Amid this COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have asked their employees to begin working from home.
Although this scenario might sound quite exciting at first, you should know that you’ll have to deal with several unexpected challenges, particularly if you’re new to working remotely. Even if you are used to this setup, the unique circumstances during this period of isolation make it a completely new experience.
But with the help of our handy tips, you can easily improve your productivity. These tips are useful not just for employees, but for team leaders and managers, as well.
Let’s get started!
1. Stick to a Schedule
The best part about working remotely is that you don’t have to wake up early, rush through your morning rituals, or travel to work.
However, this does not mean it’s OK to completely scrap your daily routine. Since it’s likely that you will be cooped up in your house for a longer period of time, make sure that you remain active in order to stay healthy!
Follow your normal schedule as much as possible, just like you used to when commuting to your office.
2. Set Up a Workspace
When working from home, it’s crucial to set up a dedicated workspace so that you can get things done on time.
You might be able to convert a spare bedroom into your home office. Even if you have space constraints, try to set up a desk for office work. Regardless of the location or type of space, dedicate a specific area in your house to work and use it only during your working hours.
Just make sure the workspace is free from distractions so that you can concentrate on your tasks.
3. Create a Routine
Even if you don’t have to wake up early to commute to work, it’s still important to create and follow a routine.
You might get up a little later than usual, but make sure you get up at the same time every day. This way, you can avoid sleeping too much and also maintain a regular sleep cycle.
If you like, you can also set alarms to signal lunch breaks, snack breaks, and the time to wrap up your workday. Doing so will improve your concentration, along with your productivity.
4. Set Boundaries
Now that you have created a daily schedule and set up a dedicated workspace, it’s time for you to set some work boundaries. This is important because when you work remotely, you can easily end up working beyond your business hours.
Figure out a time during the day when you feel your productivity is high, and ensure that you’re finishing the tasks at hand during those hours.
Allocate your time properly and choose a specific time to wrap things up. That way you won’t work longer than you are supposed to. Share your schedule with other teammates, managers, and coworkers.
5. Stretch and Exercise Frequently
When you’re working from home, it’s likely that you’ll become lazier. In order to prevent that from happening, make sure you stretch and exercise frequently.
This will help you boost your endorphins and will ultimately increase your interest level and happiness - two crucial factors in maintaining your productivity! Regular stretching and exercise will also help improve your posture.
Be sure that you stretch two or three times throughout your day; doing so will prevent you from getting sore from sitting.
You can even write out some motivational quotes and leave them by your bedside. Those notes will be the first thing you read after waking up.
We recommend that you work out early in the morning because that’s when there are the fewest distractions. Also, you will feel energized for the rest of the day.
6. Take Breaks
Sometimes when you work too many hours and over-commit yourself to office tasks, you end up sabotaging your productivity. That’s why it’s equally important to take breaks throughout the day.
Although this seems a little counterintuitive, research suggests that taking occasional breaks helps you boost your creativity and productivity levels.
If you fail to strike the right balance between your professional and personal lives, it will only cause you problems. To keep this from happening, work for a certain amount of time, take a 10-minute break, and then get back to work again.
7. Eat Healthy Foods
Having complete access to your kitchen is another challenge of working remotely. Since you are at home all the time, you can easily be drawn to junk food the moment you take a snack or lunch break. These foods normally include:
Salted potato chips
However, research suggests that eating more vegetables and fruits, along with vitamin and mineral supplements, has a positive impact on your productivity. With some additional planning, you can not only avoid eating unhealthy food but also vary your nutritious snacks.
On the weekends, you could reward yourself with something sweet for not eating junk food throughout the week.
If you’re in the habit of eating snacks frequently, then it’s time to take the leap to a healthy way of eating!
8. Switch Up Your Environment
It is crucial to re-evaluate your workspace frequently. Just because you have become used to a certain space, it doesn’t mean that it’s the perfect solution for you.
When working from home, make sure you ask yourself the following questions:
Can I change the position of my desk to get a better view?
Should I purchase a comfortable office chair to make sitting for long periods easier?
Are there alternative spaces in my house that can be used for office work?
Should I add some decorations or a plant to my desk to give it a personal touch?
Take time out of your daily schedule to understand what is and is not working for you. In the following months, you can make appropriate changes to your workspace to make it more comfortable and make yourself more productive.
9. Don’t Forget Those Essential Supplements
Whether you are working in the office or from the comfort of your home, you’ll be stuck in front of your computer for hours at a time; this can have a negative impact on your overall health. A lack of sunlight will only add to any health issues you already have.
