The continuous spread of Coronavirus has forced the adoption of working from home. The pandemic has disrupted the normal functioning of companies all across the planet. As appealing it may sound, working from home is new for office commuters and intimidating to you. Even though this transition is for good, working from home can be challenging, especially when it comes to communication, timing, and productivity.
If you are entirely new to remote work or managing a project while working from home, you will find this guide helpful.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the essential concerns from how to effectively get the job done to set up a workspace at home, which includes staying healthy, productive, and motivated. This article is part of the work from home series, where you can find more about the work from home, and best practices in this link.
What are the Benefits of working from home?
Most people find the advantages of working remotely highly skeptical. As long as getting the work done is the primary goal, you can enjoy more other benefits that come along. If you have been there already, you must have known that work-life balance is pretty tough to maintain. On the other side, working from home will get you more productive then you expect and smarter as you have enough time to invest in your learning.
Working from home can likely improve your quality of life and reduced stress. However, sometimes you may face struggles from varying timezones and schedules. They are a lot of things that can help you and your team stay aligned in a remote environment. Aside from not having to go to the office, there are rising benefits of working from home, including,
- More Flexibility
- Improves happiness
- expands your job search
- Less sick Days
- Less commute time
- Cost savings
What are Challenges in Working From Home?
There are some bumps you can run into while operating as a remote team or as a work from home company. Even though remote working may cut down some significant costs for the company, in a closer look, it all about data security and accountability. Additionally, companies may need to provide necessary and more suitable equipment for associates to work from home.
The whole process of managing a decentralized team can consume some time to adjust. You can expect lower productivity levels or communication issues. It’s essential to address the challenges associated with working from home and find a solution to overcome it. One of the considerable obstacles is feelings of boredom or isolation unless you create a routine to find time for yourself, in most cases, it starts with prolonged working hours.
Communication is a crucial key to getting your work done. In the office environment, it’s very natural to brainstorm and have a spontaneous meeting right away. If you lacking communication with your manager and your team, you can get messy pretty quickly. Sticking to the plans and collaborating with your team regularly is simple and effective if you are looking to adjust to working from home quicker.
How to effectively work from Home?
Working from home full time, you should ensure that you have factors that set you up for productivity. This includes a lot of factors, the right accessories, and technologies, taking care of kids, errands, chores, and other potential disruptions. Distraction can quickly shift your attending and lead to procrastination.
Whether you are working on nine to five schedule or working on flexible hours, set up a schedule to follow regularly. You need tools, planning, strategy, appropriate equipment, internet connectivity, and so on to provide efficiency of work. More than anything, you will need motivation, a proper dressing while working from home will get into productivity mode.
It is better to maintain boundaries and eliminate the distractions that stop you from being productive. Taking enough rest can optimize your brain for productivity. We have some tips that are effective and help you focus while working from home.
Read More: Tips For Working From Home During COVID-19 Outbreak
How to set up your work from home space?
A dedicated and organized space that drives a sense of motivation and help you do the job well. While most people tend to ignore the importance of working space. You can set up space at your home that is solely for work. Identify a suitable area where you can easily fit in a laptop or computer for work and also keep the devices electrically charged. Find a space that meets those needs. This will help you maintain the work-life balance.
Working from bed or in the kitchen cabinet has a high chance of lowering your productivity. The working space may be a spare room or any corner. You’ll not only be more productive but also be more organized, which can reduce your stress levels. If you want to know how you can set up a personal workspace. Read about it further in this blog.
Read More: How To Setup your Personal Workstation at Home
Finding the best tools to Communicate
Communication between the team members is vital when it comes to keeping the spirits up. When working from home, face to face interactions is limited, small talks, and keeping the texts short becomes the usual. This means it’s challenging to maintain rapport and healthy communication with colleagues while working remotely.
