With the social distancing policies and the banning of public gatherings which is leading to the shutdown of some companies, employers cannot help but adopt work from home policy for employees to keep businesses running.
While this system may benefit some employees (due to working at your own pace and time), it is still important to look at some of the challenges others may be facing which include but are not limited to “electricity and internet”, distractions, poor time management, etc.
Looking at the fact that most companies are shutting down and the economy is going bad by the day, employers will be thinking of possible ways to reduce cost which means that employees need to do everything possible to remain productive even while working from home.
Due to the challenges, it may be difficult to ascertain how productive one can be during this period and I am sure most of you employees may be thinking of the best ways to work effectively during the coronavirus outbreak.
Here are some tips for you to remain productive while working from home to avoid losing your job.
- Set daily goals and timelines
- Create a home-office ambience and put yourself in a good position to work
- Set a timetable
- Work with minimal distractions
- Communicate effectively.
Set Daily Goals and Timelines
It is important to keep a more daily schedule while working alone because you can make good use of your time if it’s well structured.
There could be distractions here and there (see how to avoid distraction below) which some may be unavoidable, and it would be better to set daily goals, and set a timeline to achieve that goal.
This way, you work towards achieving the goal and stay away from some personal task for the time you have set for working.
Create a Home-Office Ambience and Put Yourself in a Good Position to Work
It could be hard most of the time when you are on a couch or your bed and not in an office.
Some obstacles can make working from home more difficult than it seems and this is where discipline comes in to make sure you are on top of the game while working from home.
It may be necessary to set up a real office with a desk in your room or any separate room in the house so long as you can shut the door.
Make sure you have all the right equipment for your job (computer, internet, book and pen and any other thing you may need) and keep it in that room so that you don’t get distracted by going to and fro in search of any of the equipment.
When you have this separate room, let everyone know that you don’t need to be disturbed. With that, you will have that “office feeling” and you also put yourself in a good position to work. It also minimizes distraction and forces you to work efficiently and remain productive.
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Set a Timetable
Without that “being in the office kinda feeling”, work from home could be either fun and productive or boring and maybe not productive. But how do you stay on track to meet deadlines?
It can be much harder to set boundaries at this time since your place of relaxation is now your office but let me make it easy for you.
One of the best things to do is create a timetable for yourself. Write a to-do list in order of priority beginning from the hardest to the simplest. This will make you know where to begin from every morning and complete all the necessary tasks.
It may seem like you are only working all day and don’t have time for yourself, but this is the reason your timetable should indicate when you start, take a break, and close.
So how does it work? When its time to work, you forget about every other thing and give it your best, and when its time to quit, you shut down your system and walk away. Don’t forget to keep to time as this will help you remain focused and achieve as much as possible for the day.
Work with Minimal Distractions
The home is full of distractions coming from tv set, family members and other non-work stuff. The earlier you accept that there would be distractions as much as possible, the better for you because that is the only way you can solve the problem.
So how do you solve it? First, you need to look at those things that may distract you, it could be email messages, social media, family members, friends, sleep or food.
If you know you easily get distracted by calls, email or social media messages, you can turn off your notification or switch off your phone totally for the time being until you are done working then set out a time to check your inbox later.
As for distractions from family members, since you already set a timetable for yourself, it is important to let them know your working time and make them understand you wouldn’t be needing any distractions during working hours.
Stop checking Facebook, turn off Twitter notifications and avoid the temptation to browse your Instagram feed while working. Again, you can make out time for it once the work is done.
Talking about sleep and food, if you followed the second step (create a home-office ambience) you may have nothing to worry about but if you didn’t, then you need to stay away from your bed to avoid sleep and also make sure you don’t stay close to the freezer if you can’t control your eating and drinking habits.
Communicate Effectively (even more than you think is necessary)
Communication has evolved, meetings can now be held via Google Hangout no matter where each attendee is physically located, and real-time chat tools like Slack have connected different teams and enabled cross-collaboration.
It is important to discuss with your teammates about what you can do to move forward, share ideas, pose problems and proffer solutions.
On top of communication with your colleagues, it is also necessary to note that over-communication is absolutely out of the box. So as you work from home, try to keep the communication going so that you can share ideas with others.
While working from home has its advantages, there are also some disadvantages, but if you can avoid distractions and stay productive then you are good to go.
Have it in mind though that it is important to understand yourself and know what works for you so that you can adjust towards that.
Do you work from home? How productive have you been are what are your productivity tips?