Working from Home - Meet the Specialists

WageIndicator has a long standing tradition in tele-working. Find tips of the team

Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic – some helpful tips from WageIndicator staff. WageIndicator team members  use computers, internet and a set of programs to create sites, video's, visualizations, databases, for storing and sharing and communication. This means it is "easy" to work from home.

And for more practical info on COVID-10 and the World of Work from the ILO, click here. 

Tips from

Paulien Osse

Paulien Osse – WageIndicator Director, The Netherlands:

  • Use lipstick when in Skype/ Zoom.
  • Talk more explicitly - when you meet in person it is easy to see whether somebody is doing well, but online conversation is different.
  • If possible, have your own room.
  • If possible, have perfect conditions: a good chair/table.
  • If possible, get good equipment (don’t wait for an employer who may never pay for it).
  • Make sure the internet is good.

And as a manager:

  • Allow your team to work with any tool, whether it is Skype, Zoom, Slack, Dropbox, Chrome, Microsoft. Avoid forcing a specific tool. Decide on a few crucial tools to invest in, and then all use the same, the rest is flexible. At this moment in WageIndicator we work with Dropbox, Plone (websites CMS), Excel/Google spreadsheet, Tableau, STATA/SPSS/R. For the rest: some have Trello, others have Google hangout, Zoom, some Jitsi, some Whatsapp. Some want to work with the company email (WageIndicator) others not. 
  • It is not necessary to know where everybody is all the time. However, meeting deadlines is as important as always.
  • If your team works from home, you can’t force or command. There are also other factors to keep in mind: kids, dogs, boyfriends, food.
  • Shopping online, chatting with friends, reading the newspaper, active in the chat box? I do it, so why not allow your team?

 

Tips from

Niels Peuchen

Niels Peuchen, The Netherlands:

  • Have something different for lunch every day. Buy some nice croissants, reheat leftovers from the night before or bake a cake to celebrate your umpteenth day working from home.
  • Separate your working space from your living area. For example, do not use your dining table as your home office, but start working in a separate room.
  • We all deal with a bad internet connection sometimes. Learn how the internet connection in your home has been set up, so you can fix it yourself if necessary.
  • When the internet connection is still working poorly: try Skyping or Zooming without using your computer's camera.
  • If it is allowed in your country: go exploring a nearby, quiet neighbourhood by just entering every alleyway that you have not walked into before.

 

Tips from

Karen Rutter

Karen Rutter, South Africa:

  • If you are going to use Zoom or Skype or Jitsi with colleagues, remember to get out of your pyjamas first!
  • If you have curious cats or boisterous dogs, you may want to keep them out of the room when you have business calls.
  • Don’t sit in front of your screen all day, every day. Stand up, do exercises, get fresh air if you can, eat something nice.
  • Technology will sometimes fail, or slow down, or play up. Don’t stress – this is part of the new way, and everybody has the same problem.
  • Don’t get sucked into working 7-day, 12-hour weeks, just because your home has become your office. Take time out like you would normally do - spend it with family, or your pets, or your partner. You will be better refreshed, if you do.

 

Tips from

Valeria Tonella

Valeria Tonella, Italy:

  • Don’t compare yourself to others. If you want to stay positive, remember that there’s not a perfect routine for everyone, because everyone is different. Try more routines and find one that’s a good fit for you.
  • Pay attention to burnout! Even if you’re at home, it’s easy to get stressed, because of isolation, financial worries, kids … continue to take care of yourself.
  • Work can help you to control your negative thoughts. Stop thinking and start doing something.
  • Natural sounds are helpful too.
  • Take a nap or more naps, if you feel that you need it.
  • Don’t eat at the computer: take your time for meals.
  • Take some breaks during the day and move your body.
  • Keep virtually in touch with people who make you feel better.
  • Take note of the work you’ve done: it will make you feel satisfied and "pumped" for the next day.
  • Get dressed for work. I’m used to putting on a pair of shoes too!

 

Tips from

Guilia Prevedello

Giulia Prevedello, Italy:

  • Build a daily routine (not too strict nor too flexible): try to do things at the same hour (lunch, dinner, workout etc), and define working hours.
  • Work in a comfortable space: get the right chair, try to make the room cozy and bright, tidy up often (it's not easy to work in a mess).
  • While working, listen to white noise (it helps concentration).
  • Stand up often to move a little and do some stretching.

