For a long period of time working from home was something not so common, some would say privilege even. Some employers were using it as a part of the company’s social benefits. A couple of days home office a month sounded very tempting in job ads but it wasn`t a common practice. This came to an end with the Covid 19 pandemic – working from home became something that we had to adjust quickly so we can adapt and continue working. For some IT companies home office was something familiar with clear existing processes and expectations, but for others was something new with quite many unknowns.
So, how we can work when 50 to 70% of the company’s employees are not in the office?
Let’s be honest – after the happy feeling that you don’t have to waste time in the traffic on your way to the office is gone, it is clear that working from home can affect quality and efficiency and can have a demotivating effect on some people. The comfort of the home atmosphere can make you less productive compared to working in the office.
That is why we have put together some tips on how to keep your productivity level high during the home office.
Make a working space.
A big part of working from home effectively involves making a space where you can feel like being in the office. It is one thing to work from the kitchen table and completely different if you have a desk with a monitor, keyboard, and all other office staff. It is important to recreate a working environment. More and more researches prove that the way you are dressed has its impact as well – if you dress office-like and don’t spend your day in your pajamas (I know, it is very comfortable) it will affect your productivity and your motivation. Try to make yourself feel like you are in the office, even though it kills the charm of the home office, it is important for the course of your working day and you’ll be able even to turn your camera on during online meetings.
Start and finish work at the usual time.
We know that sometimes there are unexpected tasks that take longer and you need to start work earlier or finish later. Sometimes we cannot control it. Maybe you have noticed that when working remote you turn on your laptop with the first sip of coffee and you turn it off after the 7 o’clock news. Lunch breaks are also very floating, usually lasting about 15-20 minutes, enough to eat, and still take the usual working position. Since you are not traveling to the office, you may decide to start earlier or continue later, but it is better to stick to your usual work schedule.
Don’t forget that even though you are working from home it is your right to use a lunch break. Rule number one – don’t eat at your desk. If it possible use your break to go eat outside or have some time with your friends or colleagues. If you prefer not to do all the above, just a nice and relaxing lunch at home is enough. Why not even a short, invigorating siesta? You can use your lunch break to sign up for an online course or listen to a lecture. Don’t feel guilty for spending time for something different than work. This will make you more creative and more focused when you continue with your task later.
Keep in touch with your colleagues online.
One of the most difficult things working remotely is communicating with colleagues. Now it is not possible just to go to their desk to ask them something or to check the progress of today’s tasks. Just a few months ago you were coffee buddies every morning, talking about different stuff, playing football together. You were recharging each other’s batteries. One of the best things about working in the office is now one of the worst things about working remotely. The lack of social contact in such circumstances is by no means beneficial. Luckily today’s technology world allows us to communicate with whoever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want.
When you work in an office, corporate culture and interpersonal relationships occur spontaneously in the physical space. However, when you work remotely you have to find new ways to maintain some informal office practices. The jokes, the greetings, the harmless gossips, sharing personal interests, the attention to your colleague – all these things are now happening in the digital world through communication sources that allow spontaneous and free information sharing. One such source is The Donut app for Slack. It randomly selects a colleague you haven’t heard from in a while and arranges a meeting for both of you. A big plus is that it allows you to choose the people you don’t want to be connected with (your team colleague for example with whom you talk every day, sometimes twice or three times a day to talk about work tasks).
Keep a low social network profile (Reduce social networks).
They are easy to access and are constantly tempting you to open them. But that is not the way work will be done on time. To be productive we advise you to log out from all your social network accounts and remove the shortcuts on your internet browser. If you use Chrome you can go to the “Incognito” mode. This will keep you away from your account for a while and signing in will be slightly more difficult. Your virtual socialization can wait until the end of your working day.
After reading all these super valuable tips on how to be productive when working from home, the most important thing remains – to apply them. Or at least some of them.