There is no doubt that the world economy is now at standstill, due to our combined fight against one of the worst pandemics of the century. Yes, I am talking about COVID-19. At this point in time, most companies have asked their employees to work from home so that the organizations can keep serving their clients and the business can at least run smoothly if not with full potential. If the work from home model becomes successful most companies can even urge their employees to work from home even after this situation as that will reduce the operational expenses by cutting down costs on hiring office spaces, and it can also boost the efficiency of the employees that will, in turn, be useful for the company.
At the same time, working from home can also be a big disappointment for certain employees and it can end up affecting the productivity of those employees. If you think of yourself to be one of those victims, who cannot deliver maximum productivity by working from home, I will talk about some useful ways which can help you to increase productivity while working from home. Depending upon your specific situation, or the work that you will do, all the points that I will mention here might not be applicable for you, but still, you can find most points useful to keep working effectively from your home.
So, without any further delay, let’s get started with the top 10 effective ways to increase your productivity while working from home (WHM).
Use a desktop computer during work from home
Except for a very few offices across the globe, most employees work on a computer in the office, and working from home is possible mostly for those employees. So if you are working from home, you should be considering your home as the office and it is advisable that you use a desktop computer to carry on with your work as there are numerous advantages. The first and biggest advantage is that if you are using a desktop, you will have to sit on the chair and you will not feel lethargic. However, if you are using a laptop, you can use it on a bed or any other place, where you are comfortable and that might make you lethargic in the long run.
Additionally, a desktop computer has a bigger screen, and with more flexibility, you can do your work with more efficiency compared to that of a laptop. However, if you do not have a desktop at your home or if it is not as powerful as your laptop, and you cannot do your work on a desktop there is a second way. You can connect all your peripherals like the monitor, keyboard, and mouse to your laptop and use your laptop as a desktop and that should also give you a boost in productivity if you want to work on a desktop computer but you can’t get one right now. Working on a desktop is also more ergonomic compared to that of a laptop.
Download and install all the necessary programs
Depending upon the type of work that you do at your office on a computer, you might require multiple programs to accomplish your work. If you are working on your home computer you should try to get almost all the programs that you need and that should boost your productivity, and you can keep working smoothly. If there are certain programs, which are paid and you do not have the license to use those programs, that can affect your productivity, as the chain will be broken. In that situation, you can try some alternative freeware programs, where you can do the same kind of job, and you can also ask your employer to give remote access to the office computer.
That way, you can access or use programs that are licensed to your office or enterprise. If your office does certain work on software as a service platform or SAAS platforms you can also request your employer to give access to that server so that you can work from home and get a similar user interface and other functionalities that you use to get at your office. What I want to say is that you should at least have access to all the programs or a similar kind of program so that your chain of work is not broken in any way.
Maintain the timings
Working from home gives you the independence of working at any point in time all through the day. However, it is better that you do not consider that as an advantage. Try to stick to the office timings like 10 to 5 on 9 to 4, or whatever your office timings may be. If possible, you can also start with your work before the regular time at your office, as most people are more productive during the daytime. But you should never be late in starting your work as that will wreak havoc on your productivity. If you start working before time or you are following the regular time at your office, you can also complete your work within time and spend time with family exactly the way you used to do after you come back from office.
Depending upon the nature of your work or the responsibilities are given to you and your coworkers, or your senior, you might also be requested to do more work as you are doing everything from your home and you do not need to commute. If you start working following your regular office timings, you can also cope with some extra work without facing any kind of difficulties that might be given to you by your senior. Additionally, if you are given a big project, and you need to complete it before the deadline, you can keep working at your own pace that is not possible if you start your work late every day.
Take breaks While WHM (Work from home)
Whatever may be the level of work pressure at the office depending upon the responsibilities, we all take some short or long breaks during our work. In those breaks, we can talk with our colleagues, do some refreshing jobs, have some food, or energize ourselves to maintain efficiency. When you are working from your home, you should also take breaks and maintain the level of flexibility that you used to follow at your office. While you are working from home you cannot talk with your colleagues but you can have a small chat with your family members, prepare some food for yourself or do some small task that will refresh you in some way or the other.
What I want to say is that you should not stick to your work all throughout the work hours, and take some short breaks as that will boost your working from home. But while you are taking a break, don’t forget to get back to the drawing board within the next 5 or 10 minutes. If this wasn’t a pandemic situation, you could have also gone out to have some food or talk with your friends who live nearby as that could also give you some refreshment. Alternatively, you can also go to the balcony and get some fresh air if you really don’t feel like going out in this pandemic situation.
Use a separate room
If you have multiple members in your family, or there is a small kid who is always willing to talk to you and that is interrupting you, it is very important that you have a separate room to do your work. When you are at home, your family members will always expect you to look after them and help them in their day to day activities. However, you should explain to them about the work that you need to do, and the importance of concentrating on your work by ignoring all the day to day activities that they want you to participate in.
