It is mandatory for employees in Singapore to work from home now. While your work station at home may not resemble that of your office, what can you do to ensure that your productivity remains high?
Once again, working from home (WFH) has become the default mode for Singapore companies since the country reverted back to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) in May 2021 to curb the community spread of COVID-19 variants. While working from home is not an entirely new experience, given that we've adapted to doing so since the circuit breaker in 2020, many of us are still using our make-shift work desks (aka our dining tables), sitting on foldable chairs, and facing difficulty with productivity in general. If you're someone who's BTO flat is delayed, this can help too. We've come up with a handy work from home essentials guide on how to create a top quality office environment at home, remove distractions, and ensure physical and mental well-being for another season of WFH.
Get Your WFH Physical Set-Up In Order
You might not have the luxury of a study room or a dedicated space you can deck out with an elaborate set-up of multiple screens and keyboard with LED lights. If you don't have a fixed space or a private desk to call your own, the bare WFH essential is to get a lap desk. It offers a stable surface (with some ergonomic wrist benefits) while you get your work done on the couch or even on your bed. Consider add ons that are mobile and can be used in almost any part of your household, like a laptop stand or a backrest.
If you're still using a hard plastic chair and a make-shift desk, it's probably time that you invest in an ergonomic chair and a proper desk to keep neck soreness and back aches at bay. If you're looking to zhoosh your set-up even further, look into making your environment even more conducive with a white noise machine or an air purifier, for example.
Optimise Your WFH Routine or Schedule
Regardless of what your job entails, you're going to have to prep for transition (even if it's not the first time) to ensure that your work from home arrangement is successful and productive. The key to making WFH work for you, is to establish a routine for a sense of normalcy that helps with productivity and your mental well-being. Even if you're not going anywhere, get out of bed, wash up, change out of your pjs and make a cup of coffee or tea. The routine primes your mind for the work day. Habit tracker apps like DONE can help you with staying on track with your routine!
Time management techniques like the Pomodoro Method is also a great tool to help optimise the hours you spend working at home. Some people even use time-tracking apps like Now Then or ATracker to optimise every hour of the day.
Use Technology to Help You, Not Distract you
Often times your phone with all its social media notifications, calls and text messages can detract your focus, but it can also be a powerful tool that helps you throughout your work day. For starters, your phone's in-built timer, notes, or calendar app helps with time management or creating to-do lists. Then there's the plethora of productivity apps like Trello, Notion or Todoist that can really take your work life to the next level. The important thing here is a change of mindset to view your phone, tablet and other electronic devices as a tool that's meant to make your life easier, not harder.
Maintain Your Boundaries
If you are sharing an apartment with fellow housemates who are also work from home, have an open conversation with them about their working styles and preferences, especially if you're sharing a common dining area turned workspace. For example, some people prefer a quiet work environment and others like to put on some music. If this is you and your housemate, conflicts are bound to happen if house rules are not established. Set (or reset) your boundaries and share them with one another. You'll be surprised at how much you guys might have in common.
Working From Home In A Hmlet
Having a Member Experience Manager you can rely on during your stay is just one of the many perks of being a member. Whether you urgently need a short-term home while waiting for your BTO to get your productivity back on track, or if you're moving out with zero WFH furniture, living in a Hmlet is part of the solution to avoid rental stress.
No matter how much we talk about WFH or how seasoned we are with Zoom meetings, it can still be difficult to switch off and maintain your work life boundaries. If you're optimising your time for work, don't forget to do the same for your loved ones and schedule in your much needed rest.