Maximising Work-from-Home Productivity
The onslaught of COVID-19 has torn apart conventional means of working and brought forth unprecedented social experiment for companies — working from home. For the longest time, working remotely has been exclusive to a specific group of employees, but now, companies have realised that many tasks and responsibilities can now be performed from home. Working from home can have its share of challenges and distractions, so in lieu of that, we have listed some helpful tips to keep your productivity up.
Wake up when you would do normally
Instil a sense of discipline by waking up as you would usually do. While you might not spend time commuting to the office, this would ensure you have more time in the mornings to sort yourself out before clocking in. It’s also efficient to plan your day ahead of time by listing out your priorities and to-dos. This not only helps with your productivity throughout the day but will also leave you feeling more satisfied at the end of the day as you check your completed tasks off one by one.
Getting dressed after showering might seem redundant since you’re working from home, but believe us, it’s a crucial tip. When you’re still in your PJs, you’re less likely to be productive and will have a slower start to the day. You don’t have to wear a blazer, but the simple act of dressing up sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to get to work and also draws the line between work time and being at home. When you wake up, take some effort into your appearance, especially when you have zoom meetings; this includes taking a shower, combing your hair and putting on some makeup if that’s what you’d usually do.
Choose a Proper Home Office
The best and probably worst thing about working from home is the level of comfort it exudes. We’re at home, so it’s natural to feel the most comfortable but this however, comes at the cost of productivity and focus. Instead of slouching on your bed or sofa, create a dedicated working space in your room or any part of the house, so you can focus on work and resist the temptation of sleep and lethargy.
Install Quality Technology
Working remotely can have its pros and cons. As much as we love working at our own pace, there’s nothing more frustrating and impeding than a poor internet connection. These days, when meetings are conducted via Zoom or FaceTime, it can be a hindrance to your work like missing out on vital discussions when you suffer from network issues. Install a competent wi-fi router or subscribe to a trusted network provider.
Keep Clearly Defined Working Hours
Just as there should be designation to your physical workspace, the same distinction should be applied to your working hours. Stick to your regular working hours and be sure to get most of your work done during that time. This also helps with the transition back to the office. It’s very important to set boundaries and draw the line because you’re accountable and in charge of your environment. If you feel yourself working overtime because you aren’t doing anything in the evening, it’s time to put work away, recharge, and start tomorrow with a fresh mind because the work will be there in the morning. Boundaries don’t just apply to work, but to your family so you can cut down on distractions during the workday. Having carved our time and space to work allows you to be more present at home.
Don’t Get Too Sucked in by the News—or Anything Else
Distraction, distraction, distraction — the woe of working from home. It’s human to get distracted, but you need to be wary of how much you let yourself get distracted.
There are plenty of agents of distractions, like the laundry, your bed, the TV and most pertinently, the news. It’s good to stay informed on the COVID-19 daily updates but don’t allow it to be constantly bothering you and leaving you anxious. If you’re one who’s susceptible to getting distracted every time, you get a news alert, we suggest turning off your notifications until after working and timing your breaks. You don’t want to get too immersed and forget that you’re at work altogether.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
The key to any relationship is communication, and this principle extends to your working relationships too. When you face challenges — which you’re likely to when working remotely, steer through it through communication, especially with your manager and direct reports. Come up with a plan that lays out expectations for how often you should check in and the method of conveying assignments to one another. Another tip to remember is that in this gilded age of communication, emails aren’t the only means to check in. You might find it convenient to check in with your boss and coworkers over the phone or through video chat. This decreases the chances of miscommunication and breaks up some of the social isolation that can come from working from home. There will be instances that things don’t go according to the plan, but it’s okay if it does. Just ensure to circle back and adapt the plan to changes that prop up. If you come across a dead end, reach out for help, there’s no shame in that.
Make Ground Rules for Family Members
There’s a sense of clarity and understanding amongst today’s generation about working from home because they have either experienced it themselves or witnessed someone else. The older generation who are used to the conventional means of working might not be familiar with this idea and think working from home is without any strict routine.
There might be days where the workload isn’t so bad, so you help your mother with cooking lunch. This shouldn’t send signals that you’re free everyday to help or perform other household chores. Imagine if you’re attending an online meeting and your mother barges in unexpectedly to tell you something — it’s disturbing.
Therefore, it’s important to make ground rules for your family and help them understand that working hours are sacred to you and you’d like to minimise distractions the best you can.
Eat & Sleep right
It’s easy to succumb to the temptation of the kitchen and bed, especially given the access is just a few footsteps away. Grabbing snacks from the kitchen doesn’t benefit your weight nor is it healthy in any way so try to eat right, like celery sticks in a hummus dip. Make it your priority to sleep at a reasonable hour and wake up early.