According to The Telegraph, more than one-fifth of the world’s population is under lockdown to battle against the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak. Keeping aside the fact that the gig economy was already on the rise, COVID-19 is now giving strong hints to where the state of work is headed. This article contains top 9 working from home tips that can help you to stay productive during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The idea of working from home might be too tempting – snuggled in your blanket with a cup of coffee and your laptop, but is it as productive as working from your office? After our blog on remote work trends in 2020, this article on working from home tips to stay productive into 3 sections: working environment, communication, and dealing with distractions!
Planning to outsource your project due to COVID-19 outbreak? Here is an eBook on how to select the right outsourcing partner.
Create a Workspace
Even though you are working from home, creating a workspace is one of the most important tips for working remotely you should follow.
Set up a high-speed internet connection with a reliable router. Find a quiet corner in your home to do more focused work. Your workspace shouldn’t come into the way of daily routine of your family members.
Even if you don’t have a separate room, instead of sitting in front of your TV, find a corner off the main area where you can concentrate. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, it’s a good idea to use noise-canceling headphones when working from home!
Take Short Exercise Breaks
I believe this is one of the most important working from home tips. When working remotely, we often forget to take breaks and, if we do, keep track of them.
Remember how, back in college, our lectures used to be 25-50 minutes long? Well, here’s a fact for you. The average concentration time of a human being for one dedicated task is about 50 minutes. Take a 5-minute break in between tasks, every 50 minutes.
Besides that, take short breaks every 100-120 minutes of work. I suggested doing light exercises in these short breaks. This can help you regain your concentration and get back to work more focused & ready for your next task.
Keeping a tab on your break time is a must. When working from home, you can get easily distracted. Instead of watching TV or going through your social media handles, walk around or listen to your favorite music album.
If you live alone, working from home during this COVID-19 outbreak can be really stressful. In such cases, it is also to call a friend for a human touch and to avoid feeling lonely.
Communication Is Important
20% of people who work from home say that collaboration and communication are their biggest challenges. If you are a manager, an executive or even a freelancer, here are a few tips for working remotely you can follow to tackle this challenge.
Daily Standup Meeting with your Team
Start your day with a standup meeting with your team via a video call to make sure that everyone is on the same page. If you are a manager, this is a really good way to make sure that your team members know their tasks.
If you are a team lead, this call can also be a good time to address any challenges that your team members might be facing, working remotely. Don’t spend too much time on the call!
Keep Communications Channels Open
To make sure that there is a consistency in communication & collaboration, a few working from home tips can be followed.
Keep your phones close. Keep all the channels you use for communicating with your team open during your work hours. Be prompt with your replies. It’s always good to keep a time frame to get quick replies from your team members. This will make sure that your day isn’t wasted waiting for replies.
Record Your Meetings
This is one of the most useful tips for working remotely. Things get lost in video conference meetings. As such, it can come in handy to record those calls. You can always refer to them later to get more clarity on your tasks and what exactly you have to do.
Another of working from home tips is – over-communicate! Unlike working from your office, you can’t just walk by your team members to ask for clarity on something.
Be open to more calls & messages for answering any questions your team members might have. Be redundant in asking questions and phone calls, especially for urgent deliverables!
Turning Off Distractions
One of the biggest challenges people face when working from home is dealing with distractions. Be it during your short breaks or during working, it is very easy to get distracted when working from home. Here are a few tips for working remotely during COVID-19 that you can follow.
Stay Off Social Media
Social media is a big distraction when working from home. Once you start scrolling through, you can waste a significant amount of time.
Stay off social media. A good way to deal with the social media distraction is to keep a tab on how much time you spend on social media. Even if you are a freelancer, dedicate a time of your day for social media outreach to find new projects/clients.
Turn Off Your TV
Continuing the first section of working from home tips, avoid watching TV during your breaks or when working. Your TV can be a big distraction and you might end up wasting a major part of your day changing channels.
Depending on the type of work you do, listening to music can be a better alternative and can even help you work more efficiently.
Time Management is the Key.
One of the best tips for working remotely is to begin your day by sketching out your schedule. It could be as per the priority of your tasks or according to the time allocated for each task.
Draw a common schedule and stick to it. Let’s say that you handle social media for your company. Use the first part of your day for creating a social media strategy and the next part actually implementing or posting on social media.
Bonus Tip: Flexible Working Hours to Stay Productive
It has been observed by many surveys that flexible working hours when working from home or office, can be a major productivity booster. 60% of HR directors have observed a rise in productivity after offering flexible hours.
If you are a team lead or a manager, offer flexible working hours for your team members. At the same time, make sure you have the right tools in place to keep track of their work and are available to address their questions when in doubt!
Seeing where the remote work trend is headed in 2020, it’s always handy to have a few tricks up your sleeve to stay productive! What tips do you follow for working from home effectively?