Amid global health concerns over the rapid development and spread of COVID-2019, companies are closing physical offices and shifting to remote work arrangements.
Working from home has its fair share of benefits and challenges. Potentially, there is a big adjustment factor as not everyone is accustomed to working from home or shifting their mode of work to a remote one suddenly. Keeping productivity levels high is an essential touchpoint in the transition to remote work arrangements.
Working from home enables you to save time on commute, increase time available to complete chores around the house and spend more time with family. With every move, there are bound to be challenges as well. Staying connected and focused on tasks can be difficult on the psyche over time as well.
How can companies improve productivity as teams continue to work from home for the time-being? Here are four tips from First Page Digital Singapore, a digital marketing agency, for efficiently carrying out business-as-usual plans from home.
1. Setting Up A Conducive Environment
Creating a distinct mental association for work and relaxation is key to keeping productivity levels up during work hours. Though working from bed sounds like a great idea, it could not be farther from the truth. Working in an area where you predominantly are used to relaxing risks blurring the boundary between work and rest, eventually making your work hours longer yet less effective.
Set up a designated work area that allows you to focus on your work for set periods of time uninterrupted. Some essentials to include are comfortable high quality chairs, a desk and noise-cancelling headphones.
The management team at First Page Digital Singapore leveraged the services of a local courier provider to transport necessary work equipment (laptops, laptop coolers, keyboards, mouse and monitors) over to the employees to enable a smooth and productive remote work arrangement.
2. Keeping Distractions At Bay & Being Flexible
You know yourself best. If your company is new to working remotely, overcoming distractions can be tricky.
Steer clear of anything that can potentially distract you during work hours. Some tips to consider are keeping personal tasks to after work-hours, clearing the work area of any magazines or games and taking regular breaks to keep concentration levels high.
When you are aware of the distractions present, you will be able to address them quicker and be much more productive with work.
Limiting your accessibility to personal social media networks can reduce the number of breaks you take during the day, helping you stay focused on task. Having your social pages within reach in a bookmark bar enables taking breaks every now and then. Social media is a gateway to procrastination and a rabbit hole that you can get sucked into without even realizing it. Sign out of all your personal social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – during work hours.
Planning your day ahead of time can give you focused pockets of time to work on priority tasks before tackling other deliverables. Likewise, it is equally important for you to approach work agendas flexibly — schedules can be shifted around during the work day when working in a dominantly client-facing industry. Drawing up a simple plan before the day starts will suffice in setting a goal for the day.
3. Using Digital Tools For Collaboration & Communication
Fortunately, the rise of remote work has paved the way for a suite of technology-enabled tools that enable teams to coordinate, collaborate and communicate efficiently.
As agencies are used to spontaneous discussions, using tools such as Slack and Skype helps the team communicate with each other in real-time and stay updated on any new campaign developments. Using Trello and an in-house task management system, employees are able to stay atop tasks and manage deadlines.
Signing up for an online conferencing tool – Zoom, Google Hangouts, UberConference – is a must-have for companies working from home as well.
When the workspace moves fully digital, being able to stay connected and coordinate with your team is pivotal to keeping productivity as campaigns continue to develop.
4. Learning To Log Off
Blurring the line that separates work and play is a common consequence of working from home. Everybody needs an adequate amount of time to rest and relax. This is also where employees need to be honest with themselves — reducing procrastination and focusing on work can result in a reasonably productive work day.
Recharging your batteries at the end of the day is essential to keep motivation and energy levels high when you start a new work day. Working endlessly throughout the week without scheduled downtime can lead to burnout. Creating the space for downtime, whether it is for personal hobbies or to simply unwind, can improve mental and physical health — allowing employees to work more productively.
Working Efficiently From Home
Employees are encouraged to switch up their tasks, design work days according to optimal times and share resources that help them stay focused. Developing strong work from home etiquette and ability in your team is a business advantage in the modern economy today.
Staying connected throughout the day is one of the most important ways your team can stay grounded and aligned on the shared vision, objectives and goals as a company.