Covid-19 restrictions are still around. Rather than keeping these limitations in mind, now can be a good time to focus on what’s possible. There are especially five things in which the timing is great. Some might be less so when we finally return to our desks, so use your home office time wisely!
1. Expand your network
The benefits of networking might feel out of reach when stuck at home. However, this is where online possibilities comes to the rescue. Find people you would like to connect with on LinkedIn, and make sure you customize the message to make it more personal. And why not call someone you are inspired by for a short talk? These calls are to a surprisingly degree welcomed by the person in the other end, just make sure your request is authentic and let them do most of the talking. You can also ask questions on online forums and look up online meetings on sites such as meetup.com. And who knows – perhaps someone is arranging a lunch walk in your area?
2. Work on your soft skills
Soft skills are interpersonal and behavioral skills that helps you work well with others. In contrast to technical/hard skills, soft skills are not as easy to keep up to date when working from home. Recent surveys even point to people being afraid they have forgotten how to socialize properly. Train yourself to listen carefully to others and ask questions before your time to speak. Try to take notice of your openess and eye contact during online meetings, and try to find ways to enhance collaborative behaviour. These digital meetings are less prone to soft skills being asserted, unless we make an effort to do so.
3. Take more breaks
Sitting in front of a computer is also what we would have done at the office. Yet the latter place is prone to more breaks by colleagues stopping by, going out for lunch, going to the printer machine etc. Many find themselves half way through the work day before they take some time off. That’s not good for productivity – although it might feel like it in the start. To avoid headaches, be sure to focus your eyes on something much further away than your screen several times throughout the day. It could be looking out of the window, or looking at something far from your desk. Stand up and walk around your home from time to time, and try to go for a daily walk outside if possible.
4. Make room for your creativity
Hectic times are not known to account for our most creative moments. Neither does our home environment, with the same four walls and routines. Setting aside 15 minutes a day for this might sound as losing 15 minutes to your actual tasks, but you’re most likely to benefit from this in a way that it gives you more productivity afterwards. During your day, make room to scribble ideas, draw something of your choice or look up short videos on YouTube. Solve a newspaper quiz or dance to a song you like. Sounds banal, but can potentially boost the rest of your day to come up with new ideas and alternative solutions your team will love.
5. Consider doing an online course
Sad fact, but many are laid off these days. Others keep their jobs, but are forced to think in new directions to keep up with the 2021´s best practices. You might excel in a certain area, and this is the time to not necessarily go deeper into that, but rather look into a different, complimentary path. In times when you least expect it, these new skills or type of knowledge come in handy. It will make you an even more attractive employee too, as versatility goes hand in hand with a world that keeps on changing, regardless of this pandemic.
I hope you found these tips useful. They can prove to be exactly that, should you choose to implement just one, a few or all of them.