Working from home is the new norm in the age of COVID-19 – across the globe; of course, barring a few professions like the healthcare workers.
While the lockdown may be relaxed in the near future, work from home is likely to continue till the threat of Coronavirus ceases to exist. While working from home frees up a lot of time that you would otherwise have spent commuting, it does come with its own set of challenges, which includes among other things, a loss of productivity.
Yes, that’s true. Working from home can often lead to loss of productivity, especially in such trying times such as these. So, how is it possible to go about staying productive as we all work from the ‘comfort’ of our homes? Here’s a look:
Stick to regular hours
While it is possible to be flexible with working hours when you work from home and not maintain a regular schedule, sticking to regular hours is not only recommended but also expected by most employers. So be clear when you want to start work and when you want to call it a day. However, remember that work from home comes with flexibility and you can change your routine a bit here and there to mix things up, but not much.
Create a dedicated office space
Having a dedicated work space is important because it helps you focus. While you may want to relax and work from your bed, it is always better to work from a desk, just as you would do in office. Create a space that is comfortable and is at a quiet corner where you are not disturbed. Avoid checking emails, texting or doing any office work in front of a TV. Rather, keep it separate.
Take regular breaks
When in office, one tends to take regular breaks whether it is a visit to the water cooler or for tea or coffee. Breaks at regular intervals are good for your mind and will also help you focus better when you are back to work. However, avoid taking very long breaks. You can use one of the several apps or an alarm to remind yourself to take a five-minute break every hour or so.
When working from home, one is more likely to be distracted, whether it is call from a friend and social media like Facebook, Instagram and so on. It would require an effort but try and ensure that you do not mix work and pleasure. This would also involve telling your friends that you are working for such and such hours or that you will call them back later. Having said that, you need to be prepared for distractions. Kids or family members, who require something from you, will be there, but you need to anticipate those and plan accordingly.
Get tech savvy
Fortunately, there are several tools that can make work from home easier and more productive. While Zoom meetings are an in thing now, tools like Google Docs helps you create, edit and share documents with your colleagues and work on them together. There are also apps which keeps track of projects that are being worked on, who is working on them and the status of the project. Even an office WhatsApp group can help you stay connected, share ideas and keep the conversation going.
Whatever it is, at the end of the day we have to bear with the situation and cooperate with our fellow human beings till the situation comes under control. Till then, keep working from the comfort of your favourite corner of the room.
And of course, StayHome StaySafe.