Abhijeet Ganguly is a certified Human Resource professional from HRCI. He has around 9 years of experience in all gamut of HR domain.
A recent study shows that up to 50% of the US workforce is telecommuting due to social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic; this is more than double the number of people who worked from home pre-COVID-19. The rise of technologies like Zoom and the availability of high-speed internet has equipped businesses to adjust quickly to this 'new normal.' However, working from home has its fair share of difficulties: especially, if households have children and pets to deal with at the time of working. Those distractions can hamper one's productivity more than it could in an office environment.
Below are a few tips to stay motivated and productive while working at home:
Go for a comfortable workspace
An ideal workspace helps in focusing thoughts. Offices have a sort of mood that makes it easier to focus on. For example, just watching co-workers working seriously, motivate the employees to work harder. Working at a less formal environment like home inhibits productivity. A few alternatives without a proper desk can be like a home dining table or a simple desk set at the corner of the living room. It should indicate the people in the household to observe silence near the workplace, the moment one occupies the space during the day. Whatever one prefers, they need to ensure that the workplace is comfortable, adequately lit, and equipped with an ergonomic chair.
Make a schedule and stay on it
As cited by Edgar Rice Burroughs, "Humans are creatures of habit"; Organizations are capitalizing on this fact. In an office environment, a workday is a duration from logging-in to punch-out. It involves a set amount of time to finish specific tasks; also penalties if one fails to complete it within time. Working from home in a less controlled environment makes it challenging to work without much accountability. Hence, one needs a regular schedule to keep one motivated and productive. However, it has to be tailored specifically to one's needs. The most challenging tasks of the day should get handled first, followed by the lighter ones when the focus is not at a hundred percent.
Maintain a to-do list
Post getting a work schedule, one has to plan for the sub-tasks of the workday. Breaking the work to spread over a couple of days, prevents one from feeling overwhelmed. One also needs to prioritize tasks based on their importance to set goals for completion. Also, one has to ensure goals are realistic and achievable too.
Turn off the distractions
Distractions increase during work from home; Workplace distractions kill productivity. Initially, one could put away the phone while working; or work in a separate room with no TV. A pair of noise-cancelling headphones also help during a noisy environment.
Keep energy levels high
The overall productivity depends primarily on one's energy levels; While the latter depends on diet, exercise regimes, and the quality of sleep. Ensuring regular exercise for the lower back and core (abs) eliminates any lower back pain and also improve overall posture. Eating balanced meals and keeping oneself hydrated, coupled with plenty of sleep, makes one feel good, energized, and productive.
Work from Home: Few Additional Tips
Working from home is becoming the 'new normal' during the COVID-19 pandemic. Practicing the above tips may help one to remain productive and healthy while working remotely.
Share tips if I missed any to make workdays more productive while working at home. I would love to hear in the comments.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Abhijeet Ganguly
Abhijeet Ganguly (author) from Brampton, Ontario, Canada on July 07, 2020:
Thanks Swati for your valuable input.
Swati Khandelwal from Nainital on July 07, 2020:
Need of an hour article, thanks for providing the valuable information.