Are we nearing the end? Probably. As most organizations are encouraging their employees to work remotely from home in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis, we are getting worried. Both, for the rapidly increasing coronavirus cases as well as people transitioning to remote work without any preparation.
You’ve been enjoying the work-from-home perks that you are getting. But what about your work productivity? How will you efficiently work in a virtual environment?
This can be a bit complex, especially for employees who have grown accustomed to the daily hustle and bustle of a traditional office. If you’re someone who is a first-time remote worker, it might be even more difficult.
Working remotely from home can be overwhelming in the beginning. But if you are disciplined and organized, you will quickly settle into the virtual world. And that’s something I’ve learnt from my personal experience.
I started working remotely 3 years ago and it has been a long ride. At first, it was almost like I couldn’t grasp anything that was happening. But eventually, it all came together. And lessons have been learnt from my early days. Now I want to make sure that you learn them beforehand.
When you have the flexibility to choose when to work and how to work, things can get very chaotic, very easily. With your Netflix queue, a warm comfortable bed, and your family in the next room, distractions come easy. To overcome them and stay focused, you need to define guidelines for everything.
You must always set your working hours and work only during those hours, not before and not after. Assign your tasks to your hours and keep track of time when working on them.
Use tools like Tomato Timer to efficiently track your productivity and help you stay on track.
Apply the same discipline when taking breaks. Decide how many breaks you would require to avoid burnout. For instance, I take a 20 min break after every 2.5 hours. Although this isn’t a hard rule, yet you need to set your own breaks and work accordingly.
Another way of smoothly transitioning to remote work is by creating a list of everyday tasks. (You could even make weekly or monthly to-do lists but that’s totally up to you.)
A to-do list of daily tasks helps you ensure that you do not miss something out and are able to assign a designated time to each task efficiently. This will also help you save time since you do not have to scroll down your email or check Slack every hour to know what to do next.
You’d be missing out on a lot if you do not make the most of the available tools. Firstly, know all the tools used by your team and then actually learn how to use them best. This will help you in quick and efficient communication with the team. Secondly, find out the best remote work tools that can help with your productivity. For instance, I use Trello to make to-do lists instead of a word doc or writing it on a paper. Since Trello provides me with the option of actually checking things off on my list, it increases my efficiency.
One of the most common mistakes new remote workers make is not communicating enough. It only leads to more confusion among the team and delayed timelines.
Make sure you understand all ongoing projects and communication. Do not be afraid to ask questions and resolve your doubts. You must have clarity when working remotely. Also regularly check-in with your teammates and manager but discuss the time interval prior with your team.
One should know when to start working and also when to cut off. When transitioning to remote work, employees tend to work extra hours and overcompensate to show increased productivity. But you should be able to maintain a work-life balance to stay satisfied with your job.
Are you going to transition to remote work due to the coronavirus crisis? Or have already done it Are you facing any challenges? If yes, put them in comments below. We’ll be happy to answer.
Learn what tools you all will be needing during COVID-19 for working from home.
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