The current COVID pandemic has forced a large number of organizations to experiment with flexible work options. The most popular of these options is undoubtedly Work from Home. The biggest concern of both the employees and organizations have is whether it will impact productivity. There is a preconceived notion that employees experience a reduction in their overall productivity and efficiency while working from home. Given that Work from Home is a relatively new concept for employees, they need to invest time and effort to adapt to this new routine before they can start assessing their productivity. This article presents a few tips to maximize the productivity of Work from Home employees.
Why Work from Home works
The advancement in digital technology has definitely made it easier for members of the modern workforce to fulfil their job roles and responsibilities even from a remote location. There are several reasons that make work from home a favourable option for both employees and organizations. The most important of these are as follows:
- Enables employees to enjoy a better work-life balance
- Saves time and energy in commuting between home and office
- Allows flexible timings and ensures greater employee satisfaction
- Enhances the self-discipline and focus of employees
- Mobile and digital technology allows them to stay connected with their co-workers, supervisors and customers almost the same way as they would be at the office
Tips for Work from Home employees to stay productive
While working from home comes with its own advantages, it can also lead to procrastination and distraction. This can, in turn, can result in a decline in the accountability of employees and thus impact their productivity. The following are a few effective tips for employees to avoid such situations and stay productive when they work from home – supervisors and team leaders can guide/coach them on these:
- Set up a dedicated work area
The first and the most important step that employees should take to maintain their personal productivity while working from home is to set up a dedicated work area. This work area should preferably be in a room or a secluded part of the house where they are least likely to be disturbed. Having such a space creates the right ambience for the employees and inspires them to work in the same focused way as they do at their office.
- Create a regular schedule and follow it strictly
It is important for the employees opting to work from their homes to establish a well-thought-out schedule and ensure strict adherence to the same. They should share the schedule with their family members and friends to minimize the chances of distraction from these sources. Simple indicators such as shutting the door or pulling the curtain around their work area can help in making other members of the family aware that the employees need to focus on work and should not be disturbed. Moreover, when the employees follow their schedule regularly and rigorously as they would have done in office, their loved ones come to acknowledge the fact that even if they are at home, they are still working and hence give them the time away from them.
- Be sure to take regular breaks
Employees need to keep their work routine as natural as possible to ensure that their productivity is not impacted in a negative manner. This means that they should take regular yet short breaks from work to refresh their minds and relax their muscles. This will help improve their overall efficiency and enhance their time management skills. Most importantly, the employees can utilize these breaks for some family interaction, getting a cup of coffee and doing some light stretches to revitalize their minds and bodies.
- Choose the work hours that suit you
Every employee is different in terms of the time of the day (or night) when they are most productive. One of the reasons that make organizations accept the idea of work from home so readily, is that it assures them enhanced employee productivity by giving them the freedom to choose the most productive work hours. The employees can choose to work in the early morning hours or late at night as they do not have to follow the set work hours of the office. The focus is on getting the tasks done before the established deadline rather than on when or how it is done. Being able to choose their work hours reduces the stress of the employees and enhances their efficiency in the long run. Of course, employees need to ensure that they have enough time overlap with their supervisors, co-workers and customers as their role or job might require.
Work from home can be a powerful tool for employees and organizations to boost their productivity by keeping in mind a few simple guidelines that will help them maximize their productivity while working from home. Hopefully, organizations will benefit from these tips to maximize the productivity of Work from Home employees.
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