22 Jul Working from Home: Do You Love It or Are You Going Crazy?
When COVID-19 impacted our world and caused massive business shutdowns, many were left wondering what to do next. Hardest hit were the manufacturing and production companies requiring that employees work together on production lines, such as meat factories, automotive industries, and more. Businesses deemed essential (food production, toilet paper, etc.) remained open to help supply the public. Other businesses did an about-face and teamed with other businesses to produce medical masks, clothes, and ventilators for hospitals.
Many businesses found that they could keep parts of the business rolling by establishing a remote working team that could operate offices at home rather than having to work in a cubicle at the employer’s home base. The solution: buy up laptops, have the IT section prepare them for required business software and connections to remote business clouds and applications, and send the laptops to the workers so they could continue working without a hitch.
One outcome from this demand by companies to buy up computers is if you have tried to buy a new computer these days, you know that Amazon, Walmart, and other companies can only offer refurbished computer versions. No new computers are being produced right now. Anywhere. Unless it is a high-dollar version and was already in stock when COVID-19 hit.
Working from home is ideal as you do not have to spend time on highways getting to work, or spend money to buy gas, plus you have all the comforts of home around you. Other workers found working from home to be a huge headache. Spouses, small children, barking dogs, emergency deliveries, were interfering with work, causing a lot of problems with staying focused.
Establish Family Ground Rules
You must take control and establish ground rules with family members, plus you can enlist each member to handle a portion of house duties, like cleaning, preparing food for meals, accepting deliveries so you do not have to, taking the dog out for a walk, and more.
Let family members know you cannot be disturbed for anything unless it is a medical emergency. You can also pay family members, like teenagers, a salary for helping with chores and ensuring that everyone remains outside your work area while you concentrate on your job. Here are some useful suggestions.
- Televisions must be turned off unless family members use headphones. You can buy these for each member of the household (including yourself) and have them delivered to your home.
- Overall noise must be kept to a minimum, especially when you are on a team Zoom video call.
- While reducing noisy activities might be hard for everyone, remind them you are the one bringing in money that pays the house and utility bills, the internet service, food bills, and more. If you do not bring in the money, no one gets anything.
- Enlist the help of other adults in the home to supervise children and teenagers with their needs.
Organize Your Workspace
If you have not done so already, slice out a section of your home to be your office area, preferably with a door you can close to keep out distractions. Play music or environmental sounds to help with maintaining a pleasant stress-free working environment. Use those headphones to connect with the player which also helps to shut out neighborhood noises, such as lawnmowers from next door.
Take small breaks, as needed. Implement a short exercise routine to stay fit.
Organize your area with everything you need to function efficiently, such as a printer/fax/scan machine (your employer may provide that to you), reference and research materials (books, papers, dictionary, etc.) stacked on bookshelves close to you, and any other tools you might need. Avoid getting up having to search the house for pen and paper at the last minute before a Zoom business meeting.
You can also record your team Zoom calls if you are the hosting account holder. Otherwise, use a small digital recorder to record voices in case you need it to remind yourself what someone said. Let your host know you are doing that for your own purposes, just to be ethically correct. Get permission from other attendees as well.
Working from home can be a happy experience when you consider that you do not have to dress up or wear makeup unless you are on a client video call. But working from home is just as serious as working in an office setting. Make sure you are in full control of your workspace and that it remains a safe place to work. Workers’ compensation will not pay benefits for hair loss because you pulled it out in frustration.
If you need to file a workers’ compensation claim due to injury on the job, call us at once for a free consultation. We are here to help you. 602-346-9009.