The way the world does business has been turned upside down in a matter of few weeks. I have always recommended people to stick to emails, whatsapp and online collaboration tools. Technology is there and if we use them properly, we not only save a lot of time, we will also be able to do things more productively.
In my experience of working from home in the last 10 years, here are seven simple tips on how anyone can work from home in a productive manner.
1. Establish a dedicated area as your workspace – Do not use your sofa, dining table or bed as a workspace. Have a dedicated area where you will go to for gettig official work done. Subconsciously this helps you focus and allows you to do things better.
2. Focus, Focus and Focus – Do not let the daily distractions of home get to you. Imagine you are at work and ignore all of them while you are at work. Better still, prepare a time calendar where you allocate specific time for doing work and specific time for non-work activities.
3. Embrace Technology – Schedule meetings only when it is important. Do not get on to zoom calls or webinars unnecessarily. It is quite easy to setup a virtual meeting room of sorts. But remember just like some of the regular meetings, these can take a toll on you. Use Zoom, Go To Meeting, Teams and other collaboration tools only when required and be prepared to use them more often.
If things can be emailed without the need for a call, then email them. You don’t know how the other person is setup.
4. Stay OFF social media – Facebook, Instagram and other social media channels are great but they suck your time like crazy. Before you know it, a solid 2 to 3 hours is gone. If you are in the work-zone, then use it only if required.
5. Create a calendar – Plan your day hour by hour. Schedule what you will be doing by creating a daily / weekly calendar so that you know what to do and you stay focused.
6. Involve your family – Set the expectations with your family that you are working from home. Inform them of your time schedule so that they don’t disturb you. If you have young children and infants, you can make an exception but do take the help of other family members to manage them while you are doing things.
7. Take breaks – It is very easy to do things at a stretch. Just because you have put a work calendar does not mean you can just continue non-stop. Take frequent breaks so that you do not feel stressed out.
Working from home can be tricky. However if you put a plan and stick to the plan, it can be very productive.
Stay safe, stay positive and take care.