Before COVID 19 pandemic, close to 6% of Americans were working from home. Coronavirus has now forced many organizations to have their employees work from home. Globally there is an emphasis on remote work far more than ever.
But are these telecommuting employees productive as compared to when commuting to the office? Well, a 2019 research suggests that working from home makes you better at some task. But when managers think of their employees working from home, a majority imagine a couch potato.
Currently, all over the globe, employees are being advised to work from home if they can. The fear that most employees have is isolation and a sense of lack of interaction on a personal level for insights from colleagues.
So, amid the benefits and the fears of a remote life, is working from home worth it? Well, to ensure productivity is at its best, employees have to do it right. Below are some suggestions.
Keep A To-Do List
While working from home, you have the freedom of time. You need to write down what you need to accomplish by the end of the day. You can have a synchronized calendar for you and your teammate and set clear deliverables on what needs to be achieved.
Having a to-do list prevents you from jumping from one task to another and ensures that you are concentrated on one task to its completion. A to-do list helps you organize your tasks. The office might require several deliverables; being organized will increase productivity.
With all the comfort that comes from working from home, productivity would be expected to take a dip. That will be true if you do not eliminate distractions. You could get tired and jump straight to bed to take a nap, or your kids would want to play with you. Or you might head over to the living room and turn on your TV.
With technology, you might be tempted to get into social media since no one is watching, and you might think it will take a minute only for hours to go by – especially with addictive apps like TikTok. The same way you avoid non-work-related calls while in the office, try and implement the same while working remotely.
Own your time, and your friends and family should respect your time and understand you need to get your job done. By all means, silence your phone and close the door to your office space.
Get a dedicated space
To increase productivity while working from home, you will need to carve out a dedicated place for office work. The advantage is you are likely to get a tax deduction if you have a separate space designated as an office. Whether it is your linen closet or the guest house that you are converting into an office, ensure you do it sooner.
Consider designing the office to offer you the most tranquility while working from home. Spend a dedicated amount of time developing the office with beautiful decor and furniture to ensure the office is comfortable. After all, this is where you will be spending more than 40 hours a week, your environment affects your productivity.
Follow a schedule and be flexible
You should have a reporting time to the office with short breaks throughout your day. Employees are encouraged to step a schedule that follows the same working hours they had in the office.
However, this will depend on which individuals will power discipline and dedication to work. Not everyone will keep to a schedule. Others will take short breaks that will turn into hours of unproductivity. To ensure work productivity is in check, try and break down the task into smaller units to be delivered within set deadlines throughout the day.
Talk to The Team
If you are not used to working alone or being isolated from the rest of the team, try and keep in touch. Of course, introvert thrive working from home, but for extrovert depression and loneliness creeps in quickly and sooner than expected.
From an experiment conducted on Ctrip, a Shanghai-based travel agency, it’s reported that 50% of employees had a tremendous productivity boost but jumped right at the offer to come back to the office because they felt isolated and lonely. The truth is most people prefer a face to face interaction.
While considering working from home, companies can take advantage of modern software that facilitates remote work as well as a familiar face to face interaction. For some, once in a while, visiting the office for cooperation will help keep their sanity.
While working from home can make a worker more productive if the above-suggested advice is considered, the same isn’t guaranteed. Besides, employees are likely to self-report improved productivity so that they can have freedom of working from home unbothered by strict office protocol.