “Work from Home” Experience

In this article, I would like to share my personal WFH experience as a marketing interim. At the time of writing, I am in Indonesia, while working for a Dutch company. I candidly admit that the first month of complete remote working was stressful: I honestly doubted an online collaboration could substitute real-life interaction. Now, after several months into the process, I am very comfortable with working from home. Curious to know how I adapted? Keep on reading to find out my tips and tricks on how to enhance work productivity and adapt to this new way of working.

Challenges  

 The first challenge was to find a new work-private life balance: since I work from my bedroom, I was unable to separate working and resting periods. During my working hours, I was not able to be productive for an extended period while after office hours, my mind was still filled with tasks and work-related thoughts. I was constantly surrounded by my work environment!

 

The second challenge was to find a proper mindset to face this new situation. In the 

beginning, I felt very lonely working from home, and I missed working alongside other colleagues. Being around busy people motivates me to work harder while being alone all day was boring and challenged my motivation. In this environment, I noticed how small things are very important.

No worries! Here are my solutions:

To properly separate my private life from work, I scheduled my working hours as my usual office hours and decided to hide all work-related material from my desk when the time was up. Furthermore, I also found it helpful to wear different clothes for my work and rest time to create a better work-private life separation. Moving my desk to face the window was also a great way to increase my productivity.

Working from home also minimized my physical activity, while boosting my efficiency. To tackle this, I highly recommend practicing sports. Before the pandemic, I was used to going to the gym after work. Now, I take a walk or ride my bike to keep my body active.

Meeting with friends, when possible, also helps to keep a steady social life. Also working in the same space as with my housemate helped to create a resemblance with the office environment.

Productivity lies in your mindset

Having a proper mindset greatly helped to enhance my work productivity. I wrote several motivational quotes on my phone and on my desk to keep my mind in place. One of my favorite quotes is “Success isn’t always about greatness. It is about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”
For me, having a flexible mindset is the best way to face every situation.
However, my main tip I would like to share with you is the Pomodoro Technique: a time management method created by Francesco Cirillo to enhance work productivity by dividing a big task into smaller intervals. Here is a quick summary: arrange your working time by installing a 5-minute break every 25 minutes of working. Repeat this cycle four times and take a longer break.

Post Covid-19 Pandemic

When things will get back to normal, will my old habits return? I think many of my personal and professional rituals will indeed come back. However, I think I will keep using a few tricks I learned during the Covid period. I will still be using the Pomodoro technique, as I experienced that having a set of small tasks appointed in a shorter cycle optimizes my work effectiveness. Ideally, I want to combine both even when the pandemic is over. I cannot deny that remote working offers several benefits: the schedule flexibility is amazing and the substantial reduction in time and costs to travel to the office is something that I am really appreciating.

All in all, I think that the pandemic unlocked new working possibilities and greatly helped in the evolution of the future work environments, showing that it is possible to collaborate even if the people are scattered all around the globe. 

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