21 Mar 2020, 10:00 — 6 min read
Background: The COVID-19 outbreak has led to businesses around the work implementing a work from home policy. In his previous article N.Sridhar explored the importance of colour in business. Here he shares tips to maximise output while working from home.
This new trend of working from home has rather been forced on to us due to the present situation of a spreading virus. Working from home is not to be treated like a paid holiday but it is much more serious than working from office. It is not my intention to scare you but if working from home is not handled properly, it could lead to difficult situations for us.
The first drawback of working from home is that, there are no fixed working hours. The second drawback is that we don’t have anyone greeting us near the elevator in the morning paving way for a great day ahead. We don’t get to say goodbye to our spouses, we cannot pack our lunch boxes and rush to catch the shuttle or to speed up to beat the traffic.
Though we may often crib about the traffic, about the morning rush and about a hundred other things when going to office, we will also start yearning for these hitches as a new routine is imposed on us.
Here are a few tips to get adjusted to the work from home scenario.
Having a dedicated space to work makes a world of difference. This space should be comfortable and away from distractions. Do not work from your couch or bed, unless you cannot create a dedicated work environment at home. Do not let your spouse or kids to come knocking in or asking you to run errands. If there is more than one person working from home, have separate workspaces for each and better be away from each other’s earshot. Keep all your required stuff like the phone, laptop, notes, closer to you. Have proper furniture to be comfortable. If light music improves your productivity, yes it can be a good idea to have some. Ensure your communication facilities are updated for any video or audio conferencing.
Also read: What does your desk say about you?
Get ready in the morning like you typically would, when going to office. Get ready and get dressed. Strictly no working in your pyjamas. Be available and work during your regular working hours. Have a start and stop time for your work. Take a lunch break, stretch, and go for a walk if you can to break the monotony. Do not forget to give your eyes a break from the screen. Do not call your friends or relatives as they may also be working from home too and you may be disturbing them.
Get ready in the morning like you typically would, when going to office. Get ready and get dressed. Strictly no working in your pyjamas. Be available and work during your regular working hours.
You are not meeting your colleagues face-to-face. You do not have the luxury to walk up to your colleagues’ desk to discuss work. It is imperative that you follow-up and take necessary actions to complete your work efficiently. Call your subordinates at least once a day just to say ‘hello’. Make sure your activities tracking system is always updated. Communicate not just with people at work but also your clients. It should not become a case of ‘out of sight out of mind’.
This is the best opportunity to improve your communication skills because you will have to give instructions or accept instructions. If there is no clarity, one is bound to be lost. Precise verbal communication followed up with an email will always help.
Having the option to work from home is a privilege. Not everyone is in a job that allows them to work from home. If you are working from home, ensure that you take that seriously, and follow the ground rules that you have set for yourself.
It is very important that you don't forget about your health. Keeping yourself hydrated and eating healthy will help you combat stress during this testing time. Practice meditation, read a book, watch TV or spend time with your family outside working hours. Do things that will keep you healthy, both physically and mentally.
The commuting time that you would have spent when going to office, is now available to you. Do something useful, learn a new skill, read a book or anything that gives you a break from the monotony.
Also read: Focus on your hobbies, excel as an entrepreneur
Do share some of your tips to maximise your productivity while working from home.
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Posted bySridhar Narayanaswamy
Managing partner of Innovatus Systems, founded by him on January 1, 2013. Sridhar is a result oriented professional with over four decades in the Information Technology &...