Remote Working – How You Can Make It More Productive and Less Painful
Sometimes, nature acts in queer, unpredictable ways to fulfill what we desire fervently. I am sure a large percentage of the office goers, while hitting that snooze button on the alarm for the umpteenth ‘five minutes more’ sleep, desperately wished that they could work from home somehow even if it was not practically possible.
They must have also envied that ‘smart’ guy in the neighborhood who worked flexible hours and could be seen jogging around or watering the lawns when they ‘the less-blessed mortals’ were struggling with daily rush hour commute and suffer the daily rigmarole to make sure they didn’t get another dressing down from the boss.
Covid-19 has created a completely level playing field for all. WFH or Work From Home is the new normal for all those organizations where employees can connect with their team digitally and carry out their duties and responsibilities virtually.
So, is it a blessing? Have the prayers of those suffering the morning rush-hour torture been finally answered? Or will the employees who clamored for the WFH comfort stumble upon some harsh realities?
Regardless of whether you wanted a remote work experience or find yourself thrust into a work from home situation, it does require some amount of adjustment and reorganizing one’s routine mindset to be able to carry out your responsibilities smoothly.
Working from home can be awesome on some days and horrible on others. It all depends on the kind of environment you have at home. When everything goes as planned, it’s awesome. When unexpected factors beyond your control come into play, you will find yourself wishing for the controlled and meticulous office environment.
These are some of the challenges of working from home according to those who have been at it long enough to give an opinion:
- Loads of distractions
- Absence of peer pressure (Yes, apparently, it’s a negative trait)
- A missing sense of urgency
- Mixing up priorities
If you are new to the WFH culture, here are some great tips that can help you make the transition smoothly to be productive and remained focused on your work.
Be an Early Bird
Drag yourself from the bed an hour before your normal working time can ensure better productivity. Early morning freshness rubs on a feeling of enthusiasm and energy on most people. Use this to boost WFH productivity because as the day progresses you might feel sleepy and sluggish, especially when there are no prying eyes, ID Card scanners and webcams to track your activities. If you are a morning person, you will find it easy to do this. Others will have to put in some serious effort.
Create an Official Ambiance around You
If you think there is nothing like getting ready for remote work, you are wrong. Of course, you can get up and start working in your pajamas, but you might discover a loss of energy level and yearn for a short nap. Experts say that you can work better if you pretend you are actually working from your office. Wear proper clothes, feel nice and fresh, and you are ready for remote work.
Create a Schedule (Like You Did In The Office)
It is easy to lose focus and find that your attention is getting diverted if you don’t create a work schedule and just keep drifting from one task to another. It is a good idea to plan your to-do list the previous night (especially when you plan to start working early every morning) and stick to that schedule in terms of the task as well as time frame. Using the same schedule as you had in your office for remote working is a great idea. It will help you recreate the office environment mentally and help in remaining focused and productive.
Choose a Comfortable Place to Work
Remote working requires discipline and that can come from having a dedicated workspace. You must choose a workplace that offers convenience but that doesn’t mean you can use the sofa or the couch. Avoid spaces that are associated with spending leisure time as they can create a sense of disconnect with serious official work.
Pretend That Social Media Doesn’t Exist
It is the opinion of a large number of WFH professionals that social media accounts are the biggest distracting factor while working remotely and without supervision. You might be tempted to spend a few minutes browsing your FB page or checking Instagram and Twitter updates, but you can get lost in these pages fast and discover that missed that crucial deadline. A simple way of avoiding this is to remove all social media channel shortcuts or even log out during official working hours. It will not only mitigate the temptation to have a peek during breaks but also send out a clear signal to your online friends that you are not available during office hours.
Remain Professionally Connected With Colleagues
It can be tough to work in isolation if you were a team player and team meetings and conferences were a crucial part of your work routine. You might find the going tough without that occasional tap from a colleague or a call from your manager. You can remain connected and not miss the office settings by using communication tools for casual conversations and staff meetings as well. Chat windows can be used for saying a quick hello to colleagues during coffee breaks. Video conference calls are recommended for meetings. It can make you feel as close as possible to your real office.
The transition from working in an office to working remotely can be difficult – some might get adjusted to the new way of working quickly while others may take a longer time to get used to WFH. Nevertheless, there is a learning curve that you must negotiate and the sooner you get a grip on it the better for you and your colleagues and managers.
Just follow the tips mentioned above to ease the WFH process. These are just common pointers but as you move ahead, you will discover many ways of making yourself comfortable. Try to create conditions that make you feel better and boost your mood. Then try to make them a permanent fixture of your daily routine.