Due to the drastic spread of novel coronavirus or COVID-19, companies are making several efforts to keep their employees safe and maintain the productivity at the same time. Most of companies have asked their employees to work from home. As majority of the people don’t have experience in working remotely, it is difficult for them to stay productive as much as they would be in their offices. Here are the tips for employees to maintain the productivity while working remotely.
Set Up a Routine
The remote work obviously often allows you to set your own hours, a lack of structure or routine can be damaging to your workflow. When you engage in remote work, it’s easy for your colleagues in regular offices to think that you’re always there to “take calls.” It is better to use a digital calendar tool to let co-workers know what your working hours are so that they can know when it’s appropriate to ask you questions or when you should be left alone. One must schedule their hours around appointments, lunch, and other activities just as you would at an office job but it’s also important to pencil those into your calendar as well. Make sure to discuss your remote work hours with your manager before you begin and once those hours are established, make a point of sticking to them. Within that “block” of time, divide out your subroutines. It is essential to make sure that you clearly establish which times you’re receptive to emails, phone calls, etc. and when you’re officially off the work.
Keep Your Workspace Clean
At the end of every day, or at least every week, it's worth cleaning your office(your workspace). Make sure that you have dedicated space that’s “yours” to work in. It can help you effectively if that space is solely devoted to work only. After a few weeks, you’ll instinctively know it’s time to lock down as soon as you sit down. Throw away what's unnecessary. It will help clear your mind too. Psychologically, it is proven way to boost efficiency. It is important to keep things at right places. You can start by creating a dedicated and welcoming workspace. Next, invest in the equipment you’ll need. For example - an office chair and desk, a speedy internet connection, a hands-free headset, a good quality webcam for your video conference calls, etc. Creating a cozy and inspiring environment is important too. This is a space where you’ll be spending a lot of time. Give it some love.
When we work in a team, communication becomes extremely important. When in doubt, communicate with colleagues and managers. This will make sure you remain in touch with them. When working remotely, it's better to over-communicate than it is to under-communicate. After all, your employer won't necessarily know you're working, so you'll need to make sure everyone is aware of what you're doing. It is advised to keep records or updates on any messaging platform to let other Teammates know what you've been up to today. It encourages us to get things done every day and lets others know what we've been working on.
When you’re out of sight and people can’t reach you as easily, small doubts can begin to arise. Therefore, it is a must to build trust from the start by agreeing with your employer and colleagues by keeping them updated on your progress and activities. You could propose quick but regular status calls to teammates or a simple progress report that you can send out at regular intervals to your manager. If in case you aren’t going to be reachable for a period of time, provide advance notice to the colleagues who might miss you.
Use the right tools
The right kind of tools can be game changers when it comes to remote teamwork. Tools like Slack, SmartSheet, Skype, Hangout, Zoom and Google Drive are just a few to name. These tools are really essential because they can help you collaborate on projects and share documents. Now, many of these softwares & tools have cut down their charges. Moreover, they are also providing the additional features. Thus, by using the right video conferencing software like FaceTime, Zoom or Skype, etc., one can stay connected with their team to increase the productivity.
Set goals & meet them
As mentioned above, it is important to create the routine but it is equally important to stick to the plans. Distractions are an issue when you work from home. At the start of the week, determine what hours you plan to work and stick to them. That’s why it’s a good idea to set concrete work goals to keep you focused and moving forward. And while setting goals is important, one must make sure to hold themselves accountable to them too. Use your smartphone for information and not distractions even though you have got liberty use it whenever you want to. When one works with focus & discipline, after completing those goals, it inspires them more to follow the same attitude towards their goals.
It is the best to mimic from home the same habits you would have if you were working in a physical office such as taking a moment to chat with coworkers or grabbing a cup of coffee at your local cafe. It's also vitally important to move your body. Don't sit still for the entire day. Get creative with your breaks and run out for lunch with a friend or take a walk around to get some fresh air. Ideally, try to work out once a day, or at least go for a daily walk. One can rock out at home with a rich playlist to get into the zone. Essentially, anything you can do to give your brain and body a break will be beneficial to your overall experience and productivity. Mentally, too, it's good to occasionally stop working and move around.
Separate Work from Life
Now that you work from home, the boundaries between work and life will seem thinner. But it's important to keep those boundaries as interference of either of these would land you in troubles. So, avoid working where you sleep or where you eat. Find a space where you work and only work.
A remote team can be just as effective, if not more effective, than a local, in-house team. Although it requires some coordination, it allows everyone more flexibility, which can help your team maintain a healthy work-life balance. When done the right way, a remote job can provide both workers and their companies with a healthy balance of freedom, flexibility, and production. Using the tips above can serve as a guide for how to make remote work as effective as possible.