Our work-lives changed overnight a few months ago. Working from home is still an unfamiliar mode of functioning for most of us. It is expected that your current productivity will not be able to keep up with your pre-pandemic self’s productivity.
Working from home might be the new normal for a long time. One of the major life-changes you will have to deal with, while working from home is that you will now be living at your work. This can be stressful for employees who now have to balance work and life with no barrier between the two.
However, if you take care of a few things around you, working from home can be the best thing that happened to your work life and personal life. Employers can contribute greatly to make the transition from office to work-from-home easier for their employees.
9 tips on how to ensure productivity during the pandemic
1. Employer needs to ensure that all staff members have the infrastructure to WFH
Employers can make the transition easier for their employees by attending to their individual limitations and working around those limitations. An office atmosphere provided an equal working space for employees, irrespective of their socio-economic background. Working from home entails working within the limitations of their homes, which could mean restrictions on space and time.
Do all your employees have access to Wi-Fi? Do they have laptops and are they able to use technology effectively? Taking care of individual needs and making provisions for them can help you strategies accordingly.
2. Switch to time-flexible modes of communications
Communication via video recordings or google documents help people communicate seamlessly. One of the biggest challenges to employees who don’t have a common meeting place anymore is arranging meetings that take into account the time restrictions of all the people involved.
Working from home entails being involved in the problems at home while being in office. Not everyone will be able to make it to every meeting in these circumstances but nobody should have to miss out on information because they couldn’t make it on time. It is high time we switched to modes of communication that is accessible to people whenever it is convenient for them.
3. Provide a safe and productive virtual work environment
An equally important factor for productivity is the good mental health of your employees. WFH can be tough to some of your employees, so you may want to reconsider you decision to make WFH mandatory. A prestige serviced office can be a great solution for you and your employees, because it solves many problems.
Break times often helped people exchange experiences and relax. It would be beneficial to provide informal chat rooms that take away the pressures of an official meeting. Let people blow off steam from time to time.
4. Respect your employee’s time off
Expecting employees to respond to work e-mails over weekends was an inconsiderate move on the employer’s part even in the pre-pandemic life.
The importance of letting employees off the hook during non-work hours has only increased in the current situation. Working from home is not an excuse for employers to encroach into their employees’ personal time.
5. Use technology wisely
You have applications that help you organize your life to ensure productivity. If you are tech-savvy, you will already know that there are several apps that help you stay organized and focused. Find the right ones and make sure that those apps are well-secured – or else.
If you are an employee who has been trying to stay productive while working from home, it is important to keep in mind that if your personal life suffers due to work or vice versa, the effects will be on both your personal life and work. So, you don’t have an option other than learning to balance both.
6. Have a work area
Within your house, decide where you are going to work from, and go to that area (ideally an area that can be closed off, like a room) whenever you do work-related things. This way, you will be mentally prepared for work when you come into the area and leave work behind when you step into your personal life.
Commute to work helped us maintain this distinction in the pre-pandemic life. Without a physical demarcation, it can get difficult to keep work away from personal life and life away from work.
7. Set daily goals
To-do lists can help you prioritize tasks and motivate you to complete those tasks. The length of your to-do list is entirely up to you. Taking into consideration the nature of your work and the pressures of your personal life, your to-do list can be as short or long as you want it to be.
At the end of a day or a week, take a look at the tasks you have completed and pat yourself on the back for all the things you managed to complete.
8. Take regular breaks
It is normal to feel overworked after an intense session or after a long, continuous work shift. Take a break before you feel completely drained. This is important both for your own mental health and for productivity. Short breaks in between tasks will help take your mind off of work for a while without completely disconnecting from the task.
If you let yourself get fully drained, you will need to take longer breaks and then get back on the task.
9. Make extra effort to be social
It is easy to get comfortable within your house in the absence of any need to step out. However, this will have a major impact on your mental health before you even realize it. People need human interaction to take the edge off of their daily life.
Focusing entirely on your own life can make you lose perspective on life, which can be quite overwhelming. Make sure that you communicate regularly with people who you don’t live with. Often, knowing that somebody else is going through experiences similar to yours can be a huge relief.
Keep in constant touch with your work mates, if you have someone you are close to at work, make sure to check in on them for their sake and yours.
The pandemic is challenging for everybody. That’s why you should take extra effort in making sure that you and your employees can collaborate productively, regardless of the medium.