 

Tips from

Khushi Mehta

Khushi Mehta, India:

  • Plan ahead - Plan your next day in advance. Buying grocery, laundry, cooking, playtime with kids, meetings, team briefings etc.  
  • Follow a strict routine - With family around it is likely that the timetable you set for yourself goes for a toss. Having a routine for yourself and your family will ensure that you stick to your plan and will leave you with ample time for your family and work. 
  • Delegate house chores - Don’t try to do everything yourself. Divide the responsibilities. 
  • Stay away from distractions - Working from home can get very boring, especially if you are new to it. Avoid distractions like playing games online, Netflix and Amazon, Whatsapp messaging and family Zoom calls. Let this all be after work hours. 
  • Start your day with exercise or meditation - working from home can get bit depressing, especially when you are home 24/7. Exercise and meditation helps blood circulation and makes you productive and happy.
  • Involve kids with house work - If you think having kids at home makes working from home impossible - think again! Since kids have summer break and are unable to go out to play, assign them with age appropriate simple and fun household work. This gives you bonus hours for office work. 
  • Have regular team calls - Start your day with a team call/team briefing. This will pep up every one’s mood and help everyone take charge of work that needs to be done in a day. 
  • Get dressed for work - So what if you are working from home? Working in pyjamas and a T-shirt will not help you come out of lazy mode. Getting dressed does not mean wear your formal clothes. Wear something which helps you come out of sleep mode and makes you feel energetic and ready to work
  • Have a designated place to work - Try not to sit on your bed or sofa for work. Having a designated desk/table and chair for work, thus increasing concentration and productivity.  

 

Tips from

Armanda Cetrulo

Armanda Cetrulo, Italy:

  • First, find out if you have all the equipment you need to properly perform your work from home. Check with your trade unionists if your job contract already regulates smart-work. 
  • Try to define a daily routine: the routine helps children and also adults! Define clear working hours, and try to avoid working everywhere and anytime.
  • Take breaks, get up from your chair often and move your eyes (and your mind) away from the computer. If you do not have a balcony or a terrace, look out the window and contemplate your piece of sky. 
  • Do not work late in the night and minimize your screen exposure before bedtime. Exercise your right to disconnect!  
  • If you cannot meet any of the previous points, do not blame yourself. Many workers are in the same condition and they are experiencing smart-working for the first time. Consider that it is not easy to be productive in the midst of a pandemic, especially if you have kids around and you are a woman.
  • Start thinking about a better future for all, as someone wrote down: “We won’t return to normality, because normality was the problem”.

Tips from

Mariana Robin

Mariana Robin, Argentina:

When working from home with children (and not despairing!)

  • Generate a daily routine with concrete objectives to optimise time and also control your work.
  • Have a fixed place where it is as comfortable as possible to work without distractions - although you may be interrupted many times a day.
  • Programme what you  can do in times of maximum concentration (when children take a nap, when they play or participate in their virtual classes).
  • Breathe deeply. It is an exceptional situation. We must be patient with others and with ourselves. Nothing is the same, nor should it be, but the important thing is to know that we are doing everything we can to ensure that everything goes well.

Tips from

Gunjan Pandya

Gunjan Pandya, India:

  • Exercise: First of all, when you work from home, you should focus on your health - so always do exercise for half an hour to keep you fit and healthy.
  • Email checking: When you start your work check all your email and reply to them first.
  • Make a list of tasks to follow: Make a list of what tasks you have to do during day time, assign a priority to each task, and try to finish those tasks.
  • Proper seating chair: When you work from home you have to use a proper chair so you will not feel back-pain or bored during work. Do not sit on your bed or sofa with a laptop and work.
  • Listen to music: Music is good medicine to change your mood and reduce your stress levels during work. So try to listen to some good music with headphones - you will not feel so much pressure.
  • Walk for few minutes: You should walk for few minutes after every one hour-  do not sit continuously for long hours to work.
  • Take a short sleep if necessary: Sometime you feel sleepy when you work from home - so at that time take a short nap  of 15 minutes or wash your face. You will feel more relaxed and then you can focus more on work.
  • Shut down your laptop or PC: When you finish your day then shut down your PC and laptop and relax. Spend some time with family to talk, or watch some movies to refresh your mood.

Loading...