Times have changed guys. We have entered an era where work from home has become an integral part of our lives.
The Covid-19 situation has turned things upside down, and the majority of employees have been given an opportunity to work from home. Work from home could be new to someone and for some, this is a normal routine. Some might find it difficult, whereas a few might find it the best way to work.
No wonder many people have also lost their jobs in the current prevailing situation and a few lucky ones still have it. People have started looking for work from home jobs on a consistent basis, but trust me, it is not a cakewalk.
Ever wondered how working remotely has impacted your mental and physical health?
One such report by the European Foundation for improving the Living and Working Conditions suggested that; around 41 percent of remote employees have higher levels of stress as compared with just 25 percent of those working from their offices.
Women especially might find it really difficult to manage work with family while working from home. They need to take care of their kids if they have, along with their work, the cooking has to be managed, a family has to be taken care of. These are the upfront challenges that they might encounter while working from home.
But just hold on! This is just one side of the coin. And as we all know, each coin has two sides, so does this factor.
There is also some research that indicates otherwise.
According to the 2018 survey done by The Mental Health America in collaboration with FlexJobs, about 71 percent of people would like to work from home to reduce commute-related stress.
About 75 percent of survey respondents said that working from home could potentially help them limit stress related to distractions during workdays.
So these were the two sides of the same coin. But as an individual, it is on us to decide if this work culture will be advantageous to us. We need to decide if this could work in our favor or could cause even more stress.
Here are some interesting statistics about the work from home culture
- People who work from home at least once a month are 24 percent more likely to be happy and more productive.
- The number of people who work from home has increased by 140 percent since 2005.
- By 2028, 73 percent of all departments will adopt a work from home culture.
- Globally, 52 percent of people work remotely at least once a week.
- 18 percent of people in the world work remotely full-time.
- 86 percent of people feel working from home reduces stress.
- 22 percent of people face difficulty in unplugging after work
- Work from home employees is only 30 percent engaged in the work.
So these were some very interesting statistics of the work from home culture. If most of us will have to adapt to the remote working conditions, then, there has to be a proper understanding and learning about the new working culture and how to excel in this condition.
These are the 10 essential and very easy tips for maximum efficiency while working from home
1 Start early
Starting your day early is the best possible way you can achieve your daily targets. Waking up late would ruin your routine and you will always be on the chase to get things done. Instead start your day early as you would if working from your workplace.
This tip is very essential. It will keep you on schedule and will never let you hurry into anything. By doing so, you can achieve maximum efficiency all throughout the day and never feel entangled and fighting with time.
2. Exercise and Meditate
You have crossed the first hurdle by starting your day early. Now you are on course towards an efficient day of work. To do so even more effectively, you need to put in a little more effort.
Exercising and meditating are some of the best ways to keep your energy levels up all throughout the day. This in turn will improve your ability to perform better.
The first important thing that one needs to do is an exercise for at least 15 minutes. This does not necessarily be lifting weights. Exercise can be done in any form from walking briskly, warm-ups, a jog, or a run in your locality. This will infuse a boost of energy in your body, warm your blood, and send sufficient amounts to your heart and brain for optimum function.
Meditating is also a very important aspect to keep your mind healthy and fit. Now, in this case, you do not need to spend a specific amount of time to meditate every day. Meditation is easy and can also be performed by a simple act of deep breaths for 2-3 minutes after every 2 hours of work. This will help you release the stress in your body and bring your energy levels back up.
This is how exercise and meditation can help you concentrate on your work and also keep you fit and healthy.
Now let us move on to our third essential tip.
3. Get ready for work
You might wonder what this is right? Why should I get dressed and get ready for work when I am working from home!
Well, this is one of the finest strategies to get the most of your work from home environment. Getting your early shower and dressing up for work gives you a sense of urgency and responsibility. Pretend as if you will be leaving for work. If you do not dress well for work (even though from home), you will be in a bubble as if you are on leave. Never let that feeling cross your mind.
Dressing for work does not necessarily mean wearing formal clothes with a suit and a tie. But, dress neatly in a shirt and a pant, be it casual, or a neat top or dress for the ladies. Just avoid wearing shorts or clothes that you would wear before going to bed.
This will not only distract you from your work but also reduce your efficiency to produce maximum results.
Alright then, let’s move to our next interesting tip which everyone must follow.
4. Find a suitable place to work from home
This is the most important one folks. Just imagine the place where you work. How organised it is. A laptop/PC, pen stand, coffee mug, sticky notes and a proper working ambience. You would want to work in such an ambience.
Now, when working from home, try to make your place similar to your workplace in the office. Many of you might be working from your bed itself, or near the TV unit. That is a big bummer. Kindly avoid working on your bed. That is too cozy for anyone to be working.
