Updated: Oct 15, 2020
With a social distancing strategy in full swing, a lot of us are now working from home... if you are a newbie to this practice take note of these pointers from the experts at WAAVE
We are EXPERTS!
Nope, this is not bragging, but the WAAVE team has a very progressive approach to getting the job done.
Since our inception in Singapore, the team has always been encouraged to adopt liberal work practices that usually are reserved for employees from the big tech giants. Our growing startup has always sought to implement practices that positively impact our most valuable asset, our human capital.
From freedom to work from home anytime, you desire, to unlimited PTO, mental health days and of course, no need to bring a doctor's note when you are sick. It is because we trust our people to care about the company's wellbeing that we are able to create a wonderful work environment.
But some of these practices are not for everyone, we have had team members who could not work from home at all! They were easily distracted or they simply did not like to be alone all day.
If you are anything like them, the new reality of social distancing and working from home could be daunting.
So here are the top recommendations from our team, to help you be productive even if you cannot leave your house:
1. Wake up early to organize your space
One thing you will miss is your commute to work... sounds crazy but trust us on this. Whether you drive or catch the subway you probably spend that time listening to music, catching up with a podcast, when possible answering emails. Believe it or not, that is precious time to yourself. Because this experience is gone now you need to learn to find some balance in the mornings. Wake up early, you should not spend your commuting time sleeping, if you do, it would be like starting the day sabotaging yourself.
Listen to your podcast while you get your coffee, try a meditation app (5 minutes would do)
Take the time to organize your workspace.
This is important because when you arrive at the office you most likely find a clean desk thanks to your building janitor (you'll miss him as much as he will miss the working hours, this is a very difficult time for a lot of people and if you have a chance to work from home you are doing better than the large majority of Americans)
An organized workspace is conducive to focus and productivity. You don't have to be Marie Kondo, but at least empty your bin and clean your monitor
2. The PJ trap and shower trap
This is the danger zone. ALWAYS get dressed to work from home. Sounds silly but it is so easy to roll out of bed and get lazy, after all, you won't be seeing another human being today! Snap out of that feeling and put on a comfy outfit. The bright side of not going to the office is that you control the thermostat and that yoga pants are perfectly acceptable go-to pants.
You know when you try to get another day out of your hairdo and you resort to dry shampoo spray? Well, when you work from home you run the risk of skipping a shower or two. Let's pretend we didn't have to tell you this, keep your hygiene routine and don't forget to wash your hands often, especially if you have to venture outside for groceries.
3. Find different spots in your house to work from
This one is one of our founder's biggest obsessions. Silvana likes to move
around the house depending on the weather outside, the light that's coming into the house, and the time of the day. In all fairness, she does this even at the office!
"Moving around allows me to clear my mind while working, you get a different vibe in each corner," she tells us. "If you don't have a home office you can certainly improvise in any room, I have a little basket I carry around the house with all my office supplies.
It helps me clear up fast when I shift places"
4. Conference calls, an easy to master art
While pants could be optional, make sure your top is spotless! A clean face can look particularly washed out on camera, so for women, a bit of makeup is a must. Gentlemen, probably not the time to grow a beard if your company has a clean face policy.
Other than that remember that some apps allow you to blur the background, if not try to position the camera in a way that you are covering most of the shot.
If you don't do conference calls often, please identify the mute button and use it while others are speaking, nothing more annoying than your background noises interrupting the flow. We love hangout cause it is free and super reliable if your company doesn't have a go-to platform, do a quick research because lots of software developers are offering free services to help everyone through this crisis.
5. How hard will this be for YOU
"Introverts! Put your book down and check on your extrovert friends, they are NOT ok!" How hard this will hit you, will depend on your personality and your living situation.
Married? that's a lot of time of together time, under pressure. Living alone? It is hard to have no human interaction for long periods of time. Take advantage of all the tech we have and do video calls with friends and family rather than just texts!
We know this is going to be a lot harder for parents cause you have to balance entertaining the kids, potentially homeschooling them too, and your job obligations.
We suggest you sign up for a KIWICO subscription, they send you a crate with smart activities to keep the kids entertained while learning something.
Kudos to the dogs of America! that get to spend lots of time with their "hoomans" they are not great during conference calls but pets are wonderful de-stressors, lots of cuddles might calm down the anxiety you get from watching the news.
6. Shake it baby!
What? The Yoga studio closed???? Fact, we are not going to be closing the circles on our Apple Watches that easily!
If you live in a city like Portland you can certainly go for a walk or a hike or a bike ride. Just keep the CDC recommended distance from other people. If you live in NYC that's gonna be harder, but walking the dog has to happen twice a day, just make the walks longer and try not to invade anyone's space.
Our favorite Yoga studio is streaming live Yoga session! Check LoveHive here isn't that awesome? You can also catch a few free videos from them on their website.
Have the Nike App? Lots of workouts that require no equipment. Alternatively, you can turn any door into a full range gym with a TRX set up just make sure you get the one that has the door weight, no need to drill on your wall that way
7. Look out for signs of depression
No one said this will be easy, but keeping yourself healthy, protects other people around you.
Social distancing can bring the blues and you need to be able to spot the symptoms:
Too many trips to the fridge? Overeating is a sign of boredom and you might tend to do this when you are feeling down
Can't sleep at night? Stress keeps you app, depression keeps you up. If you mess your sleep cycle working from home becomes a nightmare. Try to have a clear end of your workday (something that is hard to do when you work from home, every entrepreneur knows this!) If you can stick to working hours, it means you have a bit of me time to relax, which might help with your sleeping patterns
Back to the shower topic... not kidding! If you don't need to leave the house for a week the shower starts feeling like optional. Not taking care of yourself is also a sign of the blues.
This is a difficult time, and anxiety can really do a number on all of us, all you have to do is be aware of this.
Turn off the news, nothing more unhealthy than the looping news on TV. Listen to music instead.
Here is a stress relief playlist from Spotify!
Here is something new: the Paris Opera is streaming performances online for free, check out the schedule
And don't forget, we might be in isolation, but we are all connected! Stay safe, stay sane and power on!
-The WAAVE Team
With ❤️ from PDX