Having a separate room and locking it down when you are working can be the best way to remove any kind of distractions and that will definitely help you to boost your productivity and maintain maximum concentration on your work. Additionally, you can also get a voice or video call from your coworkers and your seniors from time to time and you should also maintain professional communication with them. In order to behave professionally, it is very important that you try to maintain the work atmosphere and that can only be done if you distance yourself from the other family members when you are doing your work.
When you work at your office, you are not the only one who is employed there. You are assigned a small part of the complete job, and you need to constantly maintain communication with your colleagues or team members to accomplish the job. However, when you are working from home, your colleagues and team members are not around. But that doesn’t mean you should not communicate with them from time to time. There is no doubt, communication will not be as good as communication in an office when you are working from home but you should not think twice before you communicate with your colleagues for some assistance or if you need to distribute your work.
It is not always necessary to communicate with them over a voice call, and depending upon the work, you can also communicate with them through chat and also a number of other video calling applications that are quite popular in this COVID-19 pandemic situation. You can also use some other professional chat applications like Slack, and you can also use those tools that offer seamless collaboration. The communication should also take place with the seniors so that you can keep them updated about your work and the completion levels.
Keep away distractions
When you are working at your office and a computer is in front of you on the desk, it is not always comfortable for you to check Facebook or Instagram. However, if you are working from home, you should not feel uncomfortable doing that as nobody is keeping a constant watch on you. However, opening Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking or similar platforms from time to time is a kind of distraction, which you should keep away. Just because you are working from home, you should not take it for granted, and take all the steps to prevent the opening of social networking websites or other websites that can distract you from your work.
You can use some special add-ons for Chrome that will prevent you from opening those distracting websites. I know it can be really provoking to quickly look at Facebook or other social networking websites and news websites to find out what’s new, but trust me, that can negatively affect your productivity at work. Try to take all the steps that you can to prevent opening social networking or other distracting websites either by hooks or by crooks.
Keep away TV or other sources of entertainment
I have seen several people who keep doing their work while entertaining themselves at the same time. However, if you are working at your office there isn’t a television to watch your favourite shows. In the same way, if you are working from home, don’t consider it as an opportunity to work and entertain yourself at the same time. TV shows or any other sort of shows can be a cause of distraction and even if you consider yourself to be a multitasking guy, your productivity will be affected in some way or the other, if you keep watching your shows while working.
You can listen to music which most people do at the time of working in the office, but that is also not recommended as that can also affect your productivity. However, you can always listen to some motivating songs and music as that can boost your productivity in the long run. If you can’t control your desire to turn on the TV you can do your work in a different room or relocate your TV to a different room. just do the one, whichever is suitable for you. You should remove all the possible sources of entertainment from the room where you are working.
Make the room comfortable
Your workplace is a comfortable place which makes it more convenient to work. Unless you get adequate comfort while working, your productivity will be under check, and that is why you should make the room where you are working, comfortable enough. By saying comfortable, I do not mean, you should make it comfortable enough to take a nap, but you should at least make the room comfortable enough to work. To make the room look like a workplace, you can bring one board, where you can attach the to-do lists, have sufficient airflow, or use an air conditioner to maintain optimum temperature levels.
Additionally, you can also remove the bed and other items from your room that will stir you up to take rest. By saying comfortable come I just mean, you should make the room as close as possible to an office so that you can deliver maximum productivity. Working from home is all about doing the task from your computer, and maintaining communication with the other employees. In spite of that, you should have a backup of everything else that will make your work smoother while you are working from home and you should try your best to maintain that level of comfort in your room. If you need multiple computers or a secondary monitor, don’t hesitate to get one, if you can find it handy.
Set your goals properly
When you work at your office, you are assigned a certain number of tasks that need to be completed within a specified period of time order, or within that particular day. Even when you are working from home, certain assignments are given to you and there is a deadline for that. If the assignment has been given to you, and you need multiple days for completion, you should break the assignment into multiple chunks and work on each of the chunks every single day and complete your work before the deadline. Alternatively, if you are given some assignment, which can be completed within a single day you should strive to complete that work within that day so that we can start working on a new assignment the next day.
Just because you are working from home, you should not take things for granted and you should keep setting your daily targets even if you are not advised to do so by your seniors or co-workers. Additionally, when you are working from home, you can also keep yourself free from most annoying co-workers and you should take that opportunity to boost your productivity and complete your work to start working with the next assignment as early as possible.
There is no doubt working from home is not possible in all the sectors of the economy. But if you are fortunate enough to work in one such office, where there is an opportunity to work from home, use this opportunity to show your employer the underlying effectiveness of working from home so that you can get more scopes to work from home even after this pandemic situation is over. By working from home, you will never have to spend hours commuting to your workplace which can be hectic and also reduce the time to communicate with family after coming back from work. If your organization finds, working from home is boosting the productivity of the employees, most companies will consider it to be an option for most employees and your organization can be one of them.
So that was all about the top 10 different ways you can boost your productivity and effectiveness while working from home. Do you know any other great way to boost your productivity while working from home? Feel free to comment on the same below.