Of course, exercising frequently and consuming healthy food (as mentioned above!) will help, but it’s equally important to take the right supplements.
Here are the top five vitamins and other supplements you should be taking:
While you’re working, you’re stuck within the four walls of your office or home. You run the risk of vitamin D deficiency because of a lack of exposure to sunlight.
Studies suggest that a deficiency of vitamin D in your body can lead to various health-related issues, which is why you need to make this supplement a part of your everyday diet.
Staring at your laptop screen all day can result in dry eyes, blurred vision, eye irritation, and headaches.
The best way to deal with this problem is to start taking vitamin C supplements since they’ve been proven to improve your eye health. These supplements also boost your immune system and keep cardiovascular issues at bay.
Fish oil is known to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids and helps improve the health of your skin, hair, eyes, and joints. It also supports and improves your heart health.
Many people have a low level of magnesium in their bodies. A deficiency in magnesium can have a lot of health implications since magnesium takes part in more than 300 enzymatic reactions! These include the synthesis of proteins and fatty acids, as well as glucose metabolism.
If your life is stressful, it is crucial that you consume foods that are rich in magnesium. Additionally, take a ZMA or magnesium supplement before going to bed.
Curcumin or Turmeric Extract
Normally used in preparing curries or other dishes, turmeric also has several medicinal properties.
Curcumin, an essential ingredient in turmeric, is rich in antioxidants, helps prevent cancer, and lowers inflammation caused by a damaged gut, muscle strains, and arthritis. Turmeric supplements are not just for athletes, but for anyone who is concerned about their health.
10. Get the Resources You Need
When you’re working from home, you may not have access to all the resources you require. It will make things easier if you coordinate how to access everything you need to do your job at its best.
Here’s what you can do in order to improve the interaction among your team members:
Make Use of Business Communication Platforms
It’s possible that you’re using free platforms and applications to interact with your team. The issue with personal platforms like Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, and Telegram; however, is that they don’t help you enhance your overall communication.
You should upgrade to professional communication tools that offer features like team chat, customer support, a phone system, and a sales funnel, all in one place!
Just make sure that you select the platform that will make things easier for your teammates, rather than using multiple spreadsheets and applications.
Here’s what you can do to remotely manage your projects and tasks with ease:
Make Use of a Project/Task Management Application
If you prefer not to write down your to-do list on a piece of paper, don’t worry - there are various project/task management applications that you can use. These apps are perfect for people who are working from home.
Some of these applications include:
Almost all of these project management apps come in both mobile and web-based versions for easy use. Some of them can also be embedded with additional applications for effortless team collaboration.
With these apps, you can easily organize all your tasks, break them down into several series of projects, and assign them to other team members.
11. Stay Connected with Coworkers
Take some time to connect with your team frequently. Make sure you have a list of items prepared so that every member can actively participate in the ongoing conversation.
You should also set aside some time to have a private conversation with each employee you manage. This way, they can give you task updates and talk a little about their personal life. It will also make them feel that their presence and work is being valued and appreciated.
In addition to having phone conversations, conduct regular video calls with your team members and other colleagues.
Since you and other employees will be working alone at home, the chances that you will all be feeling isolated are very high. So make sure your video calls are not just about work, but also a way to lighten up everyone’s mood. Remember, you should not overlook the social aspect just because you are working from home.
Some free video conferencing applications that you can use include:
Based on your type of work, you can even spend most of the day on video calls with the team. But don’t keep it overly professional; make sure you also have some fun!
12. Maintaining Your Productivity
If you have been struggling to stay on top of your tasks while working remotely, then it’s high time that you start using time management applications.
For instance, there are productivity applications that can keep tabs on how much time you’ve spent on a particular task or project. These apps can also help you reduce distractions.
Here are some time management applications you can use:
With the help of a time management app, you can evaluate your productivity and creativity levels every week. The application will not just offer detailed insights about your most productive work hours throughout the day, but also display the amount of time you have spent on a particular project.
If you work for a call center and have to attend calls regularly, keep tabs on the call metrics. If you fail to effectively manage your time, it will show up in the metrics.
If it takes you hours to complete a specific project or task, then it’s time to start using one of these time management applications to boost your productivity.
Are you still adjusting to the work-from-home model? Remember that you are not alone in this!
Initially, it will be a little difficult to adjust to the new normal, stay on top of your projects, and improve your productivity levels when working from home. It’s important for you to stay on track and follow a set routine in order to get things done.
It’s equally important to balance your professional and personal lives. By taking these tips to heart, you can certainly meet your goals while keeping yourself sane throughout this lockdown period!