At the end of March, the Indian government ordered all IT companies to organise that their employees should work from home. So we were asked to work from home for some time initially. Even in their wildest dreams, nobody would have thought that more than six months later, we would still be working from home.
Initially, I faced various challenges while working from home. I felt a lack of motivation. I had challenges managing a consistent performance and distinguishing between work and free time. Frequent distractions also disturbed me. My work environment was also not as good as when working from our office. I also felt that I could not maintain the same productivity as usual. This gave me a feeling of dissatisfaction. In this article, I share a bit of what I have found helps to make it easier and more productive to work from home.
My suggestions for how to work from home effectively
- Having a proper/de-cluttered workspace:
As we are working from home, it is imperative to be as productive as possible; many things can impact our productivity, especially at home. One of them is having a cluttered workspace with many wires/coffee mugs/ snacks plate/unwanted things, or whatever may be your problem. Psychologically it is good to have a de-cluttered workspace, and keeping a small favourite souvenir would boost it further!
- Logging on and off on time:
While we work at home, it is normal for us to keep the laptop on for long hours. Doing so may affect both laptop’s health and our schedule. Hence it is good to have a fixed productive working time; instead of longer ones with reduced productivity; In some projects/cases, we might have to extend our timings which is an exception.
- Importance of communication:
Since we are working from home, the visibility of our work/logging time needs to be much better. So, while planning the day, it is better to communicate during our lunchtime/coffee breaks/other breaks with the manager and team members with whom we have possible meetings/chats. Also, it is better to engage in common chat groups discussing technical issues/questions, improving team morale and coordination.
- Avoiding distractions:
When working from home, it is easy to get distracted. Google may send an alert on increasing COVID numbers or that Aishwarya Rai tested positive for COVID. It is not wrong to stay updated, but we also need to stay focused. You could follow the 90-20 minute rule, which allows you to focus on the work for 90 minutes and then take a 20-minute break (when you can spend some time browsing, taking a walk, listening to music or whatever you like to do). By defining a process, you can increase productivity while having natural breaks when needed!
- Work-Life Balance:
As we have been working from home for a long time now, our family would expect us to spend some time with them at least; While project responsibilities come first, we can inform them of our project timings and essential meetings prior. Also, we can have lunch/coffee together and have good quality time. After office hours (following the second advice) you can go for a short walk or see some good movies together.
As we are into the new normal and need to accustom ourselves accordingly, I hope the above things will help you in some way will help you to work from home effectively! Perhaps my experiences can help you to work more accessible and more productive 😀