The pandemic has rendered us a new way of working – work from home. Although it has become the new normal, it comes with its challenges. The top three reported ones are unplugging after work (22 per cent), loneliness (19 per cent) and collaborating and communication (17 per cent). So, to those performing the daily grind for home, below are a few hacks.
Choose a proper Home Office
The fulcrum of focus and concentration lies in the workplace setting. With the corporate space out, you have the autonomy to create your oasis. Your surroundings then will make for a fertile ground for efficiency.
First, tackle the comfort. Get yourself a comfortable, rocking and wheeled office chair. Next, brighten up your table and desk with something soothing. You have free reign here! Go for what works best for you.
Although working from home offers autonomy, it brings the devils of lethargy and procrastination. These can cost you lost productivity, focus and target goals. You will have found it challenging to resist the temptation to coop in your cosy couch or bed. A perfect solution would be to have your home office away from your couch and television.
A few tips for your makeshift home office:
- Choose an area with good natural lighting
- Keeping all your work essentials such as a diary, pens, a bottle of water and a lamp in proximity
What a dedicated workspace does is that it keeps you work-oriented. At the end of the day, focus and productivity are the driving fuels for getting work done.
Avail yourself of quality technology
While working at your pace is a boon, poor internet connection or outdated systems can make it incredibly frustrating. Say you are attending an important meeting using software and suddenly lose connection? Another concern is clarity of voice. To begin with, get yourself a competent WiFi router. A decent internet connection is a bedrock for remote working. Once done, add to it the layers of advanced technology and software.
Another aspect that people often tend to overlook is documentation. Work brings with it tonnes of paperwork. So much that paperwork management is an independent sub-sector. In this stead, Impress document automation software can save your day. Using this, you can easily communicate with clients. The device automates your outbound document workflows by taking care of document preparation and distribution. It adds efficiency to your customer communications.
When it comes to your distant colleagues and co-workers, you can connect and collaborate using video-conferencing tools such as Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts.
Wake up to a workday attire
Seemingly trivial at first, this is crucial for getting work done. Wearing proper work attire helps you get into the zone and keeps lethargy at a distance. Say you wake up to your computing system in your cosy couch in the night pyjamas. You are not going to get much done. Instead, wake up earlier and put on something decent. You can get rid of the tie at home (unless attending a formal meeting via video).
Long story short, get out of your sleepwear. At the least, put on something comfortable and homely. Putting on a casual dress will give you sheer comfort and a sense of freedom. For aeons now, our brains have been wired to respond to cues from our social and personal outlooks. Changing clothes for work serves as a natural alarm and helps keep you alert throughout the day. When getting dressed, get showered, do your hair and put on something comfortable.
Take Timely Breaks In-between
At the workplace, yearning for breaks is a common need. It is relaxing and refreshing for the mind. Working from home is a tad bit different. You do not have the physical company of a co-worker to share that cup of tea over some conversation.
Begin by deploying a schedule for your breaks. Time management strategists posit that you take a 10 minute break after every one hour of work. So, take this as a benchmark. Whatever be your chosen schedule, make sure to not sit at the desk for too long. Doing so is draining for your brain muscle and is inviting to stress. If nothing, get up and walk around or do small exercises such as stretches and spot-jumping. If you have a pet, use the break time to get playtime and cuddles. Your prefrontal cortex (the thinking part of the brain) needs it! As alternatives, you can also go for short naps.
Once back from your mini-adventure, you will come with refreshed energy that helps elevate your productivity and amplify creativity.
The way to go about this is:
- Specify the timelines and duration assigned for each break (like your school timetable)
- Get your schedule automated by launching a timer on your laptop computer. When the time strikes, it shall lock you out of the system during breaks
Leverage Social Media
Admit it or not, social media is a unifying guilty pleasure. Many subconsciously find themselves logged on to a social media site. After all, it fosters interactions, serves as a source of news and articles and enables making comments. Each platform is highly addictive and time-consuming if not handled properly. Already, it has come to the forefront of workplace distractions.
One way around this is to use your break times to log on to your account and get updates. Also, some applications enable you to gauge the time spent on social media. So, use those to time your social media use.
At the end of the day
Remember, it is your daily grind. Productivity concerns are here for the long run. What shall lay ahead for work from home is much speculative. However, the future will see more hub-and-spoke and hybrid work structures. Nevertheless, whatever be your work culture and ethic, the above are ways to amp up your efficiency in getting things done.