Work has taken on a new meaning during this pandemic. The CDC has recommended the use of masks for protection as we venture out into the open and to work from home whenever possible. Gathering in corporate offices is a significant risk, leaving many of us to navigate the office culture from a distance while trying our best to remain productive while sitting at the kitchen table or on the couch all day.
It can be tough, but work during the pandemic can also be inspiring and provide a unique launchpad for future career development as you eventually transition back into the familiar environment of the office space that you are probably missing dearly by now. Here are some ways to maintain a feeling of normality if you’re working in the private sector during these trying times.
Keep to a typical schedule.
Whether you are commuting to the office once a week or working purely from home, sticking to a routine as best you can help keep your creativity and productivity at a maximum. Throwing away your schedule for a haphazard work routine is a recipe for failure since we creatures of habit thrive on planning and scheduling. Keeping your normal hours, even from home, is a great way to remain productive throughout the day, even when an hour in front of the TV looks like a more entertaining use of your time.
Get dressed every morning.
Many who work from home report a surge in activity when they get dressed as if they were going out of the house for the day. Even though you can work in your pajamas, showering and getting dressed up in your most flattering pencil skirt and heels can act as the boost you need to keep you on task throughout the day. Even though you are only impressing yourself from the kitchen table, dressing up for the office helps set your brain in a working mood that can carry your efforts all day. Consider investing in some additional wardrobe pieces, such as blazers or fashionable knits, that split the difference between casual wear and business attire for a comfortable and yet still professional look that will keep you in the perfect frame of mind throughout your home office days.
Don’t stop innovating.
Follow in the footsteps of great innovators and continue working on inventive solutions that can help you in your new work environment. Take the example of Vivek Ramaswamy, founder, and CEO of Roivant Sciences. Ramaswamy is vocal about the need for innovative testing solutions to combat the continuing spread of Covid-19 infections throughout the country. As a business leader, his biotech firm has never shied away from taking big risks or working on new solutions to old problems either.
Take this mindset and apply it to your own workspace. If a particular setup isn’t working for you try something new. Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes, from small solutions to motivation issues at home, to new applications for your company’s interconnectivity or improving your team’s workspace. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box in order to solve the new and continuing problems that slow down your individual output and the work that your team is focused on. An innovator is always welcome in the corporate world and you will see your hard work repaid in short order with increased responsibilities, a promotion, or a great new desk once the office reopens.
Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on all of us, but keeping your spirits up and staying motivated through it will help you in both the short term and longer time scale. At the moment, you will continue to produce the essential documentation or presentation material that comes across your desk, and longer-term, a calm demeanor throughout this hardship is sure to be recognized and rewarded.