Last year, a vast majority of organizations around the world began working from home the same day the WHO officially declared Coronavirus as a pandemic. Earlier this year, many of us started going back to the office, adapting the hybrid working model, abiding by the government norms of office capacity, and much more. However, with the cases rising once again in our country, looks like we are back to working from our homes for some time now.
Yes, working remotely can be hugely satisfying and productive, but it can also be challenging at the same time. There’s an added advantage of spending more time with your near and dear ones, saving on the time you would spend on your daily commute, and working in a space where you’re already quite comfortable. However, on the other hand, some of us have drowned ourselves in work, missing meals, and the basic necessity of taking care of our health.
So here are a few tricks and tips to make working from home as productive as possible.
1. Eat your meals on time
Now that daily trips to the supermarket are being restricted yet again, it’s important to stock up not only on essentials but also on healthy options. The secret is to not only plan your meals but also eat on time. Visualize breakfast, lunch, and dinner for at least a week or at least your working days of the week—think about what you need as well as what can be prepared quickly. Working from home may not mean more time to cook—especially if you have kids to look after while doing all the work your manager expects. Make sure to eat your meals on time, and push ahead meals for calls or meetings. Self-care is a must in such times.
2. Improvise your work desk at home, regularly
Most of us now have a workspace at home, it could be a couch or space in your room by the window. What is important is to constantly upgrade or improvise it. Add some sticky notes, pictures of your favorite people (they could be your colleagues as well). Bring a bit of life into your work from home setup. In this space, you can plant a few houseplants to increase aesthetics and all together, a fresh vibe to the place. The idea is to not make your workstation mundane and boring. I believe workstations impact one’s efficiency. Working under suitable conditions is very essential for not only productivity but also your mental health and employee morale. Our work life is something that eats up a major chunk of our life. It is therefore important to enjoy it rather than just endure it. Since we are all caught up in it, we might as well start enjoying it with an uplifting environment. So, roll up your sleeves and start improvising up your home office today!
3. Don’t lose on the habit of creating to-dos, that’s probably what kept you going throughout the year
A lot of us probably did this in the office and while working from home in the famous 2020, but planning your day is all the more important when you work from home. Even the most focused of us can find home working environment a little challenging. You might have started strong, but as distractions crop up, it’s very easy to lose focus.
Planning your day doesn’t have to be a big fancy task, bringing out your best stationery. It could be a simple sticky note on your system or jotting down pointers in your diary. Simply think of hours you want to set aside for work. Then you want a list of things to do in those chunks of time. Do it at the end of the day for the next one. And don’t forget to check things off that to-do list every time you finish a task, because that is what has kept you going!
4. Take leaves, even if you’re not traveling. Unwind and relax
The work-from-home burnout is real, so don’t hesitate to ask for leave. While working remotely for the past few months, most of us have neglected to take breaks. Taking a day off might not seem like a priority during a global pandemic, particularly when widespread lockdown measures have limited downtime to the confines of our own home once again, but not taking any time out could be detrimental to productivity. Even mental health experts stress the need for a routine and set of clear boundaries between working and personal time. A lot of us might be thinking traveling is not safe yet again, so a leave wouldn’t make any sense. But no, take a break, unwind, laze around, catch up on Netflix. Burnouts are real, and let them not get to you.
5. Limit those video calls, they do cause a fatigue
While working from home has been a sought-after perk for some employees, we have entered a new reality of frequent online meetings and an inability to disconnect from the job, which has created a new stressor, known as communication fatigue. In this context, the concept of ‘workplace burnout’ has taken an all-new meaning, with employees having to deal with virtual communication fatigue. Today, with the array of communication and conferencing platforms available, employees are continuously connected virtually with their colleagues, seniors, clients, and more. This communication overload is resulting in employees feeling drained at the end of the day with virtual communication fatigue being one of the most talked-about topics today. So take virtual time off and set a deadline, create an itinerary for every video call.
Bonus tip: Invest in yourself, practice self-care
Investing in yourself helps take COVID-19 off your mind so you can move forward with a healthy mind and body, and a positive outlook towards the world. It doesn’t have to be a hardcore exercise or activity. Just stay focused on eating healthy, staying physically active, and practicing regular meditation. Talk to friends and distant family. This period will pass hopefully soon, and we will all be on our way to unlocking a better version of ourselves when things return to normal. Because now, more than ever, self-care is our ticket to happiness.
By Bhavin Turakhia, CEO & Founder, Flock