The global work scenario has drastically changed due to the current turbulent times spawned by the pandemic. Work-from-home (WFH) was the most apparent alternative most global employers chose for the continuation of work. There is a high consensus that the lockdown has taught us lessons for life and has shaken us up to realize what is supremely important for us and taught us to value people and resources around us. Along with fostering this humane side, it has also made us realize what skill sets we possess to perform well in the WFH setting and which skills we still need to acquire. Skills, commonly, are understood in a constrained way – like abilities to perform tasks effectively. The changes in the global workforce call for a sharp focus on competencies required to manage ourselves and our work efficiently. Competencies contain skills and further encompass other essential components for effective performance. Competency is one’s ability to perform in normal, known, predictable situations and in uncertain, unknown, unpredictable situations. Competencies are an amalgamation of knowledge, skills, motivation, values, and attitude.
There is timely evidence that WFH has obvious benefits. If WFH is here to stay for long, employees might as well embrace this change positively and know how to adapt to it.
How to Work Effectively from Home
Get Ready for Your Work Day
What is your favorite outfit when working remotely? Pyjamas, is it? Of course, it should be, as you get to be in your comfort zone. Dressing up is something that people do not bother about while working from home. But that’s not how it should be. You must get ready for your work as you usually do.
Yes, you heard that right. Get out of your sleepwear. Casual dress or pyjamas are great, and they give you comfort and a sense of freedom. But donning sweatpants may not help you to stay productive if you wear them for 48 hours straight.
It is unnecessary to dress as formally as you might for work, but a mere act of changing clothes will give you a signal to wake up and get the job done. Our brains are programmed in a way that takes cues from our social and personal outlook while making a decision. When you dress up for your work, you give the brain a reason for doing it. It’s like a natural alarm that can keep you alert throughout the day.
Getting dressed includes all the appearance-based tasks — taking a shower, doing your hair, and minimal makeup. These factors make you look presentable. Besides, working from home does not certainly mean that people cannot see you. You might be asked to show up for video meetings which are very common these days.
Choose a Proper Home Office
What is the best thing about working from home? Most probably, the level of comfort.
But, do you know that this comfort can come at the cost of lost productivity, focus, and target goals?
As much as home working is convenient for many as they can coop up in their bed or couch, it becomes challenging to resist the temptation of sleep with our not-so-healthy sleep routine.
That way, you can either give in to your lethargy – which is highly demotivating – or decide to come out of the enticement of your typical home setting. The latter is always better and more productive. You might sit at any place, start working on your task list, and all of a sudden, a movie or an ad plays on TV. What is your instant reaction?
You turn around and take a glimpse, thus creating a distraction. It is likely possible to happen every now and then if you choose a random spot to work. distractions will flow in every way.
Therefore, having a particular space all to yourself will do a great deal.
When the surrounding gives you work vibes, your attention is bound to swoop in along with your efficiency. To achieve that, all you have to do is
- Choose a corner of your room with good natural lighting, if possible
- Set it up with a chair comfortable to sit on, for around 8 hours a day
- Place a desk next to it
- Put your system on the placed desk
- Keep your required materials like a diary, pens, a bottle of water & a lamp right by the sidewall flow in from every way.
A dedicated workspace will enable you to keep yourself oriented to your work by providing an office-esque environment. Because in the end, concentration is the key to effective outcomes.
Maintain consistent Working Hours
How often do you lose the track of time while working from home? Almost every day, right? When your mind is completely off work, it is quite possible for you to be unaware of the amount of time that has passed.
This is an unhealthy practice. Being a workaholic is good but within the working hours. You need not overdo it. A general work-life balance is a very important factor when working from home. Your personal life is just as important as your professional life.
You should always make a routine of your workdays and working hours It has to be prepared in a way that you can follow it with ease. If you plan on working for 8 hours straight on a workday, from 10 am to 6 pm, make sure you stick to your schedule.
You might have days where you need to finish a pile of work; in case of which, you can either resort to communicating with your manager for an extension or you can extend your work time for that particular day as one day can be considered. But doing this on a daily basis can be harmful as working overtime can stress you out, both physically and mentally.
If you do not follow an organized timetable for work, you are going to miss out on your social life too. Like they say,” All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”- do not let yourself become a Jack. Working tirelessly every day past your work hours, to meet your goals and depriving yourself of spending time with friends and family is detrimental.
It’s the simplest rule, yet the toughest to follow.
- Set your alarm for the time one hour prior to your office hour
- Freshen up and do the needful before settling in your workspace
- Before going ahead with work, set the timer for the end of your work time
- Perform your tasks with full dedication
- Shut your laptop down, as soon as the timer kicks in
- Move away from your workplace and call it a day
You might not realize it, but many people who work from home find it difficult to stick to a set schedule when working from home. No matter how hectic your work is, avoid working outside your usual hours to avoid stress and burnout.
Sitting for prolonged periods, no exercise and unhealthy dietary choices add to unwanted weight gain, which can lead to health problems. Make sure you are eating healthy food and getting at least 5 hours of exercise every week. Don’t forget to sleep for at least 7-8 hours a day.
Sitting in an imbalanced position can lead to overly used and tight muscles of the neck, shoulders, arms and lead to pain. It is important that you sit in the correct position with your elbows at roughly 90 degrees when sitting in front of your computer. Make sure you stand up and do some stretching every hour to avoid stiffness, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Bad posture can also lead to pain in the muscles. It is essential that you be aware of your body’s positioning
Looking at the screen the whole day with nowhere to go can hamper your sleeping patterns and lead to insomnia. The moment you get off work, keep your phone, laptop, and tablet away at least two hours before sleeping to let your body go into sleep mode.
Though this guide is intended for both managers and employees who are making the switch to working from home, there’s a lot here that can be valuable to work-from-home veterans, too. Whether you’re an employee, a manager, or a WFH vet, these tips can help you be more efficient and get more out of the experience.