• RBS Staff

The COVID-19 Effect: Staying Productive at Home

Updated: May 11, 2020

“Not like this.” This is a phrase that most of us are probably saying right now. Most employees expected to work from home to become normal at some point within the next few years. But, again, not like this. Because of the global pandemic that is Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), a lot of folks have been forced to work at home. As a result, they’ll be ill-prepared for this. Not to mention, the looming threat that is COVID-19 doesn’t help with productivity at all, as it causes anxiety and additional stress.

Below are tips on how to stay productive while at home while also minimizing your stress and anxiety.

Reduce Your Own Personal Risk

It’s been said that the fear of what might happen is the most dangerous effect of COVID-19. Because of how fast it can and has spread throughout the world, it’s easy to get swept up by all of the negativity. But, it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t something that you can control. Thinking about all of this will sap you of your energy and productivity. Instead, you’re better off shifting your energy towards something that you actually have control over. A good example of this is reducing your own personal risk (and the risk of you spreading it to others) by taking these necessary steps: * Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as frequently as reasonably possible. * Minimize hand-to-face contact, especially around your mouth, nose, and eyes. * Refrain from going outside, even if you feel healthy. * Avoid any kind of gathering of more than a couple of people. * Cancel all non-essential errands. * Keep at least a minimum of 6 feet of distance between yourself and other people. * Get some sleep and eat well. You’ll need your immune system to be in tip-top shape.

Plan for the Now and Tomorrow

It’s only natural to concern yourself with what might happen if your company closes, or if your children have to homeschool, or if one of your loved ones become infected, or, in worse cases, you yourself become infected. These are all scary possibilities. However, staying one step ahead of these eventualities can, at the very least, help minimize your anxiety. Doing the following can help you take a more proactive approach during these times.

* Write down all of your “what ifs” and worries. Don’t worry if it gets too long or too serious. Take a break if you can. * List down all of the potential scenarios and solutions for every one of your worries and * * “What ifs”. Remember, the solution doesn’t have to be perfect or ideal. * Focus on problems that you can solve and things that you can change. Don’t get caught up in circumstances that you have no control over. * Draw up a plan of action for every scenario and stick to it as much as possible unless there’s a significant change in your situation or circumstance. Keeping yourself busy while at home, even when you have no work, is especially crucial for your own mental health. Making some household repairs, doing general cleaning, and tackling some DIY projects are all common choices, especially since hardware stores are usually one of the few that remain open despite the circumstances. You can also take up a new hobby if you want, although there’s nothing really inherently wrong with simply taking this chance to spend time with your family and loved ones.

How Do You Stay Productive at Home?

Now, if you do still need to get work done while at home, which is the case for most people, you’ll have to make a lot of adjustments. But it’s not just you. It’s also the people around you, especially if they’re not used to you being at home. Following these tips can help you stay productive at home. * Make it clear to anyone who lives with you that you’re not always available to hang out, even when you’re at home. The key here is to maintain healthy boundaries between your work life and your home life by sticking to a work schedule and finding an area where you can get some work done in peace. * Social media is definitely not your friend when at home, especially when you’re working, and most especially when most of the news that you’ll find is likely only to add to your anxiety. * As already mentioned, finding an area where you can get some actual work done consistently is important. Take this time to do some remodeling, if you can, especially if you didn’t have a physical office area set-up before. You can have the kids in on the fun as well and set them up with their own area where they can spend time on their own. * Check your internet, software, and audio. It pays to double-check everything. Make sure that all things are in order.

Continuously Work at Working at Home

Your home wasn’t your office. It still isn’t. Instead, think of this as a permanent transfer. With that said, because your home wasn’t designed for productivity, you’ll have to continuously work at making sure that it remains an effective workplace. Following the tips that we gave you can help you a lot in this regard. Also, do try to take care of your mental and physical health. Exercise, and get some daylight, even if it’s only in your yard. Avoid social media, if you can, as well as minimize contact with other people in general, especially those who tend to overreact during times of distress. If you do have to contact other people, channel your energy towards helping others in need. Donating to food banks and charities, as well as reaching out to people who might feel isolated, even if only through the phone, can help add meaning and purpose to your life, while also helping you regain more control over what’s happening.

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