Daily or weekly stand-ups are possible ways to involve team members. Many companies and teams use online chats to stay connected to discuss work-related topics. Luckily we got some tools that bridge some gaps in human communication and make it better in many ways. There are plenty of tools for remote workers in the market, but only a few tools that might be suitable for your job.
It is essential to identify the tools to put it for the right use. The right tools can help in collaborating better, give or receive feedback quickly while remote work. There are remote work tools for software development, project management, time management, networking, file sharing, schedule meetings, and task management.
The remote tools are serving multiple purposes and useful to plan a collaborative workflow, which saves you a lot of time and effort. Find the list of best remote work tools you can use in this link.
Read More: Best Remote Work Tools to Stay Connected
How to Improve Engagement During Virtual Meetings?
More than text and call interaction, virtual meetings are getting us close to in-person communication using the tools. Making use of the camera can improve understanding. As you leverage the video conferencing tools, consider testing your camera, speakers, or what every necessary works well. It is better to be conscious of your physical backgrounds during the meetings. Virtual meeting drives value for business and useful to reach all the remote team members more lifelike. Remote meetings are evolving as a game-changer and have become a part of business operations to the management.
Meetings are the only possible way to question and keep track of the productivity of remote team members as well as the progress of the business. It is essential to be aware of the remote meeting etiquette and being prepared. Share the agenda with team members, which allows them to have enough time to come up with ideas or possible solutions to a problem, provoke them to talk but ensure they stick to the baseline to have full engagement during the virtual meetings.
Before you hold a virtual meeting, you might need to tackle many limitations to connect seamlessly with the team members all at once. You need to consider the time zone while scheduling the meetings, internet connectivity issues, and balance work commitments to create an engaging meeting experience for the remote team. All of this lies in your planning and strategy of your virtual meetings. You need to follow some practices to have a successful virtual meeting. If you’re looking out for the best practices, and how to make the virtual meetings more engaging and meaningful, find it right below!
Read more: Best Practices for An Effective And Engaging Virtual Meetings
How to Stay Productive while working remotely?
When working from home, you are open to multiple distractions. It can be your continuously scrolling on your smartphone, children running around or television, and multitasking. Plan in a way to keep the housework apart form scheduled working hours. Try to move around this habit to stay productive throughout the working hours. Avoid using mobile phones and take very brief calls from family and friends only if necessary.
Creating a detailed to-do list is the smart way to start your day. List down the tasks by priority of things you need to accomplish within the day.
If you are an entrepreneur, it’s essential to keep track of productivity and measure the progress towards goals. Measuring productivity not only takes you to need to goals faster by also keeps your prospects excited. Every business needs productivity to achieve business objectives. Maintaining proper levels of productivity will reflect on your growth, profitability, and increase of incoming projects. Remote teams can also experience job satisfaction and sustainability.
To maintain productivity, you need to review the team activity on the regular intervals, keep track of key performance indications, and recognize potential performance to improve a productive culture within your organization.
Read more: How to Measure and Track Productivity of Remote Teams?
How to Avoid Burn-out and Stay healthy during COVID-19?
As measuring productivity, it is important to pay attention to the mind. Align the expected outcomes with your manager and focus on your work and what you can do to achieve it. The new fusion of work and home can lead to burn-out and sudden breaks when you need productivity the most. If you feel overworked, follow a working ritual, and take enough breaks. For instance, try the Pomodoro technique, focus on work for 25-45 minutes, and then take a 10 min break. This will help boost productivity and reduce mental stress. Identify other hobbies you can enjoy after work, which will keep you happier.
Another most important thing is staying healthy to get through the current pandemic. Consider healthy snacks over chips. It can make you feel good about the choices you’re making when it comes to eating healthy. Take breaks and do stretches, moving around can improve circulations and can prevent physical strains while working from home. Stay home and wash your hands with soap or use sanitizer in the interval. Practice social distancing when you’re out for grocery shopping or whatever it may be. Don’t forget to wear your mask and feel like a superhero!