The unprecedented pandemic has struck the lives of individuals and has brought forth a so-called “new normal” to the entire world. To this new phenomenon, businesses are of no exemption. In fact, the old workspace rules and practices are all shattered, and the health crisis has accelerated the speed of change and brought a radical shift in the ways that work is carried out.
IS REMOTE WORKING THE ONLY SOLUTION?
Well, to answer this question, it is crucial to understand why businesses have come to this state. As mentioned earlier, the arrival of the pandemic was so unprecedented and led to the most unexpected scenario. Within a few weeks of the pandemic, the entire world was forced to be locked inside their houses.
Although, in the initial days of lockdown, everyone was so shocked and unaware of what could be done next. But then we all realized that the pandemic isn’t something that will disappear soon, and there is a need for an alternative as we cannot continue living just locked up inside houses.
Thus came the concept of working from home or remote working. However, we cannot say that working from home is a new concept that came into existence due to the pandemic. The history of working from home can be traced out even before the industrial revolution. But then, it was the crisis that led to the new perspective of remote working as an alternative.
IS REMOTE WORKING EFFECTIVE?
In many ways, working from home is considered beneficial. This can be to the extent that employers and employees will prefer flexible working options even after the lockdown. Thus, it surely wouldn’t be wrong to say that the pandemic in a way has led to one of the most remarkable experiments of remote working.
In regard to the effect of working from home, let’s consider productivity as a factor. A study undertaken reveals the following statistics.
THE SKILLS THAT THE EMPLOYEE HAS TO POSSESS FOR A PRODUCTIVE WORK FROM HOME EXPERIENCE
Referring to the graph above, we can be sure that productivity, which has always been a major concern for businesses, is indeed achievable. But then the question arises, “How?”
Well, here are a few tips or strategies that can help employees enhance their productivity, despite remote working.
Learning to manage your time
Stephen R. Covey once mentioned that - “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” Thus, the management of time wholly depends on where and how you invest it.
While working from home, you obviously have the freedom to do things according to your wish and in your own time. But then, it is important to realize that the decisions made by you shouldn’t affect the target set or productivity.
Especially when you desire to work from home, time management will have to be a fundamental requisite. Therefore, it is advisable to maintain a routine for the entire day. Fix your regular working hours and efficiently implement the routine you have set. By setting up a routine and allotting time, you can manage your time effectively. The following outlines may be helpful:
- Determine during which time or part of the day when you are most productive
- Time allotted for each task
- When your boss needs you to be available
- Time allocated for a project
- Communication with your coworkers and customers
- Time desired to spend with the family
Thus, when you are determined to work from home, make sure that productivity is not affected, which is the primary concern for many organizations. And effective management of time is one way of ensuring productivity despite the crisis.
Becoming tech intelligent
Being technically efficient and skilled is another yet important requisite when working from home. The scope of being technically equipped and aware of the way to use tech is necessary. Although distance separates you from colleagues and management, it is through the tools of technology that you will be connected to the team.
Apart from this, unlike at the office, you will not have your IT support team to address your connectivity and network issues in person. You need to be at least aware of the basics of technology to make sure that your tasks are not hindered due to the lack of knowledge on how to fix minor issues.
Luckily, technology has grown in such a way that most operations are online and cloud-based. Access to information and data is readily made available. One of the better examples of this is the cloud-based payroll solution. The employee has access to his payroll data and can generate reports when the need arises. The more equipped and skilled you are in terms of technology, the more it enhances your productivity, irrelevant to where you work from.
The very fact that the organization has accepted remote working should fill the employee with a sense of responsibility. And unlike at the office, you wouldn’t have your boss always behind your shoulder to get to work. Therefore, each employee has to motivate himself and contribute to productivity.
John D. Rockefeller, an American business magnate and philanthropist said - “I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.” Thus, if you consider flexible working hours as your right, along with it comes the responsibility of proving that it's a great decision for each side!
The attitude of realizing the responsibility and putting in the right effort to accomplish the target will contribute to the professional growth of the employee. Therefore, taking up the responsibility despite remote working is another way to have a productive work from home experience.
Well-maintained work-life balance
Some people are more focused on work than their personal and family life, while it’s vice-versa for the rest. However, either way of operating isn’t the right choice. It happens because of the lack of time allocation for both aspects of life, be it personal or professional.
Therefore, developing the skill of maintaining a work-life balance is mandatory. When there is a proper balance between work and family needs, you can ensure that whichever you're focusing on at the time has your full attention. A study has proved that the breaks between working hours can boost your productivity. If that’s the case, then why not go for it?
In a way, the ability to enable a solid work-life balance scenario will contribute to the mutual benefit of improving the family relationship as well as developing professionalism in accomplishing your tasks.
The ability to move quickly as well as decisively with a lot of ease is referred to as agility. It is also the ability to be adaptable and staying calm despite the uncertainties. Hence, agility is considered to be one of the vital skills that the employees are to develop while working from home.
The employee should be able to use the situation right in front of him to transform them into opportunities and benefits, even in the midst of whatever the crisis may be. In times of crisis, such as COVID-19, where the entire world is volatile and changing exponentially, it becomes indispensable for the workforce to have a high degree of agility.
A renowned person named Jim Rohn stated that - “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” Isn’t it true? At times many employees are seen taking advantage of remote working. But then, it is essential to understand that even though you are working from home, there are certain etiquettes that need to be followed. Some of them are:
- Proper dress code
- Set up a dignified workspace at home
- Create a to-do list every day
- Minimize distractions
- Motivate yourself and be optimistic
- Be resilient
- Develop yourself to be proactive
- Set ground rules for the people in your space
- Maintain a healthy diet while remote working
- Stick to your regular working hours
- Be on time
You may wonder what these have to do with making the employee productive while working from home. As much as you are self-disciplined, you will feel more engaged and focused on your tasks. And the more you are engaged, the more you'll find it easy to be productive and focused.
Maintaining a healthy life
In order to be productive, being physically fit and active are also very important. It is observed that the more time you spend at home, the more we start feeling lazy. And it will definitely have an effect on the work front. This will also lead to a lack of proper work-life balance.
Therefore, researchers have found out that a healthy diet and regular exercising can help the individuals or the workforce in maintaining a healthy life. These suggestions not only contribute to increased productivity but also enhance the well-being of the employee’s personal life too.
The more an individual engages himself in developing his skills, the more competent he will turn out to be. And concerning this, there is no limit for learning. Hence, make the best out of learning and developing oneself in all possible ways for a better professional as well as personal life.
Coming to the end of the article, it can be said that with the help of the discussed tips, the right focus, and dedication from the employees, remote working will surely deliver effective working environments and potentially more engaged employees.