Many employees felt unsettled when most businesses shifted to a remote work setup because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It included drastic changes such as working in an office to working in your bedroom, from working with a team to working completely alone. It is safe to say that the change to a work-from-home setup took everyone by surprise, employees and business owners alike.
One of the greatest concerns of business owners and managers during this time is their employees’ productivity and efficiency. Because of remote work, gone are the traditional metrics used to ensure productivity. There is no way for managers to apply strict supervision or even have any face-to-face communication or personal interaction. Although communication programs such as Zoom, Slack, and the tried-and-tested electronic mail helped, many still believed that a traditional work setup is the most effective way in ensuring company productivity and utmost efficiency.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic lasted more than others imagined. What people believed would last a couple of weeks turned into months and into years. With that, both business managers and employees had no choice but to adjust and accept that work from home jobs are here to stay.
What Is Remote Work?
Much like it’s called, remote work refers to jobs or tasks accomplished by an individual or employee remotely. This means that they don’t need to go into an office to start working. Instead, employees are able to work in the comfort of their own homes or in any other place. Most remote jobs provide incredible flexibility in terms of location and even hours for their employees.
Remote work has long been practiced before, especially in the ecommerce and tech industries. However, the global pandemic of 2020 pushed even traditional companies to adopt a remote work setup in order to survive and continue operations during the months-long lockdown and community quarantine.
Benefits of Remote Work
While traditional companies fear the risks of remote work setups, some businesses tried and thrived under a new working environment. While there is still an ongoing debate about whether remote work is better than office setups, there is no denying that working from home or anywhere has its own set of advantages. With that, here are some of the most notable benefits of remote work:
- Experience freedom by working anywhere
- Get the most flexibility in location and work hours
- Save precious time
- Enjoy a comfortable working environment
- Establish your work routine
How To Boost Productivity While Working At Home
Although working from home may be unfamiliar to most employees, it’s important to know how to boost their productivity while in a remote work environment.
Have a Separate Workspace
One of the first things that would be different from shifting from the office to working remotely is that you won’t have a designated workspace initially. During the first couple of weeks, you may be working on your living room, dining table, or even on your bed. Well, why not? Nothing beats the comfort of lounging on your couch or lying down on your bed with just your laptop on hand.
While this may work at first, it is not the ideal work setup for anyone working at home. Instead, the best setup is to separate your workspace from your comfort space. Let’s say that you’re comfortable with working on your bed with just your computer propped on your lap. When you do this, you are conditioning yourself that you sleep and work in the same place. And what happens is that your mind will do either of the two things: make you feel sleepy while working or make you work when you’re trying to sleep.
To avoid this, create a separate workspace at home. It doesn’t have to be anything glamorous or fancy. A sturdy table and a comfortable chair would do just fine. The important note is to condition your mind that when you’re in your workspace, you are supposed to work. This allows you to focus on important tasks and increase productivity. A separate home office also leaves other parts of your house free from any work-related activity that may stress you out even after work time.
Establish a Routine
One of the benefits of working from home is that there is not much pressure to get up and get dressed early in the morning. Since you work from home, all you pretty much need is to turn on your computer which only takes a minute or two to do so. This allows employees to wake up within minutes before clocking into work. While some may see this as an advantage, this practice is not exactly ideal since it doesn’t give you enough time to be fully awake and functional.
To avoid this pitfall, establish a routine by starting your day right. Instead of waking up 5 to 10 minutes before going to work, give yourself some time to do some more activities before coming in to work. It’s good that you don’t have to waste time traveling to the office. So why not use this time to exercise for a bit, brew a nice cup of coffee, and eat a hefty breakfast.
Establish a routine that would be your version of getting ready to work. This will give your mind enough time to wake up and be ready by the time you need to log in and sit in front of your computer. You can stay focused faster and for longer which will definitely improve productivity.
Avoid Burning Out
Work-life balance is another gray area of remote work setups. Since employees have 24/7 access to their work while they are at home, there is a high tendency to work longer hours. And of course, spending more time answering phone calls and responding to emails can lead to stress and fatigue. Burning out is a work-related phenomenon that has mental and physical effects on an individual’s well-being. And when someone is not feeling 100%, their productivity is affected as well.
To avoid burning out, it is important to learn how to strictly separate work and find that work-life balance. Simply put, learn to take a break. Give yourself time to breathe in between tasks. Take short breaks to make yourself some coffee, look at the trees, or even stretch your legs.
At home, strive to finish every task within the prescribed office hours and avoid doing anything work-related activities past that. Also, find time to relax and have fun even if it’s through the simplest of things such as cooking or browsing social media.
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