Shanghainese tips on how to work from home effectively during a quarantine

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic, more and more people are starting to work from home.

“Having a strict daily routine and certain rules not only helps to establish proper working habits but keeps you sane,” says Paul Cho, Shanghainese, who has been living in quarantine since the middle of January. 

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 reorganizing your home accordingly,” says Paul. 

A 34-year man explains that 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.”

Discipline

Try to keep your bedtime schedule as if 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,” says Paul.  

“Having a to-do list helps to prioritize tasks and keep track of their development. It has proved to be very useful for me and my colleagues. Otherwise, it is easy to feel lost among all tasks, start postponing them, and feel the sense of vagueness,” adds Paul. 

Cybersecurity 

Even if it seems that the whole world is united to fight for a common goal, there are always cybercriminals who are just lurking 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.

Socializing

“Socializing is vital. Instead of chatting 24/7, try to have more phone calls with your relatives, and coworkers. If you used to have coffee breaks with your colleagues, continue to do so over the video call. It helps you stay sane, present, and keeps the sense of your daily life,” says Paul.

Sports and hobbies

Find new hobbies, or even create a challenge for yourself, try meditation, or home sports: “Having new hobbies or doing sports in the evening helps you to keep a work-life balance, which is extremely important during the quarantine,” says Paul.

“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 Slack messages from your coworkers 24/7.”

Having specific rules for your daily routine might seem a bit overwhelming at first. Still, it helps to keep much-needed sanity in these hectic days: “It is not an apocalypse, but rather a temporary working condition we have to adapt to for a common cause.” 

Naomi Hodges is a cybersecurity advisor and a contributing writer at Surfshark.

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