Work From Home Tips From A Shanghainese In Quarantine Since January
Slam-dunk those tasks with an effective working remotely set-up…
Since the World Health Organization declared the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, more and more people are starting to work from home, and there’s a big chance you are one of them or about to be. To help you stay productive, healthy and sane, Paul Cho, a Shanghainese, who has been living in quarantine since the middle of January, has shared some top tips with Surfshark. “Having a strict daily routine and certain rules not only helps to establish proper working habits but keeps you sane,” he told the privacy protection company.
Plus, Surfshark’s cybersecurity expert weighs in on the ease with which cybercriminals can gather sensitive information if you are working remotely and do not protect your devices.
Here’s what you can do to address the challenges of balancing the demands of work life and home life, which is especially hard when the kids are at home.
Have a designated working area
“Having separate areas for work and leisure is a must. If you have never worked from home before, and do not have a dedicated area for it, I would highly recommend reorganising your home accordingly,” Cho says. If you don’t have a spare room, having a divider screen or a piece of furniture, which separates your working zone from the rest of the home, helps to keep the work-life balance. “Most of us are used to leave work-related problems behind the office door. When working from home it is important to use the same method – leave the work area after your working hours are over.” Cho says.
Try to keep the same bedtime schedule you had while you were working from the office. Having a strict daily routine helps you feel safer and less distant from your usual life. “When working from home, it is very easy to distract yourself during the day, and later try to overcompensate it during the evenings. It leaves people drained and tired,” Cho says.
He also highlights having a to-do list helps you to prioritise tasks and keep track of their development. He says this has proven to be very useful for him and his colleagues. “Otherwise, it is easy to feel lost among all tasks, start postponing them, and feel a sense of vagueness,” he adds.
Make cybersecurity a priority
If it seems that the whole world is united to contain and mitigate the coronavirus disease, there are always cybercriminals who are just waiting to exploit vulnerable people.
The vast majority of companies have strict cybersecurity routines implemented by in-house IT managers. Offices usually enforce security and privacy on a network level. Since it gets complicated to replicate it when working remotely, lots of people are becoming especially susceptible to cyberthreats.
“Almost anyone with some basic technical knowledge can crack the connection of public Wi-Fi after watching a step-by-step tutorial on YouTube. The hackers can see anything that is being sent to or coming from the computer using the network. If a person does not encrypt traffic using a VPN, all their documents, passwords and files can be put on public display,” Naomi Hodges, Surfshark’s cybersecurity expert, explains.
Make time for socialising
Socialising is crucial, but Cho recommends having more phone calls with relatives and co-workers rather than chatting all the time. “If you used to have coffee breaks with your colleagues, continue to do so over a video call. It helps you stay sane, present, and keeps the sense of your daily life,” he says.
Exercise and discover new hobbies
There isn’t a better time to give a new hobby a whirl or create a challenge for yourself, whether it’s trying meditation or finding a novel way to stay fit at home. “Having new hobbies or doing sports in the evening helps you to keep a work-life balance, which is extremely important during the quarantine,” Cho says.“It is always easier to put the computer away if you know what you will do next. Otherwise, you just risk blurring the line between your leisure and answering those messages from your co-workers 24/7.”