As COVID -19 spreads different countries are trying to stop the spread or flatten the curve by different means necessary. As US has opted for a mandatory lockdown, it is no surprise that many of us are working from home. For the ones who already work remotely, it may just be another scenario but for many working from home for the first time (continuously) brings some opportunities and challenges.
When I started working from home 2 weeks ago, I was excited. I can work in a relaxed environment; I will avoid the commute time and I will be able to do all the small household activities which I always wanted to do.
However, after working from home I have realized that reality is a bit different. Initially whereas you enjoy the flexibility, the silence around you can be distracting and not being able to distinguish when the workday actually ends. Do it for a week and these problems can amplify.
After discussing with my colleagues, here are some tips to ensure you don’t compromise on your productivity while you enjoy the relaxation.
1) Set clear boundaries: Working from home doesn’t mean you are working more hours. Due to uncertainty and lack of face to face communications, some decisions maybe delayed however talk to your manager and discuss your schedule. If you work fulltime, of course at times you have to work for extra hours but don’t let be a norm. Have a clear distinction of when your workday ends and put away the equipment. Discuss with your team and your manager the schedule, if you have kids and they are at home discuss your situation. This will help you to not to overstressed and your time will also know your circumstances more effectively.
2) Show your faces: Whenever you have meetings encourage everyone for a video call. It helps with loneliness and provides verbal cues which are essential. Have at least 1-2 meetings where your time has a video call. This can make it more personal.
3) Create Social events: Even when working from home, create social events or activities that give others a chance to come together for either work related or non-work-related tasks. You can have happy hours over Slack (or any other communication platform that you use). Have communication channels dedicated to themes. Stay in touch with your colleagues with whom you regularly have coffee breaks or lunches.
4) Redefine your commute time: If you usually have a long commute, don’t consider it as extra work time. Use this time for self-renewal or spend with your family. You can do some exercise or watch T.V in morning. If you want some good suggestions on T.V shows to watch, you can read our read our blog on 7 TV shows to watch while WFH
5) Get structure: When working from home as boundaries come blurry, so if you are someone who likes to be up after every hour in the office then reflect that in your home as well. You can also designate different places for different types of work. If it requires a high level of concentration, you can designate an isolated place to give you more focus if it is a task checking emails you can do it in a patio or lounge. Also get apps that can help you to manage your tasks effectively. Also investing in quality technology helps. See if your company can help you to get docking station, monitors etc. so you can replicate the office experience in terms of functioning.
So these are some of tips you can use to maximize your productivity while working from home. You can certainly have some relaxation while also being productive and being a valuable team member.
Let us know what you think of our tips. Feel free to leave a comment in the comments section.