Teleworking: how to be efficient

It was officially the first week of teleworking for many of us in Vientiane. I actually started 10 days ago, and though last week, I felt it was pretty easy to adapt, I got a different feeling this past week: it is challenging.

Yes. And, I don’t know for you, but I really thought it would be easier. Most of the persons I am in contact with in France are confined but not working. I kind of find a routine now and I wanted to share it with you. One more week to come

Get dressed. It will put you in the mood of “I am not on week-end” and so, it can boost your motivation. I did all week, and it’s like your brain knows you will have to work and stay focus – I have the “syndrome of the Sunday migraine” (yes, it exists 🙂 ) and having shower and getting dressed will put you in condition. No need fancy clothes, I haven’t put any of my usual working outfits (shirt/skirt/high heels), but pants you are comfortable in, a nice top if you wish to feel “pretty”.


Have a coffee or a breakfast. No matter the time I start work: I never have breakfast at home. For people living in Vientiane, you know how easy it can be to grab a sandwich here, a khao piek there or a croissant in the city center if you are more into pastries. Since last week, the time I don’t spend putting make up on my face, I use it to prepare a coffee, to eat if I am hungry. “Far” away from my work station.

Respect your usual working hours. It sounds stupid, but again, it helps to put you in condition. Your colleagues, your stakeholders, some from home, some still working, expect from you to be available and reachable during the usual business times. I personally work from 8.30AM to 5.30PM, and the first day, I felt guilty turning on my laptop at 8.35AM :/ ! Since then, I am in front of my computer at 8.20AM 🙂

Organize your work station. I have an extra room, but no desk or table in it: my work station is on my dining table, half of it. I have a laptop, all my notebook, pending documents, pens, Stabilos and my scanner-printer. It was important for me to set this small corner, while it has nothing to do with my usual office environment. Think also of where you will be sitting during those hours, having a pillow to support your back is important.

Keep contact with your team. We set up a Skype group, and when for now we haven’t had any call all together, it happens one of the team members is calling me on video, it is good to see their faces, and you realize how important it is to be part of something. I don’t like to set up meetings for nothing, and to be honest, the activity has been slowing down the past few weeks, and I choose to trust them when they say they are working.

Take a lunch break. Except in case of big days, I have most of my lunches out of office; if I see I am very late in a task, I’d have the food delivered. So, likely, I think my usual lunch breaks are around 1 hour, sometimes 1 and a half. The first days at home were tricky: I spent like 45 min preparing food, and didn’t have much time to enjoy it. I decided then to prepare food in advance, or more the day before so I just have to warm it. If I am now able to have a proper meal in some days less than 30 min, I’d spend the other half scrolling on my phone, catch up with friends on WhatsApp… The break is important to also keep be motivated in the afternoon.

Practice exercise. Except the fact I give some rest to my skin and my hair, it gives me time to finish work on time and attend online classes. Because of transportation situation, I am not able to go to the gym, except the week-end; since last week, I had a run, 3 sessions of workout and many more to come (if I can keep getting motivated !) – Oh, it’s time to go !

On a more general note, let’s try to be positive. Today, 4th of April, no new case in Laos: this is great. We can hear everywhere to slow down, to take time for ourselves: that is the time to spend time with family, even virtually, to clean the house, to spend time on your terrace, balcony and hammock, to read, to cook and bake. I admit I am not bored because I spent 8 work days actually working, and my Saturday-Sunday will be the usual time of cleaning and ironing. But keep smiling, it could be worst :). And if you are bored and turning crazy, message me, okey ?

Take care,
With love,

– A.

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