With the majority of the world’s workforce working from their homes, we’re facing issues such as motivation and productivity. Remote working productivity has particularly become a serious issue for managers as more and more employees complain of a dip in their productivity while working from home.
So, here are some fundamental but crucial tips that could help alleviate some of the problems that employees might be facing while working from home.
Accept the Initial Learning Curve
Work from Home (WFH) isn’t a completely new concept. However, the recent epidemic and the ensuing global lockdown means that it is the first time such a wide segment of the workforce is operating from their homes. Many reputable MNCs, as well as SMEs all across the world, have directed their employees to work from home.
While at first, it may seem like a dream scenario, it doesn’t take long for certain problems to appear. Employees may feel like they’re not being productive enough, that the boundary between work and life is becoming blurred, and more importantly, not feeling motivated.
Firstly, it is important to note that remote working productivity usually takes a dip in the first few days and sometimes even weeks. Just like with any workplace policy, there is a learning curve that comes with working from home. It makes sense since you’re not used to working from home, at least not as regularly.
Furthermore, the environment has changed. Instead of your workstation and desk surrounded by other employees, you’re now in your home. So, don’t be too hard on yourself for the first couple of days.
Create a Schedule & Follow It
A way to alleviate some of your remote working productivity issues is by creating a schedule. Yes, even though you’re working from home, you need a schedule. Most people find a dip in their productivity because they lose their regimen. In their defense, who wouldn’t?
A schedule creates a mental alarm clock in your mind. The deadlines you give yourself, as well as the need to get these tasks done in the appropriate time, can be just the motivator your need.
Ensure Minimal Distractions
This has been by far my biggest qualm about working from home. One of the first things you’ll notice when working from home is that your family members seem to think you have a lot more free time than you have. Nothing deteriorates my remote working productivity more than having my pet randomly walk into my room. It’s the same case with children as well as other family members.
Again, it’s your home and these distractions are going to be there. While you can’t get rid of these distractions, you can at least ensure they don’t distract you too much. The best way to do so is to find a secluded spot for yourself in your house.
It should be comfortable enough, have a good enough Wi-Fi reception, and should be somewhere you feel focused enough to work. I’d also advise you to discuss this with your family members about not disturbing you during your work hours.
Working from home doesn’t mean that you have to constantly be in your little bubble. The worse thing employees and managers could do right now is to forgo the importance of communication. Constant and seamless communication has become one of the mantras for success in the corporate world.
Admittedly, it is harder to maintain the same level of communication while you’re not physically in the same space. But this is the time to use VoIP apps to their maximum potential. You have a plethora of options to choose from. There’s no telling how long you might have to keep working from home. Hence, it is best if you ensure that you send your manager timely updates on all your projects.
I’d advise doing the same with clients and keeping them constantly in the loop. This is something that you should be doing professionally either way, but keeping clients constantly informed of progress is even more important during the current environment.
Use Proper Remote Working Tools
This goes without saying but you’ll be relying heavily on the internet while working from home. It makes sense that your remote working productivity depends heavily on how fast and secure your internet connection is.
I’d advise you to avoid public Wi-Fi connections. While they may be free, they are often convenient hunting ground for potential hackers. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you absolutely need to use public Wi-Fi, make sure you have a reliable VPN installed.
My personal recommendation would be PureVPN, as it ticks off all the necessary boxes a VPN should have. You can use it on up to 10 mobile or desktop devices at once. It uses the safest AES-256-bit encryption to protect all your incoming and outgoing traffic. And finally, thanks to its 2000+ servers in 140+ countries, you can have seamless access to all the content you need on the internet.
Even if you’re not on a public connection, a VPN can ensure absolute privacy as it keeps your connection secure from any prying eyes or potential hackers looking to exploit weaknesses in your connection.
Take Adequate Breaks
As I mentioned earlier, distractions exist. Although you can minimize their effects, you can never really get rid of them. Furthermore, there’s the added pressure of getting all your tasks done in the stipulated time. All of this can get really stressful at times. The result is a negative impact on your remote working productivity.
That is why you must factor in regular breaks in between your work. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. It makes sure that you’re not too stressed while ensuring your eyes are not being strained beyond their limit.
Even if you decide to stay at your desk, try and watch some interesting videos on YouTube while you eat your lunch or talk to a colleague. I’d advise keeping yourself away from work-related emails or texts during these little breaks. These frequent breaks can help you maintain your energy and motivation while working and increase your overall focus on the job at hand.
In the End, Remember to Take It Easy
These can be testing times. Different people are bound to have different reactions to working from home. But at the end of all this, you need to remember that the work you’re supposed to be doing from home is nothing new. Changing environments can be more challenging for some than others. Seek out appropriate help if you feel you need it.
There’s no telling how long you may need to work from home, so think of it as another avenue for you to learn from personally, and professionally. If you approach this with the right attitude, then not only will your remote working productivity stay consistent but you’ll find yourself enjoying yourself more than you ever did working at the office.