With the pandemic forcing us indoors and home becoming our new head office, we can now do everything from the comfort of home; whether it is buying groceries or attending work meetings, things have never been pushed online like this before COVID-19.
Companies have been forced to shift all their work remotely, so that employees can work from home and adhere to the social distancing policy. However, there have been mixed responses from people about the work-from-home condition. Some find it extremely convenient and probably would want to continue working from home even after the situation gets better. Research from Stanford shows that remote working has actually increased productivity of people but some are still skeptical about it and find it as more stressful and invading their personal space. It really depends on the person’s preference and lifestyle. Some can easily adapt to it, but some cannot.
However, remote work is the need of time and everyone must try to do it as efficiently as possible. So, we have combined some of the useful tips that will help you achieve efficiency working remotely to the best of your abilities.
A Few Effective Tips
These tips may sound like small changes but we can assure you that they go a long way when it comes to creating that work-life balance when your home is your office.
Equip Yourself Properly
This pandemic has taught us that the work environment might be changing in the next couple of years; people are more likely to work from home and organizations would have virtual offices. The situation can turn anytime, so it’s always a good idea to invest in good office equipment.
You don’t need to be hanging from the side of your coffee table or cleaning up the dining table every time before a meal. Make sure you have a minimum distraction corner in your home where you can keep all your equipment and where you can comfortably sit and work at any time of the day. It shouldn’t be a shared table like your coffee table or dining table, make sure you have a separate workstation that is dedicated to your office work only.
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It is important to keep the right posture too. In offices, you have a proper desk and chair to work from, but at home sitting on the bed or on the couch or even on an uncomfortable chair can make you slouch and cause discomfort to your spine. Make sure you are sitting on a comfortable seat that won’t cause your back and neck to strain.
Design a Schedule
Plan out your next day a night before, which means you need to plan out your Monday before going to bed on a Sunday night. Planning your schedule by yourself can indeed be a double-edged sword for you, so you have to be very careful while doing it because with great power comes great responsibility, and here you have the power of freedom in your hands, which you need to learn to use wisely.
Since remote work doesn’t exactly require you to work on traditional timings, you have to figure out the time of the day you can dedicate to work. It has to be the least distracting hours. For example, if you have to do chores in the morning then make time for work in the evening, but plan ahead and stick to the schedule no matter what.
The time you select should also be the time you feel most awake. Since everyone is at home, the sleep-clock of your body can get messed up, maybe you stayed up a little later the other night watching your favorite show, hence, woke up late. But if you’d still try to wake up at the time you usually wake up to go to work, then you might still feel sleepy and not perform your best. Telecommunicating gives you the liberty to be your own boss therefore you have to micro-manage yourself.
Limit Your Social Media Screen Time during Work Hours
How many times do you find yourself picking up a phone for something and then end up doing something completely different like looking at memes and browsing online stores for no reason? Hence, losing track of time. Getting distracted by social media is very common among people when they are working from home because home is a relaxed environment and you don’t have to worry about your boss or manager keeping an eye on you or being caught by office’s cameras for being on your phone.
What you can do to help yourself to stay less distracted is to sign off from all your social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook, and keep your phone on silent to avoid any other notifications. If you are using Chrome, you can opt for “Incognito Mode” since that will keep the distractions of your recent searches away from you and stop you from browsing a sale while working.
Take Time Out for Yourself – Have Some “Me Time”
Working remotely from home may sound easy, fun and productive, but it also sometimes means increased working hours since there is no particular time frame. Take breaks between your work to do something you like.
Watch one episode of your favorite show, watch a YouTube video, look at memes. Small things like these help refresh your brain and improve your brain elasticity. You can do laundry in between and use it as a timer to get away from the desk and do something completely different. It is like practicing job rotation but at home. Align a task during the wash cycle then get up and empty the load and set up a dry cycle. Meanwhile, complete another work task. Take a snack break with your kids, roommate or whoever you share your house with. If you live alone, turn up the music and have a snack by yourself. It is okay to treat yourself.
The Bottom Line
As exciting as remote work sounds, like everything, it has its potential advantages and disadvantages – no matter if you are an employer or employee. So, whatever the case may be for you, make sure to employ these tactics in your work-from-home routines.