If someone told you back in January 2020 that you are going to be working from home for the next 1 year, you would probably snort giggles and explain to them that how you just cannot think of working from home. A lot of other people across the globe have experienced work from home for the very first time in their entire span of working years
Work from home sounded a lot more fun since it eliminated our travel time, and would allow us to spend more time with our loved ones but after spending a year while working from home, we all have a mixed opinion about working from home
While we juggle between our house chores and team calls, our productivity towards both our roles has been impacted. Here are few tips that can help you increase your efficiency and Productivity
Turn OFF the Notifications
While you finish all your morning chores and sit down to draft the follow-up emails, and you hear “ping” and see the notification from your favourite social media app and pick it up and start seeing it, and another notification from your favourite shopping app hits the screen and in the blink of an eye, you have wasted 30 mins of your most productive time of the day
- Save yourself from the galore of notifications and divide your app timings
- Divide your apps notification timings into 4 quadrants
- Most Important (Notifications ON every time ) – Outlook / G-Suite
- Important (Notifications ON after work hours) – Personal Emails / WhatsApp
- Not So Important (Notifications ON for a limited period of time) – Social Media / OTT Platforms
- Least Important – Shopping / Delivery
Dress for Success
If your buying list includes a lot of pyjamas and shorts, it’s time to relook at your list. The rise of video calls has added complexity to an area of research known as “enclothed cognition,” or what signals clothes send to the brain, says Dr Adam Galinsky, co-author of the pre-pandemic research that coined the term. “In some ways, the clothes that you wear might have an even bigger impact because we can often see ourselves and what we’re wearing and that sort of draws that symbolic value [attached] to it even closer to our consciousness,” he says.
What you wear can also make a difference when it’s time to wind down. “Putting on your relaxation clothes or your ‘at home’ clothes shifts your brain into, ‘I can relax now. I can shift gears. I don’t have to be operating at this high cognitive level’
Chances are, working from home means a much more sedentary lifestyle than you’d otherwise lead. Especially if you’ve suddenly made the switch to working from home, the shift can be jarring. Taking a walk — whether it’s around your neighbourhood, up and down your apartment building’s stairs, or even just around your backyard — can provide a much-needed break to clear your head, get your blood flowing, and look at something other than a screen.
You might be able to take a work call while you walk, but even a 10-minute break to get some light exercise is worth it for your leadership effectiveness, mental health, and overall productivity. Plus, if social distancing leaves you feeling isolated, even seeing other people from a distance can help you feel less alone.
By far, one of the biggest challenges when it comes to telecommuting is finding ways to limit all of the distractions around you. With the current crisis, you’ll likely have to interrupt work for things that are normally not part of your routine. Acknowledge that you’re doing your best and that your team members are as well.
At the same time, having a set schedule and a designated workspace can help create and maintain work boundaries so you can limit unnecessary distractions
It’s easy for family members, friends and flat-mates to forget that while you’re at home, you’re also working. To maintain healthy relationships and minimize disruption, have a conversation with your household in advance so that they are aware of your working hours and appreciate the type of environment that will support your arrangement. If it isn’t possible to follow your usual pattern, depending on individual circumstances, modifying your working hours and responsibilities might be an option. Discuss this with your line manager in the first instance and communicate any changes to your colleagues and professional network, where required. If your hours do change, we would also recommend updating your diary to manage expectations and help you to maintain the boundaries between your work-life and home life.
Virtual conferences, online training and networking
A more opportunistic aspect of the shift towards home working is that many meetings, conferences and training courses have moved online, which improves accessibility for all. Whether it’s the cost and inconvenience of travel, or funding for accommodation and admission that have stood in your way previously, many of these barriers to participation have now been lowered or removed altogether, so there’s no better time to learn more about your sector, grow your network and upskill.
Browse your professional buddy’s website to discover the range of qualifications, accreditations and networking forums that could work for you. Meanwhile, sector-specific publications and their social media channels can be an excellent outlet for discovering more informal learning opportunities and virtual conferences, to boost your career.