Thanks to technology, a concept was introduced known as “work from home”. Till now it was just a concept for most and a dream for me as my office is really far and the commute was killing me. But the outbreak of the coronavirus has now forced many to be Working from Home.
I hope you are also staying at your home and if possible, you are working from there only.
A great person has said that a show must go on and so our work should also go on. But Working from Home comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. They are as follows:
- Flexible work schedules
- Saves travel time
- Time for family emergencies
- Avoid office politics
- Perfectly plan all day routine
- No manager standing all day over your head
- Sense of physical interaction with peers
- Time zone differences lead to odd work schedules
- Working alone is boring
- Network downtimes
- Distractions from family
But as I started writing this blog, one question was stuck on my mind, that from the day I started working from my home, I feel that I have become more productive, so why do people will want hacks to be more productive from home. I mean as I feel more productive, people should also feel the same, right?
As I was searching for the answer, I came across a study that found that if a person is doing a creative task, like creating content, music, etc. they became 20% more productive and for people that were doing recurring tasks, they were 30% less productive.
The reason is simple as you are not being forced to work and if you get bored, you will get distracted as there are unlimited sources of distraction at your home. Thus, everything depends on your project scope.
Therefore, if you are doing some creative work, this blog is not for you. If you think that you are less productive by working from home, you just need to find some inspiration for your work.
But, if your work is not based on creativity, and the disadvantages of work from home are overtaking the advantages and are making you less productive, don’t worry, we have simple solutions for you.
You won’t believe how much you can achieve from working from your home, you just need to clear your project objectives and have proper scheduling.
Here are some hacks that can help you in increasing your work from home productivity:
1. Collaborate to gather work requirements:
I believe a simple office works by one rule that when the employee comes, they are paid and if they don’t their leave is deducted from their salary.
But how can this be maintained if no one comes to the office, which is the case of work from home?
You are paid according to the work you do. Well if you are not paid this way, then also your lower productivity will lead you to some consequences.
Now or later, the boss will notice this and there will be consequences. To save yourself from this, you should prepare a proper project scheduling. i.e you should define your goals for what you will do today, this week and this month.
This is to create much-needed pressure on you that will ensure that you reach your daily target and that you are working productively.
2. Customize your home office
The environment has a huge effect on your activity.
No one can be productive lying in their beds in their pyjamas. Your situation has the biggest effect on your productivity. So why don’t we just change that?
Create an inspiring work environment in your home. You can never achieve productivity by sitting anywhere in the room.
A desk and a chair are two essentials along with your laptop/desktop and an uninterrupted internet connection.
Choose the quietest room in your home. My office timing was 11-7 therefore at 11 I lock myself in my room and I stop working as soon as its 7.
Successful project execution requires your full attention and input. As you prepare your schedule, consider the following points:
- When your boss or team members need you to be available
- Time of the day when you are most productive
- Communication with the customers or your co-workers
Another point that you should consider here is that you should keep your work time and personal time separate.
Consider yourself as a phone, after you work, you need some me time and rest to charge. If you start working at your personal time this will just bore you and it will increase your fatigue and this will definitely lead to lower productivity the other day.
3. Dress like you are at work
Your mind is a small child and you should treat it like one. You can easily fool it and this is what we will do in this trick.
At your work time, dress like you usually dress when you used to go to the office. Your comfortable clothes make you sleepy, sluggish and unmotivated. This is a project proposal that will have incredible results.
Get up from your bed, brush your teeth, give yourself a shower and wear your formals. This will send signals to your brain that this is work time, not relaxation time, and you will feel more energized.
Please don’t act lazy on this advice as this will have a direct effect on your productivity.
4. Tune in to inspiration
The biggest enemy of productivity is boredom and, in this case, the best friend is some music.
In my case, I cannot work if I am not listening to some music. The biggest advantage that you have while you are working from home is that anything that you do will not distract your co-workers.
Now you can even listen to music at full volume on your JBL. You can go loud and proud and no one will bother you, other than your family of course.
Spotify does have some playlists that are great for listening while working. Try some soothing soundtrack, instrumental music or just open your windows and let nature sing to you. Do whatever makes you feel motivated to stay on your project roadmap.
PS: Avoid music that has lyrics as you will end up singing it and your work will suffer.
5. Stay away from social media
Well there are some do’s and there are some don’t’s and this is a don’t. Avoid your phone and especially social media and in my case it’s PUBG.
Exploring a little is of no harm, but the charm of social media is so great that you will end up wasting many working hours surfing the internet. If you use it a lot, this is the biggest roadblock that you have to overcome.
You should understand that working from home requires you to separate your personal and work time and by using social media, you are doing exactly the opposite.
One more thing that I have noticed is the lunch break. You can go and watch TV while you are on your lunch break, but you should get up as soon as your lunch is finished.
Don’t be seated there to complete the episode or wait till your food is digested.
6. Enjoy your work
In work from home situations, you are the one that is managing you. You can never achieve your full productivity unless you are enjoying what you are doing. And why should you do something that you don’t enjoy? Give this question a thought.
Love your work and stay disciplined and you will see results that you would have never imagined that you will get from yourself.
Shyamal is the Founder of SmartTask, an online work management tool that’s helping teams be more productive by having clarity on who’s doing what by when. Has a penchant for researching and sharing strategies that could benefit a team’s productivity.