Due to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, India has been kept under complete lock-down until April 14, 2020. Most of the companies have asked their employees to work from home. Since we are also working from home, we faced these common challenges- Why is work from home usually so difficult? and most importantly, how do I boost my productivity?
Turns out, work from home can be just as productive as working from an office. All it needs is certain interventions in your routine.
Chair > Bed
As tempting it may feel but beds aren’t the right space to work from. Beds are often ‘over-comfortable’ and contribute towards reducing your overall productivity. Apart from that, leisurely working in bed will result in body aches as well. Even at home, it is advisable to work in an office like setup by working on a proper desk and chair.
Having a desk and a chair to do your work will not only instantly boost productivity but also help to avoid the risk of body aches. Keeping the posture thing aside, your work from home space shouldn’t be from your bedroom. Working in your own bedroom sends mixed signals to the brain. Resulting in low levels of motivation and drive to work. This goes without saying, proper ergonomics can affect your productivity dramatically.
So prefer a desk and chair setup, in a different room than your bedroom.
Even though it is easy to remain complacent while working from home, letting team members know about your availability and schedule is always a good idea. This way team members can know your exact status and more realistic goals can be defined.
However, it doesn’t mean that you write lengthy paragraphs defining your every move. That will work counterproductively and you could save your team from unwanted blunders.
Actively use video conferencing platforms, emails, texts and calls to communicate. If you’re an employer, things might be more difficult as you might have to set protocols in which communication is fluid and effective.
Did you know that you could claim Tax Deductions while working from home? Given that you fall under the Business or Profession category.
P.S. If you don’t know what is a Business and Profession, relax. We got you covered.
Individuals having Business and Professional Income can claim Tax Deductions on expenses such as Electricity and WiFi in their Income Tax Return. Salaried Individuals are not entitled to Tax Deductions, however, they can claim a reimbursement from their employers for such expenses. Given that it is mentioned in the employee agreement.
Maintain Regular work hours
It would really help if you decide on a schedule and stick to it. Let’s be honest, we don’t work like we are supposed to when we’re at home. There are T.V breaks, afternoon naps and the most frequently happening ‘let me just check my Instagram for 1 hour’ moments as well. All these factors eventually hamper our productivity.
One simple yet difficult solution is to draft a schedule, a realistic one of course. Also don’t be too hard on yourself and create a schedule where in all you do is just work. Have timely breaks incorporated in the schedule.
Having formed the schedule, comes the most challenging part… Following it like the holy grail. It’s a matter of self-discipline, a virtue that no one can teach or incorporate. It has to be developed and polished by practice. Nonetheless, if done correctly, you will witness dramatic improvements in your work.
Ground rules for the family
We’re sure your family must be very happy having you around whole day. They’ll be looking to spend some quality time with you. Chances are that you might end up trading precious office hours for some heart-to-heart family time. Which is also very important, but not at the cost of work.
Even after having a separate office space and making a schedule, distractions could still hamper your work. To work effectively and meet deadlines, a distraction-free environment is necessary. So you need to set some serious ground rules for the family. And they need to be followed by you and your family.
This goes without saying but, make sure to spare some time for your family as well. Maintain a work-life balance.
Use Professional Tools
In an office space, you might be using several tools for the proper execution of your work. It is important to transcend these tools to your home office as well. What it means is to have all the credentials, software and permissions you need beforehand.
This will save valuable time not only for you but for your co-workers as well. Also, it could be useful if you research some tools that ease your work and improve co-ordination.
Tools like Trello, Google meet, Slack can help teams to function better.
We hope that this blog will help you govern your work from home better. Until then, stay safe, stay home and work hard.