Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, almost every business organization has switched to Work From Home (WFH) for ensuring social distancing. The culture of WFH is not yet absorbed by the Indian workforce substantially. While working from the comfort of your home can seem like a great option, it can easily turn down your productivity by many notches.
In order to keep a professional environment, productive attitude and unhindered outputs, here are some of the tips to ensure a great work from home time:
Here's what you will learn
Anyone who goes to work starts their day at least 2 hours before reaching their workplace by prepping themselves. That includes getting ready, having breakfast, and commuting to the office. This routine usually wakes you up and gets you going to start your work as you reach your work station.
In case of work from home, the routine before work gets disrupted. So, instead of simply sleeping for more hours, you should get up at the same time as usual. Use the spare commute time for exercise, meditation or yoga to wake up the soul. Get ready for work by taking a bath, and freshening up.
Dedicate A Work Space
One of the biggest advantages of working in the office is the professional work environment. Casual chitchats, tea/coffee breaks, and other strolls are an escape from our usual work routine. However, during WFH, it’s the other way around. More often, you’ll find yourself on call with your colleagues or munching something or the other. Believe it or not, that makes a major part of your “working hours.”
Hence, you should assign a dedicated space to work. Arrange the space just the way you arrange your office work desk. Clearly let your family know about the Do Not Disturb policy around this area. When at your desk, make your thoughts, actions, and communication strictly related to work.
One of the best and the worst parts of working from home is that you become your own manager. So, if your management is structured, your day will end with things done right. If, in turn, it stays messy, the day will end with a backlog for the upcoming one.
To rectify such issues, start your day by planning your work. Dig to the depth of your tasks by assigning priorities and timelines at a micro-level. Make sure that the schedule includes your breaks, and that you stick with it.
Distractions while working from home are pretty similar to the annoying colleagues at work. The only difference is the frequency and intimacy of these distractions. Your annoying colleague will soon go back to work letting you have space to breathe and focus again, but what about the ones at home? Where would they go?
The main point is that it’s not their fault to live at home with a homely attitude. So, the best thing you can do is sit down and talk to them about what disturbs you, what they can do to reduce it, and how they can contribute to make your day productive instead. If nothing works, you can always find comfort in your headphones with music on full blast.
Breaks Are Important
If you are following the above steps carefully, you will find similar exhaustion to working from your office. Contrary to the popular belief in managers, breaks are much needed in WFH too. While you are at the comfort of your home, you are also in the zone of continuous work, while handling other distractions. (Handling such distractions are not breaks!)
Keep a minimum 3 break cycle for your WFH schedule. One before lunch, one for lunch, and one after lunch. Planning break cycles also help you schedule rest of the day’s work simultaneously. During your break from work, migrate your thoughts completely from work. This is your personal rejuvenation time, and you deserve to have it for your own professional health.
Communicating with your team during WFH can get really tough. Even if you are going according to the plan, someone else might be going for a long break instead. This can lead to a communication barrier. Internet connection, network speed, charged equipment; all contribute to establishing and maintaining communication during your WFH.
To overcome such barriers, share your day schedule with your teammates in the beginning of the day itself. This will ensure transparency in communication right away. Use online tools for task management like Asana, Trello, or any other platform based on your comfort. Make fixed virtual meetings mandatory at the beginning and the end of the day. You can also build a policy around the communication gap of 15-20 minutes, in case of absence during a call or message reply.
It’s Just Work
Unlike many conservative beliefs that work at office is more productive, many organizations have proved that with due planning and latest technology, Work From Home can be more productive than the former. That is how the Gig Economy survives most of the time, and you can only see it growing rapidly. In dire times like these, where businesses are compelled to switch to WFH as their last resort, let’s give our best by ensuring the best of our day itself.