The number one public enemy, COVID-19, has brought about an unprecedented social experiment for companies - working from home. For the longest time, remote working or telecommuting has been a benefit for a specific group of employees, such as working mothers, students and senior-level executives.
While remote working is not a new concept, it is not largely practised in Asia. Many workers have unfortunately fallen victim to presenteeism and its damaging impacts on mental health and physical well-being. However, as many would have experienced it by now, remote working presents many benefits, such as time saved from travelling, better energy levels and higher productivity.
If you are one who worries about your productivity at home and can’t seem to get away from all the distractions around you, here are five tips for you.
how to be productive when working remotely
1. wake up when you would normally do
Even though you do not need to spend an hour travelling to the office, you should still wake up as you normally would. Changing your waking hour every day can significantly disrupt your sleeping patterns and impact your health.
When you wake up as you would for a day in the office, you’ll also get more time in the morning to complete other tasks, such as laundry or exercising. You can also choose to plan your day before it actually starts by listing out your priorities and to-dos. This not only helps with your productivity throughout the day but will also leave you feeling more satisfied at the end of the day as you check your completed tasks off one by one.
2. change to a work-ready attire
Working on your laptop in your pyjamas can make you feel that you should still be resting. When you change to something more work-appropriate such as a going-out t-shirt or shirt, you’ll be more mentally prepared to work.
Furthermore, since you are working remotely, you may have to go on video calls for meetings. It would be embarrassing if you’re still in your pyjamas, or worse, not wearing a top at all!
3. take regular breaks
When we’re in the office, we could have a quick chat with our colleagues in the pantry or along the hallways about the latest entertainment news or new lunch spots. These conversations don’t happen when you’re working alone at home or at the cafe.
It is important to have regular breaks even when you’re working remotely. Take your usual one-hour lunch break away from your laptop and phone. It’s also the perfect opportunity to unwind and try to catch an episode of your favourite television series! If possible, go out for lunch around your neighbourhood. You may even find a new favourite hideout to work from next time.
You should also get up every hour and look out the window or at something far away. This prevents you from staring at the screen up close for an extended period and helps improve your eyesight.
4. find a space to dedicate to work
It is important to find a dedicated spot to work to ensure productivity. This could mean a room in your house that is away from the television and bed. You can also decorate your desk with office supplies and motivational quotes to help you remain focussed.
Just make sure that your desk is near a power supply so that your laptop and phone can remain fully charged throughout the day.
5. regular check-ins
Since your colleagues can’t see you in the office, you’ll be missed! They would also be wondering if you have been attending to the emails that they’ve sent you or what’s the progress of the projects that you’re working on for the day. Just because you’re not there with them, doesn’t mean that you can’t be a great team player.
Schedule start-of-the-day calls with your bosses and immediate team members to update them about your plans for the day and the meetings that you’ll be attending. Share your Google or Outlook calendar with your colleagues as well. This way, they know when exactly they can call you if they need your opinions or advice on work-related issues.
working from home may increase productivity.
There are conflicting studies about whether remote working or working from home can drive productivity and the verdict is yet to be out. However, if employers have taken the right steps to enhance their digital infrastructure and support, most employees could actually be more productive and focussed while working remotely from home.
If you are a manager, the last thing you should do is micromanage as that may have an adverse effect on your employees’ productivity. Your staff may also feel that you do not trust them and will start to feel disgruntled and unmotivated. Any goodwill that could have been generated from offering flexible working arrangements for your employees would, unfortunately, be eroded from your lack of trust.
Looking for an employer that offers remote working as an employer benefit? Reach out to us to find out who they are and how you can get a job with them.