The coronavirus outbreak has had us change a lot of things very suddenly. Many of us are working from home to do our bit in slowing the spread of the virus. But working from home doesn’t mean lesser responsibilities and no professionalism. Even when both work and life are happening at the same place, you must stay professional and productive. So, here are a few tips that would help you do that:
Working from home can be easier and also save you a lot of time. And when that’s the case, a casual attitude can seep in very fast, and a workday can become a holiday. So, try to stay as disciplined as you can. Here are a few things you must do:
- Wake up on your usual time and prepare yourself mentally and physically.
- Take scheduled breaks and finish your working hours as a usual working day.
- Do not let house chores interrupt your schedule. Set aside some time for them before or after work. If something at home is unavoidable, let your team know how long you’re going to be unavailable.
Have a Dedicated Workspace
Sitting comfortably on your bed or couch is the quickest way to communicate unprofessionalism. So, create a couple of dedicated workplaces inside your home. A home office will make you look professional when you’re communicating with clients or colleagues on a video call.
You may be home, but you still have the same amount of work. So, get into the character. Dress up as you do before going to work every day and look your best self. It will put you in a good mood and also help you stay prepared for a virtual meeting anytime during work hours.
When you’re communicating virtually, clutter in the background, such as piled up clothes or a view of your bedroom, can result in distractions. So, make sure that the background is neat and distraction-free. Also, discuss boundaries with your family members so that they do not create unnecessary distractions while you’re working.
Mute Your Microphone When You’re Listening
The biggest problem with virtual communication is background noise, which also sends across a message of unprofessionalism. So, make sure to mute the microphone when you’re not speaking during virtual meetings and work-related phone calls. Also, make sure that your phone is on silent mode because notifications can make you miss some important part of the conversation.
Do Not Eat While Communicating
When working from home, you may find yourself binge eating. But, avoid eating or snacking while you are consulting and communicating with a client – just like you would when in a conference room with your team or clients. Working from home can be fun. But fun shouldn’t come at the cost of you compromising your professional image. Follow the tips above and make sure you do not slip out of our regular routine. Make the best use of this time and learn something new. And most importantly, stay safe.
The author, Suman Agarwal, is the senior-most Image Consultant in the Indian Sub-continent and director of Image Consulting Business Institute. Image Consulting Business Institute is a pioneer in India and one of the biggest brands in the world in Image Management and Soft Skills Training Space. It offers programs for people to become Image Consultants and Soft Skills Trainers and at the same time offers Image Management and Soft Skills Training services to individuals and companies.