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What are the most effective work from home practices during COVID-19? Show more Show less

With offices around the world closed while we hunt for a coronavirus vaccine, millions are working from home for the first time. Adjusting to conference calls from your bedroom can be disorienting, but making small changes to your environment can energise and improve your concentration.

Take a break Show more Show less

Replace water cooler chat with regular breaks.
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Maintain regular hours

When working from home the structure of what may have been a typical workday is less rigid and we end up spending longer hours in front of the screen. Maintaining regular hours is crucial to prevent creative burnout and a healthy work-life balance.
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Context

The Argument

A problem that arises when working from home is that we more often than not end up putting in more hours than we would if working from an office. Collected data from various companies across the UK and the US shows that the average hours an employee spends on office work has increased by up to 3 hours during the COVID-19 pandemic. While they are happy about the bump in productivity they fear that this will cause a creative burnout and result in a steeper diminishing of productivity later as work from home continues.[1] In such situations one may overwork due to various reasons, in the pursuit of achieving greater productivity, especially if we enjoy the work we do or even to distract ourselves from the limiting social situation or other related anxieties. However, this only adds on to the stress and unbalancing of work-life and home-life which can have adverse effects on not just us but also on those around us.[2] It is therefore of the utmost importance to maintain regular hours particularly in the uncertain times we are in now. Maintaining hours gives us time to pay attention to our well being. It reduces stress and prevents procrastination ultimately contributing to our productivity. Shutting down the screen gives the mind and the body much needed time to recuperate.[3]

Counter arguments

While working regular hours no doubt has its benefits, it is not always a viable option, particularly so in the current scenario. Given that we are confined to our homes, it can get monotonous. This can cause productivity to diminish. So, a break from routine can help boost cognitive capacity . Maintaining regular hours can also be an issue for those who live with people in need of tending , like children or elderly people. In quarantine trying to manage both your own work and attempting to teach your children their work can be an immense challenge. [4]Inability to meet deadlines can trigger anxiety and cause one to feel stuck.

Framing

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Rejecting the premises

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Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-23/working-from-home-in-covid-era-means-three-more-hours-on-the-job
  2. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/10/cover-remote-work
  3. https://www.verywellmind.com/the-importance-of-keeping-a-routine-during-stressful-times-4802638
  4. https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200401-how-to-work-from-home-with-your-kids-during-coronavirus

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 30 Jun 2020 at 15:41 UTC