The entire world is grappling with the COVID-19 crisis. To avert a large-scale transmission of the disease in India, the whole country was put under lockdown. Several organisations, especially those belonging to the private sector, have urged their employees to work from home during the lockdown.
While working from home may seem a welcoming change from spending eight to nine hours sitting at your boring office desk every day, it comes with its own set of problems.
5 Common Challenges You Might Face While Working From Home
- In comparison with a traditional work setting, it is easier to get distracted while working from home
- You may lack a proper schedule and become less productive when working from home
- Problems in communicating and interacting with clients or co-workers
- You may end up ‘overworking’ when you work from home. This happens because it’s harder to know when to stop when your personal life and your work are under the same roof
- With no managers constantly overlooking your work, it is entirely up to you to keep yourself motivated and manage your time well
Nevertheless, with planning and preparation, you can achieve your daily work goals without burning yourself out. Here are a few tips that can help you be more productive while working from home during the lockdown period.
8 Tips To Increase Productivity While Working From Home During The Lockdown
1. Create A Work Station
While plopping down on the couch or your bed with your laptop may seem lucrative, it may not be your ideal set-up for a productive workday. Make yourself a work-station with the right ambience that will motivate you to work. If you do not have a spare room to make yourself an office, just select a cozy spot anywhere around your house where you can sit and work undisturbed. Here’s what you need to keep in mind while preparing your work-station.
- Choose a well lit and quiet area.
- Personalise your working space according to your style. You may use flowers, house plants, candles or task lights for this purpose. Alternatively, you can also choose from these creative desk decor ideas to decorate your workstation.
- De-clutter the area. Get rid of the stuff that may distract you or remind you of pending household chores.
2. Prepare For The Day
Don’t just get out of the bed and sit down to work in your pyjamas! To ensure a productive workday you must prepare for it in advance. Here’s what you can do:
- Set a morning ritual. Wind up pending household chores, get dressed and make yourself a cup of morning coffee or tea before you sit down to work.
- Before you begin, create a to-do list or the tasks you need to work. Having a checklist will help you remain more focused.
- Be your own manager and plan your day like you would if you were working out of an office.
3. Follow A Proper Schedule
Working from home can give you more flexible hours but it is always better to follow a schedule. Make sure you set aside long periods for work. Sit down to work without distractions or disturbance for at least 2 to 3 hours at a time. Fix a start time, a midday break and a time to log off from work. A few experts suggest starting early can help you be more productive while working from home.
4. Minimise Distractions
Perhaps the biggest problem with remote working is the endless distractions that can keep you from concentrating on your work. From family members, pets, doorbells, noisy neighbours…the list is endless. Here what you can do to make sure to minimise distractions while working.
- Do not keep your social media accounts open on your browser tabs all the time. Make sure you check your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram before you begin to work or when you take a break.
- Set aside consistent working hours. If you are living with your family members or have roommates, ask them to not disturb you while you are working.
- If you do not need your phone for work, put it on silent mode and keep it aside.
5. Tackle Technological Hiccups
Since you are working from home, you’ll have to deal with problems like internet outage or system breaks yourself. To avoid unwanted delays in your work, make sure you have a backup plan to deal with these issues. For example, a mobile hotspot device or a reliable cellular data plan can help you get through the day in case your WiFi isn’t working.
Similarly, having a backup computer or a tablet at home can be very helpful in case your laptop stops working.
6. Know When You Are Most Productive
Your motivation will not stay the same throughout the entire workday. Knowing when you are most productive can help you plan your schedule accordingly. Capitalise your most productive period by dealing with the hardest tasks then.
7. Take A Break
Working from home doesn’t always lead to procrastinating or getting distracted. Sometimes, remote workers get so carried away with their tasks, they end up working continuously for hours. As a result, you may end up exhausting yourself even before you complete all your tasks for the day. Other than taking a lunch break, you can also go for short breaks every two hours or after you have completed a task. You can use this time to check your phone or loosen those stiff muscles by walking around your house or apartment.
8. Know When To Stop
Now that you won’t be leaving your office every evening, there is a chance that you may end up ‘overworking.’ A healthy and productive work-from-home routine has boundaries. Remember to ‘log off’ for the day this is when you keep aside your laptop and signal your mind to stop worrying about work. Now that you have access to work all day, doesn’t mean that’s all you need to think about. Create a healthy work-life balance by dedicated fixed numbers of hours to work each day and connect with friends and family to maintain a healthy social life during the lockdown.
If working from home is a new concept for you, it may take some time before you get the hang of it. All you need is some planning, preparation and discipline. These tips can make it easier for you to ensure productivity while working from home during the lockdown period.