“How to Remain Productive During the Spring of Covid-19 ”

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Most of us started the year with confidence only to get thrown into the light of the Covid-19 situation barely a month in. Stay safe at all times, but let's make sure that we are also staying productive throughout these testing times. We've gathered the following list to help you with the work-from-home setup, even if you aren't put under self-quarantine. 


1. Make use of those small spaces.

One valid reason to dread working from home is a lack of space. If you’re working from a small home, how are you going to make sure that the tiny area provides enough privacy? Find a corner or a nook where you can avoid distraction—a safe distance away from your partners and children.





A small desk office set up in a nook/corner



If you can, have it near the windows or the balcony, where you’ll have plenty of natural light. It will help create a well-lit, office-like environment.



2. Work what you have to create your 'spot'.


Dining as working area



Setting up an emergency workspace in a busy home is hard. A quick fix is to use what you already have. “Use your dining table, island pantry, or dressing table,” details Kezia Karin. You just need to clean and tidy up those areas to make some space for you to work with your notebook. “But try not to work from the bed or couch. Most of the times you will not be able to focus on your work, and it makes you sleepy,” she says.


Dining area as working space


Small table and chair



Instead of staying in bed all day, have a good chair and desk, or a table where you can set up your laptop computer. It doesn’t need to be big, but you need enough space to make yourself comfortable. Having this will make sure you’re in a better mental state and that you are ready to do your work from home. Be sure to test your home setup to see what works and what doesn’t, and make room for improvements.



3. Decorate the part well.


A decorated space


Small table with mini art print


A small home office desk with many art prints, potted plants, and flower arrangement



To complete the working area, have some fresh flowers around if possible. Having flowers will improve the air in the room and help filter the toxins too. They’ll add some colours that will brighten up your mood, which eventually will make you feel better and help you think better. Or add some mini art prints and photos. This will help you feel more comfortable.



4. Use that technology to avoid self-isolation.

A home office room with small meeting area



According to the Wall Street Journal in its recent piece on work-from-home essentials, there is a trick to maintaining social connection while staving off the virus. What you want to make sure is that you’re not left feeling completely alone all day. Once in a while, attend online trainings to address the challenges you face while working online.


Karin suggests doing a lot of video call meetings and conferences. “Always communicate with your team, and talk to your friends at least once a day. Whenever possible, do it over a video call.” This is how you’ll be staying productive through the Covid-19 work-from-home season.


If you find yourself not feeling well, immediately contact your team and inform them of the situation so that they know how to cover for your responsibilities and tasks. Meanwhile, you can check your symptoms and try to inhibit them with general medications for at least 2 days. If you still don’t feel better afterwards, get yourself checked at the nearest clinic or hospital.



5. Be prepared, but be realistic.




To distract the kids from distracting you, have enough toys and children’s books ready for them. Another way is to engage them in light housework, such as preparing the meals, dusting, or sanitizing the kitchen, so you can have enough time to concentrate on your tasks. The Verge, a futuristic digital magazine, suggests that you don’t get too consumed in helping out friends and families during the pandemic unless it’s an emergency and you obviously must help. So set up your temporary home office, but also set up clear boundaries about your availability at home.



6. Manage your time like you're really at the office office.


Pretend like you really are going into an office—your office. If you absolutely have to be at your desk by 8 a.m., wake up at least an hour earlier, so that you have enough time to get ready. Setting a specific time to start and to stop may well be the very thing that stops you from ending up with a 24-hour workday.  “Define your work hours and stick to your schedule, but be specific. Set a certain time for you to start working from home, let’s say 8 or 9 a.m. and then stop at a certain time, like 5 or 6 p.m. Don’t work for the whole day,” explains Karin further.






7. Stay healthy while distancing.

Woman working from home



The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s 20-20-20 rule advises that for every 20 minutes of work you look at something at a 20-feet distance for at least 20 seconds to avoid overworking the eyes. Get about 15 to 30 minutes of exercise daily, but make sure that you get enough quality sleep, and get some sun. Maintain a habit of eating well by focusing on healthy food and taking your daily dose of vitamins to boost your immune system.



8. But if you really can't go home...

Desk facing wall


Work from home if you must, but if you have to stay at the office to work during the state of Covid-19 emergency, the least you can do is understand the do’s and don’ts of coronavirus workplace safety. “Stay away from social media as much as you can. Too much hoax and repeated stories can stress you up,“ says Karin. Practice self-care and put the best care into your hygiene. Wash your hands often, especially after touching things outside of your desk, and make sure that your desk and your gadgets are clean. Boost up your immune system by taking vitamins but have your personal medication ready.






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