How can Work From Home be made more effective?
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, as the number of positive cases continues to be on the up, almost all establishments globally have asked their employees to work from home. Almost all of India, too is into complete lockdown, except for extremely essential services. A number of states have also put down their foot by sealing state as well as district borders in order to tackle this pandemic. It is the need of the hour to stop the spread of this deadly virus, by social distancing and staying at home. Despite the efforts, the gravity of the issue has not dawned upon a large chunk of the population. Artists have used their online platforms to urge people to make the necessary life changes in order to minimise the chances of catching or spreading coronavirus Covid-19.
People from certain areas are of course, accustomed to working remotely such as people in software development, digital marketing, customer service, content writing etc. While these people may be used to working from home, others may not necessarily take to working from home like a duck takes to water. Geographically, working from home is also much less common in places like India and China than the west. A few Chinese people have shared the pros and cons of working from home.
As work from home becomes the norm for the short-term foreseeable future, it is important to be aware on how to make the most of this work from home situation in the face of this global crisis. In this article, we have compiled a few thoughts on the challenges of working from home and the ways in which those can be tackled and overcome.
Working from home poses its own unique challenges. Let us have a look at some of them:
- Workspace at home: Of utmost importance is to have a workspace which contributes to meaningful work. Working on a laptop by lying on the bed is unlikely to result in any useful work getting done. An untidy and unkempt desk also causes hindrance in the way of working from home.
- Managing routines: With the current lockdown situation, the entire family is at home. If multiple family members are working from home, there is a possibility of a clash of routines of different family members.
- Tech familiarity: For people who are accustomed to working from home, this is not an issue at all. However, for those who are working from home for the first time ever, getting familiar with suitable tools is absolutely critical to boost productivity.
- Communication: Communication can often be a problem even when not working from home. It therefore goes without saying, that communication is key when it comes to working from home as well. Without clear communication, employees often tend to feel lost and isolated.
- Distractions: There can be many unnecessary disturbances from family members throughout your workday. Getting involved in personal conversations or household chores during wok time is bound to waste your time and hamper productivity.
Of course, there exist solutions to manage and overcome these challenges. These tips could go a long way in making work from home enjoyable:
- Comfort and ergonomics: Work efficiency is largely dependent on having comfortable seating and an ergonomic posture. A devoted desk and chair organized in a neat and tidy manner will ensure that you take your work seriously and not slack off. Having said that, a number of people have got creative and come up with innovative ways to design their workspace at home.
- Scheduling: In case multiple family members are working from home, it is important to manage individual routines by mutual scheduling. This allows for sharing of responsibilities in an effective manner without affecting work.
- Use of required tools: Use of Google Hangouts for calls, Microsoft Teams for projects, OneDrive for sharing documents can help in getting work done with minimum fuss. It is not only important to just know what tool is needed for what task, but also to be familiar using it.
- Set goals and follow up: Clear communication with your colleagues and superiors through emails and calls helps in setting well-defined goals for the day and following up on the same as per the deadlines.
- Work-Life Balance: To keep your mind fresh and focused, it is important to take regular breaks during the workday. In addition, exercise and relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation go a long way in ensuring there’s no dip in the productivity levels. Working beyond office hours is often the cause of increased stress and reduced efficiency. Apart from this, it is necessary to switch off from the work mode once your workday is over and spend quality time with your family by engaging in activities such as playing cards or board games.