We’ve all heard it. “I’m finding it so difficult to work remotely”. “My productivity is taking a hit”.
When dealing with any problem, the first step towards solving it is to accept that the problem exists. Similarly, the first step towards effective remote working is to accept that this is the new way of working for a while. We can either stress about it or we can accept that this current remote working situation is not the same as when we normally work from home. We have partners, kids, pets, home schooling, technology, self-isolation and prepping at least 3 meals a day to contend with.
To help you get through we are giving you seven working from home (WFH) tips so you can make remote working more effective and at least try to increase your productivity.
Choose a spot in your house with abundant sunlight and cheerful vibes
It’s your sole workplace for the time being. So it’s essential that you turn it into a place where you can spend multiple hours in a day.
Due to the outdoor activities being limited in these times, it is essential that the space where you spend the majority of your daytime needs to have a solid source of sunlight.
This goes without saying, but avoid the bed. It is a black hole where even the most active of beings can lose their motivation to work. Before you know it, you curl up in the duvet and type the cursed term ‘Netflix’ into the URL bar. Don’t let that happen, don’t be that person!
Create a green oasis in your own home
One of the benefits of working from home is the ability to design your own office spaces that inspires and motivates you. A great way to create an environment that is healthy and productive is with office plants.
Alot of research has begun to emerge detailing the benefits on having plants in the home including improved air quality, health, mood and productivity.
And, I mean we’ll take all the help we can get right now so why don’t you treat yourself to a new green best friend using online plants deliveries like Patch.
Implement the Pomodoro technique for maximum productivity
The Pomodoro technique refers to work in small batches of 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break.
By chunking your work into smaller manageable bits, you can ensure maximum productivity throughout the day. This is especially important during the WFH period because concentration levels are at the lower end of the spectrum.
This is a technique that the team at buyfair have used, even before we began WFH resulting in increased concentration throughout the day. So go ahead and smash those objectives, 25 minutes at a time!
Make work meetings fun using engaging activities
Working in isolation can have a negative impact on your overall well-being. Being used to an office environment where colleagues have regular chats and indulge in socials, WFH creates a social void in our daily lives. Tackle this by making work video calls more interactive and interesting.
A technique used by the team at buyfair is regular ‘show and tells’, where each colleague conducts a mini-masterclass of sorts on different topics. Recently, one of our colleagues held a puppetry masterclass, and another taught us the fundamentals of drawing again!
This can also be interesting if some of your colleagues are working remotely in other countries. One of our employees currently in India taught us how to make genuine Indian chai (it was delicious!). This is a great way to celebrate different cultures and increase team bonding.
Fancy something a bit more ‘fun’? It’s time to hold ‘Friday quarantini evenings’. Make those cocktails, have some light-hearted chats outside of work just like you would at the pub round the corner from the office. Ensuring a solid balance between work and play to avoid mental fatigue.
Use your breaks effectively
We discussed using the Pomodoro technique of working earlier. The technique involves working in 25 minute stints, with a 5-minute break in the middle.
You can do your chores in the breaks, take a small walk in the garden, play with the kids.
Basically take some time to do all those things which you didn’t have time for during office hours before the pandemic hit.
Use your time at home as positively as possible catching up on those tasks that you rarely get time for. At buyfair we have all agreed to taking up a new activity a week, weather that be learning an instrument, a new language or a new sport it’s something to keep all of our minds active and increase the use of our new found time.
Communicate with your team more often
Since WFH is a practice where you’ll be in social isolation, it is all the more necessary to implement effective communication mechanisms between the team.
Incorporating your usual weekly meetings and brainstorms can help fill the void caused by social isolation, and give the effect of a proper work atmosphere. You can do this by having daily morning briefings via video conferencing tools such as Zoom, and communicate throughout the day using instant messaging tools such as Slack or Teams.
Managers need to communicate with their teams and ensure that the employees are on top of essential work, while also being very mindful that people are working in very different environments from their usual WFH days. Providing emotional support and being an empathetic ear are just as important as keeping on top of work as prolonged WFH periods can have an adverse effect on mental health.
Enjoy this time
We are currently in the midst of a global health crisis, and it is an extraordinary time for everyone. Remote working can be difficult, and business for most people is slow.
Instead of letting the negativity surround you, make the most of this period. Limit your use of social media and limit the news. These can cause additional levels of anxiety that no one needs right now. Dip in and connect with friends and family but don't get drawn into every “news story”.
You’re saving time and money on your commute, water cooler catch –ups and cafe trips. Which easily adds up to around a couple hours each day. Use this time to self-reflect. Think about your personal goals and objectives take some time to explore these. Try using meditation apps like headspace or calm to ease anxiety and feel more centered.
WFH also gives you a lot of free time to indulge in those hobbies that you haven’t participated in for a while. Have that semi-acoustic sitting in the closet? Go ahead, start a family band! Always wanted to create a portrait of your dog? Do it.
This is a time you won’t get back. We will return to workdays in the actual office, and hopefully, the creative habits you’ve built in the remote working period will stay with you long after all this has ended.
Plant the seeds of creativity in the remote working period and make sure you nurture it when things return to normal.
If all else fails chill on the sofa and watch your favorite show. Remember we are all in this together each of us are doing the very best we can at this moment and we should applaud ourselves for ur efforts.