Due to the global outbreak of coronavirus, most of the world is under lockdown and people are being asked to stay home as much as possible. The companies have adapted a new trend and encouraging their employees to work from home for an indefinite amount of time. Working from home has essentially become the new normal.
Of Course in the beginning most of you enjoy this new work lifestyle, but as time passes we come to realize that working from home is not always a boon but can become a bane as well.
If you are new to the work from home culture, either because of coronavirus or because you have managed to find a remote job, you will need to adjust some of your routines and practices to make working from home a success.
How can I maximize my productivity when working from home?
A Great but unanswered question to many, Right?
I think the answer would change, person to person, based on their unique habits. However, there are a few basic tips that I think one can apply, no matter what your habits are.
1. Create & Maintain a Morning Routine
When working from home, it’s easy to become very relaxed. Mostly due to the fact that your schedule is far less hectic. The negative side effect of this would be that you lose your daily morning routine and act more randomly. Which would have a significant negative impact on your productivity. Come up with a routine that marks the beginning and end of the workday. These actions will cause your mind to get in the right frame that will signal your brain to call it a day. You will gradually develop a habit of doing certain things at a specific time which will prove your work to be effective and efficient.
2. Plan Everything
Ideally your next day plan should be ready by a night before. If you are not super organized already, let’s start now. Planning is very important, no matter where you are working from. You should have clear goals and how to reach them. You can use apps to add and track your plans. Set alert notifications so you do not miss anything.
3. Designated Workspace to Stay Focused
You may not have space in your home to create a completely separate office. But you have to try your best to create as much separation as possible between your personal space and your workspace.
Many people who work remotely find it very difficult to focus on work when there are so many other things around the house that need to be done. The more you can separate yourself from these types of distractions, the easier it will be to focus on work.
Avoid working in bed– It will make you feel sleepy and tired. Better to set a chair and table for working. Make sure this is a comfortable space as you have to spend more than just a few hours. Try to set up your working area near natural light. Natural light would help your mind to be more productive.
4. Avoid any Distraction
Work time is work time. Make it clear to friends and family that, just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean you’re available. Another form of distraction is, Text messages, whatsapp, phone calls and social media. As I mentioned earlier, your work environment can drastically affect your productivity. My advice is to Inform your family about your work schedule and put all the devices to “Do not Disturb”.
5. Good Internet
Investing in WiFi will never disappoint you. The money that goes for commuting can be put to use for a good WiFi. Not doing so will lead to a lack of continuation, frustration, stretching of work, redoing of work and more. And please try to avoid using phone internet for long time work from home.
6. Respect Your Work Timings
Make a time table of when to start and log off every day. Respect your working hours. Do not waste time during your office hours to avoid working late after working hours.
7. Over Communicate
Communication is crucial when working as a remote worker because one will not feel isolated. The interaction with teams helps in energizing the work capacity. It will help in solving the issues as well.
8. Connect With Your Team
Working from home does not mean that you have to lose contact from all the updates shared by your team and colleagues. Therefore use the best software available to stay connected with your team so that you know what is happening and what are your targets and how to achieve them alongside your team. It’s easy to get lonely and unmotivated when you have no accountability, and no “work friends”. Don’t isolate yourself. Make sure you still feel like part of the team. Be in contact with your coworkers as much as possible.
9. Take breaks
If you want to maximize your productivity you have to take breaks! Studies have proven that taking breaks during workday has a significant impact on your productivity. Breaks offer you the unique opportunity to take your mind off work for a short time and when used appropriately, breaks eliminate the possibility of burnout and increase productivity. You can take breaks for lunch & coffee, a short break to talk with family or people you like, and listening to music. Taking breaks certainly boosts our productivity with an active mind.
10. Other Key Tips
I saved the most important for last. These are small changes in your life or workplace but surely boost your productivity.
Create your designated workspace. Have Table & Chair to work
Have very good internet for work
Stay focused. Keep your personal and professional life separate at home
Don’t put your work desk in your bedroom or your living room.
Keep your work area full of light. Open the blinds or have daylight On
Keep green plants around your desk
Stay Hydrated. Keep sipping on water or fruit juice to not get a headache.
Don’t forget to shower, forget to brush your teeth, forget to clip your nails.
Avoid working in pajamas, keep yourself well dressed.
Take a Good Sleep. Go to bed early and wake up early in the morning.
Exercise regularly to stay fit.
Every half-an-hour make a habit of stand for a minute
Do not skip your meals while working. Eat right.
Communicate well. Stay connected with your co-workers