A bed is a very religious place where you let go of all the unwanted thoughts and come to relax and get some sleep. You can never be working there.
Also, avoid working near the TV unit as it is a major cause of disturbance that occurs in your work.
So make sure that the place where you work is neat and tidy. It has all the necessary accessories that you would otherwise require at your workplaces such as a laptop, pen stand, sticky notes, and other important things.
The paramount thing is to have your working table in your room itself and not in the common hall for obvious reasons.
One key thing to highlight here is – have a comfortable chair, as you will be sitting on it for a longer period of time. You would certainly want it to be as comfortable as possible to avoid any back and shoulder injuries in the coming times.
5. Put up a plan
Planning and organizing your day ahead of schedule if of prime importance. Always prepare a to-do-list for the entire day so that you do not miss out on any major tasks. You already have sticky notes on your table. Make use of those.
This will help you write down all the tasks for the day and frame them in such a manner that each task is given a priority depending on the type of work and time it needs to get completed.
Now, putting up a plan will not only help you go about smoothly with your daily work but, also help you become more organized and teach you the art of managing things in the right and efficient manner.
6. Start focused
A normal human being cannot stay focused the entire day of work. It is really very difficult to keep concentrating and not get distracted even for a bit. It thus becomes very important to start off by doing the tasks that require more focus. By this, you will get the more priority assignment done when you are fresh and focused.
This takes the burden off your shoulder immediately as you have accomplished the very important duties in the beginning and you can now afford to be a little relaxed in going about with your work.
Working long hours can certainly impact your efficiency to perform and you can lose focus on some occasions. To avoid that, you can have a cup of coffee or tea whatever suits you. This will certainly help you gain your focus back. Which brings me to the next tip of taking breaks.
7. Take breaks with your colleagues
Enough of work. I need a break. Wow! Such a wonderful feeling to take a break every now and again. I do not here mean to simply take breaks and get fresh for work again. Just like you would do in your office, take breaks with your colleagues, go for a tea or coffee in the cafeteria, hang out for a while on each other’s office desks and many other things.
But here, working from home does not give you the leverage to hang out with your colleagues on breaks. But you can fix break timings with your colleagues and take breaks at the same time. You can make a group video call or even a simple conference call if that gives you a feeling of working together in the office.
This will keep your mind fresh and give you a sense of working in the office environment itself. This will yet again help you produce more efficient results for that matter.
8. Take follow-ups later
At your workplace, normally you would respond to emails, take a call from colleagues (work-related of course), and such other things. But since it is your workplace, it might not disturb your momentum as such. You are already in a working environment and will get back on your working mode.
But this normally does not happen while you are working from home. The situation is different and such small distractions can break your momentum and focus. The best way to avoid this is by answering to follow up emails and other calls in the latter part of the day when you are almost done with all the important tasks.
9. Stop working at the right time
Many of us might feel that the amount of time we work in the office is way less than working from home. Isn’t it?
Yes, you are right. It does happen and that is because while working from home, we are in our utmost comfort zones. The timings while working from home are not pressing since the commuting aspect goes out of the window. Meaning, we do not need to return home after work, we don’t have to catch a train or a bus or drive our vehicles back home for that matter.
Hence a 9 to 5 can change into a 9 to 7 without even realizing. Now, in order to avoid such a thing from happening, the time has to be set very strongly. If you are willing to work exactly 9 to 5, make sure you plan your schedule accordingly. Stick to your decided schedule and avoid delaying the process by any means. By doing so, you can get back to the normal working hours which you earlier followed at your office.
Try wrapping things up at around 4:30. Complete your emails, phone calls and follow-ups in the last hour so that you can call it a day in the stipulated time frame.
10. Read a book and plan for the other day just before you sleep
This might seem a little out of context but hold on. I’ll tell you why it is so important.
You already had a busy day working, it has certainly taken a toll on your mind and body sitting in front of a laptop and a chair for hours, it takes a lot off your body. Come night time you need your body to rest and be ready for a challenging day the next morning.
Reading a book will help you calm your senses down and also help you get rid of all the unwanted thoughts and negative energy. Read a book of your liking and it will not only help you with a good night sleep, but also give you some knowledge that will always be helpful.
So just try making a habit of reading a book of your choice before you sleep so that you can have a sound and a trouble-free sleep and be ready the next morning fresh and ready to go.
Alright then, these were my top 10 essential tips for acing the work from home concept and making the most of it and being as efficient as you would be while at your office.
I hope you like it and try implementing this in your work routine. I will be glad if it helps you perform well even working from home.