Ways to Be Productive While Working from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic
There’s no denying that the impact of the current coronavirus pandemic has hit virtually every country around the world. Between December and now, the novel virus has claimed thousands of lives and is showing no signs of slowing down. As a result, many countries have put in place various movement restrictions that include quarantines, shelter-in-place, curfews, and lockdowns.
With millions worldwide forced to remain indoors, most people have no option but to work from home. That, however, doesn’t mean that you should become less productive. With the right strategy and effort, you can stay productive while still taking care of yourself and those around you.
Are you curious to know how to remain productive while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s how to go about it.
1. Create a Dedicated Workspace
One of the essential elements when working from home is a conducive work environment. Although working from the couch or kitchen table might seem fun, reserving a quiet space will help you focus on the tasks ahead. Even better, make you happier and more productive. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a home office.
But if you don’t have one, don’t fret. The guest room or the extra room in your house will suffice. However, you must install all the items you’ll need to get your work done. These can be anything from a full suite of stationery, printer, ergonomic chairs, extended monitor screens to a good headset, or earpiece for calls. More importantly, make sure the room is well lit and ventilated.
2. Create a Thick Line between Your Workspace and Your Surrounding
With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading fast across the world, both your company and your family want you to work from home. While in the middle of a task, you might have to deal with your playful kids, guest visits, or a trivial phone call. If remote working is not something you have done before, things might not be easy.
Fortunately, you can work efficiently if you come up with an effective strategy. That is, keep all stuffs that are not work-related at bay so you can focus. A good way to do this is to set your daily working hours. Stick to that unless there’s something very important or urgent. This, in turn, will help you create a wall between you and your surroundings, so your focus doesn’t deviate.
3. Get Rid of All Distractions
When working from home, you must isolate yourself from all non-essential elements during your working hours. Ensure that there’s a minimal disturbance in your workspace or room. One way to do this is to keep your phone at bay. A single beep from a new message is enough to consume a precious amount of your work hours.
Another critical thing to do is to ensure that you invest in a pair of over-ear headphones to eliminate auditory distractions. To complement this, choose a selection of music that helps you focus and listen to it only when you are working. These can include your favorite contemporary music, classical, or just binaural beats.
On top of that, let those in your home know when you need to be on a business call. That will help minimize distractions if anyone else in the house needs to engage in a noise-inducing activity.
4. Follow a Strict Schedule
It’s normal to get lenient with deadlines, especially when working from your premises. Not only will this hinder your overall performance, but it can give the impression that you don’t fit into a WFH culture. The good news is that it’s super easy to solve this. Just come up with a day-to-day work routine and follow it to the latter. From the moment you wake up to the time you begin your day’s work, keep everything under a timeline and don’t violate a single thing. Following a strict schedule will help increase your productivity and efficiency.
5. Keep in Touch with Your Team
With the novel virus affecting just about anybody, young or old, it’s likely for any of your team members to get directly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why it’s crucial that touch base with your team from time to time. An excellent way to do this is to set up team meetings daily. During this time, discuss the progress of the already-assigned tasks and come up with a time-frame and action plan for all assignments going out.
While at it, make sure that you promote a healthy remote-working environment to keep the spirits high for everyone. Ask suggestions from team members on what needs to be done, and don’t hesitate to give your opinion if you’re a team leader. Above all, remain on schedule so you can create a perfect day for all team members working from home.
6. Use Work Management Tools
When working from home, operability within your organization reigns supreme. It allows admins and team leaders to delegate and make necessary adjustments to tasks based on their goals and deadlines. In its absence, it can become almost impossible to come up with an employees’ to-do list that is time-bound. Luckily, many effective work management applications can help increase operability. Some of these include Zoom, Toggl, Taskworld, Trello for Slack, and Teamwork, to name but a few. Using any of these tools to schedule tasks will help you allot assignments to workers with ease.
7. Avoid Possible Tech Failures
There’s no doubt that tech failure is inevitable. With most places on lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, getting instant help might sometimes not work. That’s why it’s vital to ensure that your tech works efficiently at all times. Ideally, invest in a stable internet connection from a reliable provider, a good router, and be ready to use your smartphone as a backup should the need arise.
To sum up, working from home is perfect for work-life balance. It gives you a sense of ownership and control over performance. Following the above tips will help you remain productive even as you work from home during the pandemic.