It hasn’t been business as usual for the past two months now - three months in some locations. Companies have had to rethink their strategies and employees have been asked to work from home. While working from the comfort of one’s home is not a new concept as many people have successfully managed operations from their living rooms or home office, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. People fretting over lack of focus or decreased outputs are common complaints, especially for professionals who have been thrust into the work from home setup due to the circumstances. So what does it take to be productive while working from home? Here’s a list of things you can do for a start.
Dedicated Work Area
Time to take off those table top covers and set up a home office. With your own workspace, you will feel like you're in an office-like setup, and that works great at improving efficiency. Choose a quiet corner in the house or better still, a room that provides a distraction free space for you to work in. An ergonomically designed chair also proves its worth when it comes to putting in the hard yards at your home office.
Dress For Work
With your office space sorted, you can work peacefully at home. However, it is also important to dress the part. Many studies have proved that the way you dress for work has a direct impact on your performance. So keep that in mind and don’t pack away those formal shirts and suits just yet. Get yourself into a routine the same way you did for a normal workday. This sends a signal to your brain to get active for a day full of work, just like before.
Face to Face Contact
The modern work from home culture is fuelled by technology and innovation. This makes it easy to maintain face to face contact with your colleagues. While keeping the flow of information through emails is important, your daily meeting and team huddles should be done through video conferencing. This not only gives you the ability to see your colleagues but also gives you an idea of their general mindset. Half of the conversation, they say, is done through body language, and maintaining regular in-video conversations will help you gauge your team’s mood.
Once you get the hang of working from home, you will inevitably spend endless hours going through online presentations, reports, and whatnot. But don’t let yourself fall into the sinkhole of an unbalanced work from home life. Taking regular breaks is the way to go. Since you are working from home you will have more than one reason to get away from your desk. Maybe help your partner with chores, make a snack, or take the dog for a walk. However you wish to do it, it's important to take breaks from work so that you can get back to the tasks at hand with full vigour.
Rules For Family Members
There is one problem that everybody faces while working from home: over-enthusiastic family members. Interruptions from kids during an important client call is the last thing you'd want. So it’s best to sit down with the family, especially if you have young kids, and explain to them what you’re doing. Set clear ground rules for the time you’re in your work area and if required create a schedule and stick it to the refrigerator. With everyone in the house aware of your daily schedule, interruptions will be minimised and you can put your mind to work with full concentration.
The world is still coming to terms with our current reality. Nobody knows how long the situation will last but work must go on, and it definitely will thanks to the work from home culture. While things may seem difficult in the beginning, a little perseverance will ensure you maintain your productivity and efficiency even in testing times like these. And after a hard day’s work, you can always whip off those barbeque covers and relax just the way you like. But for now, get to work!