NOTE: This is Part 2 of 3 in a series of TTEC Talent Blog posts offering best practices for people who are telecommuting during the pandemic. You can find Part 1 here.
Part 2 – Habits During Work Hours
As you go through your workday at home, there are some habits you can practice to become even more effective. An active and fun household is great to enjoy during your free time, but it can pose many challenges as a working space. We’re all going through these same difficulties of telecommuting, and part of TTEC’s goal of facing things together is collaborating on solutions together. These tips can help us all navigate our work routine at home.
1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T the work hours
When your family and friends learn you’re now working from home, they might get the impression that they have more access to you. Your partner might knock on your door to show you a funny video. Your mom and dad call you more than once to ask how you are during the pandemic. Friends will send you the newest memes throughout the day! Those are lovely interactions to be sure. But those micro interruptions shift your focus from your work.
Make your work schedule clear for your loved ones. Let them know to pretend that you’re “at the office”, even though you’re just steps away from the living room. You can still enjoy yourself at home during breaks, of course. But, when you’re working, your attention must be undivided to help you reach your daily goals and it’s in everyone’s best interest to know that. When you’re at your best, you’re helping everyone!
Realyn Daoaten, a TTEC Customer Service Representative for TeleTech Philippines, lives by this maxim. “Before I started working from home, I already explained to my family how important it is for me to have a quiet space when I'm working,” she explains. “My family knows my schedule. They're fully aware that they shouldn’t disturb me or make any unnecessary noises during those hours… It’s always teamwork between me and my family.”
2. Steer clear of distractions
Houses are filled with things we love such as books, movies, video games, board games, and more! We spend hours unwinding with all sorts of entertainment. And yet, the home is a minefield of distractions, which means you’ll have to develop some strict discipline on your access to these fun activities. Ready for the challenge?
When you start work, skip turning on your TV. On a short break, pass on playing a video game or reading a book. You can do all these relaxing things after the workday. Doing these things during work hours is a slippery slope. Keep any unnecessary gadgets and resources outside of your home office. It’s hard, but you’ve got to resist! Your workspace must be mostly business. Instead use this time to move, stand up, stretch, run up and down your stairs. Planks anyone?
Lawrence Gacad, a Talent Acquisition Manager for TeleTech Philippines, knows he needs to avoid getting distracted by TV entertainment, for example. “Watching your favorite TV series is a possible distraction while working from home,” he admits. “I have a dedicated workspace, where I can properly set my work mode. I keep all gadgets away from there to remove such a distraction.”
3. Keep stress relievers nearby
Though using entertainment during work hours can be bad for your productivity at home, that doesn’t mean you can’t have any interesting non-work tools with you. We understand that life can be stressful – perhaps even more so when telecommuting, and that’s why we often look for subtle ways to relax. We at TTEC find different ways to relieve stress, even during this pandemic!
You can use simple, calming gadgets that don’t require your full attention to use, such as stress balls, fidget toys, or even moldable clay. Have these in your work station, so you can grab them any time work becomes a grind. After all, an employee at ease is an asset at work! Remember, basic relaxation isn’t the same as intense distraction.
Karlo Gallemit, another TTEC Customer Service Representative for TeleTech Philippines, has a very healthy way of relaxing while telecommuting. “I have a gym set near me while I work,” he says. “When I get sleepy, just a bit of exercise wakes me right up. It helps me fight drowsiness and stress. My blood flows after lifting weights a bit. At the office, I can’t do that. At home, I can!”
Protect your mental focus and energy throughout the day. With these work from home habits, you can create an effective and sustainable telecommuting lifestyle. The more efficiently you do work, the sooner you can play!
Check out the next batch of tips for balancing workload as a work from home employee coming in the next few weeks!