Work from Home (WFH) - Practical Tips to maintain productivity

During a situation like Corona virus spread we have now , world wide governments implement citizen lock down measures to prevent virus wide spread. Lock-down periods extend from 14 days to almost many months like a 75 days lock-down at Wuhan city , China where the virus spread was initially high.  

In such situations where public are not allowed to go out of their homes , it is quite challenging to continue their regular job activities at normal pace. While non IT companies which are into hardware production , manufacturing sectors etc may be at stand still till such periods , many IT companies choose to continue their operations by allowing employees to work from home. Experts anticipate till vaccine is found many people may find uncomfortable travelling outside and prefer work from home 

Work from home affecting productivity of employees: Survey

Although work may progress in such crisis conditions , there are few technical challenges employees face when working from home dampening the pace of job activities completion. 
  • Power disruptions at home with no power backups like Generators , UPS etc
  • Internet Connectivity Speed and consistency disruptions
  • Access to information which may be not be on cloud storage
While above are inevitable , there are few work conduct challenges which reduces our productivity 
  • By human nature , its quite easy to slip our routine time getting lazy 
  • Involving in household cores while working 
  • Frustration due to inconsistent internet connections
  • Going for a shopping , outdoor activities during office timings
  • Easily slip from work concentration to browsing social sites , chatting , texting etc
  • Not choosing a fixed space at home for work
  • Inappropriate dress codes.
  • Noise from Television , Radio easily drawing attention
  • Untimely interaction with family members 
  • Those tempting food odors from kitchen 😀 and the list continues ..
Remember , its easy to get lost in above activities - which impacts not only our productivity , our work routines , but also add to delays to company projects causing an economic impact and indirectly our own pay scales.  So how can we take up this challenge and maintain our  productivity , here are few tips 

(1) Choosing a right work-space

The most important. There may be a location at your home where you feel more cool , comfortable and focused to work for long hours , away from noises due to family , pets etc , comfortable seating posture , access to your stationery , good bright lighting and ventilation. Good background when on video calls.  Make space for your headsets , notepads , calendar , sticky notes etc to make you get that office work hour feel. 

(2) Fix to your regular routine

Set alarms for all activities , Get up early as you did during office hours.  Finish your routine exercises , Bath , breakfast at regular times and report at your work space on time . This will keep you energized throughout the day as you get a sense of sticking to your routine . Have regular  lunch routine.

(3) Activities To-do checklist 

Spend first 30 minutes to plan your day and then work the plan. List down all the activities you want to complete for the day , time it may take to complete that activity from home and prioritize important ones to finish first. This will give you good visibility , a goal to achieve and a sense of confidence and accomplishment when each activity gets closed. Allocate specific time to take breaks.

(4) Take fixed regular breaks

When at office you may have fixed regular relaxing breaks for tea time , snacks , a refreshing walk etc . Stick to same break timings at home . Just like you did interact with office team members , call them over phone / internet . Hold team video calls , chat sessions. 

(5) Login and Logout from work at regular time

There are usually tendencies one may under work or overwork . Activities checklist help to schedule and complete work in hand.  Take a challenge to login to work at same time just like you visited office and logout when you feel work for the day is done. Remember you gain time when working from home spent on travelling etc which may be spent with family. 

(6) Communicate with your family

Communicate openly with your family . Make them understand its not a vacation time and  just a change in work location. Share with them timings when you are available for interactions during the work hours. This will help them greatly understand your commitments and responsibilities during office hours.

(7) Dress appropriately

While its non priority items in the list , dress appropriately which suits to your style and comfort to work for long hours , meeting interactions etc . so that you are always ready and need not change during a emergency video call meet 😉

(8) Enable your work space for less interruptions

When working on major activities from home , an internet disruption , power disruption may cause delays .  Ensure laptops , mobiles are always charged and have good power backups . During the WFH period ensure to have a good speed internet package. Many companies offer reimbursement for internet packages and may be utilized. If permitted have a backup internet in event of connectivity failures. 

WFH only means to contribute through your job working remotely. Above tips may seem bit challenging to follow in initial days , but once practice sets in , it turns as a habit and you will find yourself more productive just like the way you would be during office hours. Wish you a great work from home experience !!