Millions of people have recently started working at home because of the COVID-19 outbreak. People's perspective differs from one another and adjustments would be hard for people who are used to office work.
Buffer.com surveyed 3500 remote workers around the world about their perspective of remote working. The report mentioned the 3 primary benefits of remote working are flexible schedule, flexible working location and not having to commute. However, these employees are struggling in collaboration, loneliness, distractions at home and not being able to unplug after work hours.
Initially, we had a hard time adjusting and needed to figure out ways to get our work done from home effectively. As time went by, we improvised and adapted to the “new normal” working condition while still keeping the momentum. Here are a few tips and tricks to overcome remote working struggles and maintain productivity.
TIME TO ADAPT!
Set up a daily meeting with your team at the start and the end of the day. We have morning meetings at 9:30 AM when everyone is starting at work and 4:00 PM, just before finishing work. We maintain short meetings to make team members keep track of their tasks and others.
We get bored too! Passive voice chats are important to mimic conversations as if team members are just across the table like in the office or if there is an urgent matter. When talking to another team member about a topic, other members would be able to hear and might join the conversation and collaborate. We use Discord to run in the background and mute our microphone whenever we want to!
You notice that its somehow difficult to unplug from work. For yourself, decide on a mental cue using physical items that you usually do in your workplace. Some people hang their coats on their chairs or placing their bags on the floor to get mentally ready for work. it could also be putting a sweater on to start the day and leave it on the desk once working hours are over.
You might have been advised to shower and change to work outfits to switch your brain to work mode. However, our fellow freelancers and remote workers find jumpsuits and tracksuit pants perfectly fine in doing their tasks! Another thing to consider is the mood, choosing an outfit that makes you feel good and comfortable with yourself. This might be an outfit that you’ve always wanted to wear to work, but you’re not allowed to, due to restrictions.
Well, if you have an important conference call scheduled, focusing on grooming the upper body would be great.
Did you know isolation moments techniques were used by great inventors like Albert Einstein and Nikolai Tesla?
“Although I have a regular work schedule, I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head.”
“The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind.”
Working from the bedroom is a bad idea, you’ll be too comfortable. Finding your own space where you will be the only person in that room is best. This might be a shed, garage or anything, but some people might not have this luxury. For me, I create a working space using my desk facing a wall. Family members roaming around the living room wouldn’t distract me and I would be able to stick post-its on the wall.
Television should be turned off, and some, who work well with background music should consider jazz music without lyrics or any instrumental songs. For me, I like to listen to Lo-Fi music in my background to help me focus.
Social media is also another thing to limit, it can be a big-time waster and the phrase “one more video” only brings you procrastination.
Communication with family members/housemates is really important in getting things done too. Make sure the people around you are aware that you can’t be touched during work hours, even though we are within reaching distance. Of course, anything emergency should be taken care of, but house chores like dishwashing or vacuuming requests from family members/housemates should be avoided.
As during this time, working from a coffee shop wouldn’t be an option, we’ve got to do something to still be productive.
During isolation, taking short breaks wouldn’t hurt! Walkout to your porch, garden or anywhere that gives you the open air. I think stretching and exercising between work helped in giving focus boost. Its normal to feel bored and lonely during isolation work and what you need is endorphin boost!
These are short tips that we can share for the past few weeks working from home. We hope businesses and organizations can still keep their productivity and survive or even thrive during this COVID-19 crisis.