By the time we get out of the MCO (when? when?), we’d all be a pro at working from home. Being in the office might even take some getting used to (cubicles? colleagues? what?). In fact, some companies will realise that working remotely isn’t quite a scary thing for their employees’ productivity.
This is of course if you’ve mastered the golden rules of #WFH like sticking to a routine, setting up a proper workplace and all that – you might even notice that you’re more productive working from home.
If this is the case and you want to continue with your productivity when you get back to the office, make sure you apply these #WFH rules back at your 9-to-5.
#1 Stick to the routine
There’s just something about routines that make you more disciplined about everything in life… plus, it’s nice to have some things you can rely on (and that’s a routine!). If you’ve been waking up early (thanks to your neighbour’s dog or yummy breakfast being cooked downstairs) during #WFH, don’t slide back to your late-morning wakeups when you get back to work. Keep it up!
Decided to do a quick 30 minutes exercise before heading downstairs to work during MCO? You can continue with this even after MCO is lifted. Whatever helped you to be productive during #WFH will also do the same when you’re back at the office – so take note of what you really enjoyed doing in the morning that helped you feel more energetic and positive about work.
#2 Emphasise on quiet time
By now, you’ve realised that working for home can be a distracting thing especially if you have pets that want your attention all the time or family members who forget it is a work day. So what you do is make sure you have some quiet time (when everyone’s asleep at night or first thing in the morning) to sit down and really focus on the job at hand.
With MCO over, you can still bring this quiet time into the office with you. Either get in the office before everyone does so you can clear emails or make it a point to plug in those headphones (music optional) and really concentrate on complex tasks for an hour to get things done.
#3 Clear your space
The first thing you did when #WFH is clear an area and call it your workspace, right? While you already have a designated workspace in the office, you can do the same to create a calm atmosphere for you to work more efficiently in. Organise the clutter and keep non-work stuff out of sight that can easily be a distraction. Have some paper nearby so you can jot down your ideas or quickly write out a to-do list that easy for you to see and refer to.
#4 Cut out the noise
We don’t mean the loud music or the chatter from your colleague next door. This survey noted that 65% out of 7,000 workers interviewed said they were more productive working from home. Why? Because they cut out noise like colleagues trying to tell you about their personal lives, unnecessary office politics, small talk at the pantry, and stress from commuting.
While you can’t cut out commuting from your 9-to-5 (but you can plan it better so you don’t get stuck in unnecessary traffic), you can handle how you deal with office politics and colleagues who don’t understand boundaries. So when you get back to the office, make it your goal to stay away from the things that take your focus away from the job.
#5 Take a break!
You didn’t work from 9am to 9pm during #WFH; you had breaks in between (hello, one episode of Tiger King!) and you called it a day when you’ve put in a reasonable day’s work. Do the same when you’re back at the office. Remember to stand up, stretch and take a short walk around the office. If you can, head outside of the office to get some fresh air to clear the mind fog. And when the day’s over or if it is the weekend, put away your devices and laptop to relax, unwind and catch up with what’s most important – family and yourself.
#6 Practise self-care
Picked up meditation during #WFH? Gave yourself 30 minutes of listening to classical music while burning some essential oils? Read a book with a facial mask on? Started journaling again? There’s no reason why you can’t continue to do all these and more when MCO is over – in fact, these little acts of self-care can help you navigate the unknown future post COVID-19. So mask/breathe/journal/meditate away!