Working from home has fast become the new norm in 2020, but some of us are a little unfamiliar with the ins-and-outs of the home office. Working from home in South Africa comes with its own challenges, especially if you do not have access to fast or stable internet, but with some helpful advice, you can make your remote working venture a success.
When you are working from home there are certain aspects of daily life you need to consider. Try to keep your working life and personal life as separate as possible to avoid any burnout, and you should make sure that your home office is not situated in your bedroom, to make it feel more structured. Regular communication with your team is also important.
Feeling a little lost? Below we give some top tips for working from home in South Africa.
Maintain Your Routine
Working from home has proven to be most successful when you continue to maintain your routine, as much as you possibly can. Think of the situation like this: the only change to your working day is where you are physically working. If your routine involves waking up early for exercise, try to maintain this, even if it means exercising indoors.
Try to eat breakfast at the same time every morning and start your working day at the same hour you would if you were going into the office. Of course, it can be difficult to stick to your routine too rigidly, but try to keep your hours and breaks the same. Working from home in South Africa does not mean you can sleep in late and take leisurely lunches.
Keep Working And Leisure Spaces Separate
An important part of making your work-from-home venture a success is to ensure that your working space and relaxing spaces are separate. This can be difficult if you are in a small apartment, but you can set up a desk in your dining room to ensure that your bedroom does not also become your office.
If you have a spare room that is not being used, now is the time to transform it into a comfortable but functional office. Keeping these areas separate helps your mind to go into “work mode” during the day, rather than having to find the motivation to work. And you will find it easier to unwind and relax in a space that does not constantly remind you of work, which could lead to burnout and mental health problems.
One of the most challenging factors of working from home in South Africa is being able to communicate with your team on a regular basis. You can use tools such as Microsoft Teams to communicate daily with your team and update each other with important information or create a WhatsApp group for urgent messages that might be missed on the computer.
It is important to stick to one or two methods of communication so that everyone is on the same page and so that nobody is messaging the other on a different app. You should also remember to always have morning meetings every day and tell your team if you will be away from your desk for a long period of time. However, there is no need to communicate every time you go to make coffee or answer a phone call.
There is certainly the temptation to stay in your pyjamas when working from home in South Africa, but in order to feel like you are actually working, you should get dressed in proper clothes every day. Not only will you have comfortable and cosy pyjamas to look forward to at the end of the day, but you will also feel like you are really “at work” and be more motivated.
You will also not have to scramble to find a “work shirt” for those unexpected video calls if you are already wearing work clothes! While you do not need to dress formally every day, it is a good idea to lay out an outfit the night before so your day runs a little smoother from the get go. But, there might be some cold days where a fuzzy gown and slippers are the best option – it is all about balance.
Make Working From Home Work For You
Not everyone will have the same working from home situation in South Africa, but with some simple guidelines, you can make it work for you. Remember to maintain your routine every day to continue productivity, keep your working and leisure spaces separate, and continue communication with your team every day. And remember to dress in proper clothes.
If you need some help with adjusting to working from home, take a look at our business categories to find the equipment or help that you need.