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We can all agree to the fact that this is not how we expected 2020 to be. The start to the next decade was supposed to be much more prosperous with that tour plan, or wedding or graduation, or that movie release. Plans are spoiled, but work is still on.
The lockdown has completely shifted the way we work. We don’t go to work anymore. We wake up earlier than usual, stay at home, and work. Sometimes you feel that you are more productive being at home; sometimes, you think otherwise. A study from Stanford on work from home policy in a Chinese company showed a 13% spike in employees’ productivity. But the feeling of being at work with people, collaborating, and ideating together is missing, which neutralizes the situation.
We know that working from home is not the same as working from an office. Times have changed, and we have to change to adapt with time. Working virtual will have its difficulties, but nothing that can’t be solved to a large extent.
Here are a few tips for you to improve the way you work during this lockdown:
Remember how you used to wake up early, exercise maybe, take a shower, dress up fancy, have breakfast, and then go to work? Well, don’t change that routine outright.
Your mind and body are used to that routine before going to work. Changing that will bring about a change in the way you work and your overall productivity too.
Go back to your roots. Stick to the old schedule. Work between particular times that is as close to your old office timings. This will help you tune your body also into the ‘work mode.’
You can’t expect yourself to not feel at ‘home’ when you’re at home.
The best thing to do is create a space within your house that will be your office space.’ You will only use this space for work during working hours. It could be a room or your study table. Try to make this space fresh with sunlight, greenery, and cute little motivating quotes written on a notepad.
Even if you want to eat or sleep or take a break, go to a different part of your room. This can clearly distinguish your mind and body that particular space in your home is only for work and nothing else.
The most significant shift in your work routine will be not having those moments of chit-chatting with your peers or sharing a joke over at the coffee space. The presence of your coworkers is essential for any social being whose absence will impact the way we behave. A study recently showed that 66% of employees feel lonely, disconnected, and un-collaborative during work from home.
To combat this, communicate on your work channels and groups about how you feel about things. It could be a quick joke or a meme or a fact, or an update regarding work. It could be a quick call to your buddy at work during your break time. Over-communicate, and that’s better than under-communicating during this phase. It’s important you still try to create those tiny moments with your peers to feel connected.
It would be best if you took the same breaks that you used to bring in your office. But the holidays can’t be for you to cook your meal or do a chore at home. This overexerts your brain as you’re doing a task that is added to your routine work.
Try to avoid these tasks during your work hours. Do them after just like you would on any other day. Utilize these breaks to take a break from work genuinely. Go to the balcony for some fresh air, or listen to the same music you usually listen to when you travel to work. This will help in creating a good balance during working hours and help you stay refreshed.
What could have been easily discussed and done in a physical meeting takes much more time than a video conference. Time goes away in connectivity issues, check-ins, cutting while talking, and many other minor problems.
These issues that lead to excessive or prolonged meetings are not productive for you or your team. It could have been time spent to get work done. What you can do is set a minimum amount of time for meetings per day and nothing more. Consider it to be your daily quota. You can also consider using productivity tools or Emails to communicate work.
Nobody likes work that is mundane, boring, and unexciting. People want to enjoy what they’re doing, especially in this time filled with anxiety and stress. Burdening with just work and work talks can kill a team’s motivation. It is essential to make sure you and your team have fun while working, just like regular times.
Have that spontaneous Zoom or Meet calls, instead of just having the calendarized ones, and discuss that new show or movie you’ve watched, or play an online game together, or talk about the good old times.
We must try to make the best out of what we have right now. The virus grips the world, and work from home will be the norm for a while now. Let’s try to empathize with our fellow workers, understand that everyone is going through something, adjust our routines until we settle, and do our best for the greater good.
Until we go back to our offices, let’s try to make our work simpler.
Please share with us how you have improved your work from home!