Working-from-home (WFH) is a reality for most employees today. You may have already mastered the basics of WFH, and are thinking about how to elevate your routine. Here are five recommendations to further boost your productivity, while ensuring you have a positive experience along the way.
Without the benefit of walking up to your colleagues for a quick chat, maintaining an open channel of communication is more crucial than ever. To ensure you understand what is expected of you, take the initiative to set goals and tasks with your managers and stakeholders, and go through them regularly.
Be proactive. One way of going the extra mile is through your follow-up communications. In your follow-up email, remember to note down essentials of the discussion, such as deliverables and timelines. Provide additional references to previously sent emails or communications, if they lend clarity to the project. Proactive efforts on your part will help everyone to work more effectively as a team.
One of the key challenges of working from home is the solitude and lack of social interaction. Professional isolation over an extended period can have an adverse effect on mental health, causing employees to feel a diminished sense of belonging to their organisation. An effective way to tackle professional isolation is to maintain regular contact with fellow colleagues virtually, either over phone calls, emails or video meetings where teams can stay in touch with each other.
Be creative when reaching out to one another. For instance, you can celebrate meaningful occasions such as birthdays, individual and team milestones, and even weekly “social gatherings” virtually over video conferences. When kicking off morning meetings, take the opportunity to start the day right with a virtual coffee session together.
Working from home doesn’t mean the entire day has to only be about work. In the absence of fixed office schedules, people often work through lunch or past official working hours. Remembering to make time for “microbreaks” is essential because they break the monotony of work, and refresh us mentally, physically, and emotionally.
“Microbreaks” are brief activities, which have been shown to improve workers’ ability to concentrate as well as deepen job engagement. Such activities can involve anything from reading, stretching to savouring a well-deserved coffee break. To make “microbreaks” a sustainable practice, set aside time slots and reminders in your calendar, so you will be reminded regularly to step away from work as you reframe your body and mind for the next burst of productivity.
Working from home saves us some commuting time, so why not make the most of this valuable opportunity for self-enrichment? Put that time to good use by picking up skills online that can help you to become a more effective professional, especially as digital transformation continues to define the way we work.
Always invest in yourself. During this time, I focus on learning new skills that I previously pushed back or did not make time for.
- Anna Vanessa Haotanto, Founder of The New Savvy, COO of ABZD Capital -
There are plenty of online learning platforms, which professionals can benefit from, with topics ranging widely from marketing to finance to office productivity. Your self-improvement journey may even extend beyond work, including the pursuit of new hobbies or reignition of old interests, such as cooking, handicrafts or playing musical instruments. You might be surprised by what you’re capable of!
While a WFH routine might mean added responsibilities for families with children, having a well-rounded plan can help in the management of responsibilities. Sit down with your family members to plan a routine, and pin it up on the fridge for easy reference. In your plans, remember to include fun indoor activities, such as playing dress-up together, or taking virtual field trips to faraway places within the comfort of home.
Now that you are spending more time at home, there are also greater opportunities to understand each another’s routines, and appreciate the hard work each member contributes to the family. Take the time to show your appreciation, support and love for each other, through meals and conversations, where everyone can share and enjoy their heartfelt moments together.
Taking your WFH routine to the next level gets easier as we learn how to navigate around the limitations of remote work, proactively plan routines and adapt in the way we communicate with each other.. Let’s harness the full potential of working from home and emerge as a more energised and effective workforce.