As much as companies across the globe are embracing the culture of working from home, more so in the recent wake of Coronavirus Pandemic, getting down to working from home is easier said than done. One might have to face a plethora of productivity killers or distractions on an everyday basis and that might start reflecting in an individual’s output, qualitatively as well as quantitatively.

We have discussed a few productivity killers in our previous post and through this post, we will dive into a few more:

 1. Lack of boundaries

Working from home offers a plethora of advantages, however, in the absence of some serious boundaries working from home can easily blur the margins of your personal and professional life and make you feel disoriented. Therefore, you must institute some routine and rules to feel happy, productive, and in control.

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Some of the ways through which you can achieve this are by:

  • Creating a dedicated workspace that is out of reach for your partner, kids, and pets when you are working. This workstation must also have some storage space so that you can keep all your documents in one place safely. You can make this workspace comfortable by using a comfortable chair
  • Talking to your loved ones like your partner or kids about how working from home is just about a change in location and rest everything, in terms of output and accountability remains the same and they must support you to make this experience fulfilling
  • Incorporate a few breaks in between ensuring that you do not get dehydrated, eat well, and keep yourself physically active. You may also take a small nap during the afternoon but make sure of marking your schedule in your calendar so that your team can schedule meetings keeping your routine in mind
  • Sometimes, working from home is taken as something where a person is expected to be available at odd hours and even during the weekends. While such requests may be attended to during emergencies, these will wreak havoc with your routine in the long run. Therefore, learn to say ‘no’.
  • Reinforcing your boundaries when you realize that people around you are not ready to accept the boundaries. For this, you should keep using a few sentences like, “I’ll have to call you back when I’m done working,” or “I need to look at my schedule first, “ or “I’m trying to meet some tight deadlines,” etc.

2. Distorted sleeping schedule

People working from home tend to work as per their whims that disturb their sleeping schedule which can take a huge toll on their health and output.

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This can be fixed up by:

  • Adhering to a sleep schedule from Sunday to Thursday. This necessitates that you are disciplined and manage your chores positively within your waking hours so that you sleep for at least seven to eight hours every day
  • Making sure that you have a light dinner which is finished two to three hours before bed-time. Also avoid caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants a few hours before sleeping
  • Doing some sort of physical activity every day regardless of your schedule as that can greatly help you in ensuring you have a good night’s sleep. You may try brisk walking, yoga, etc.
  • Creating a bedtime ritual comprising of a shower, changing into comfortable clothes, meditating for a few minutes, using a cotton bedsheet, and setting the thermostat to a comfortable temperature.

3. Excessive screen time (social media, TV, emails, mobile)

While working from home, people tend to constantly check social media, emails, mobiles, and watch a lot of TV.

screen-time

Excessive screen time can be reduced by:

  • Turning off all the push notifications on your mobile and desktop for the duration of time each day when you are working as these notifications can get very distracting and kill your productivity
  • Letting go of the temptation of checking social media every now and then. Instead of that, you should make voice and video calls to people who matter to you. This way you will be less influenced by the world of social media and feel more connected to your loved ones and therefore, feel less isolated during this crisis
  • Unsubscribing from all email addresses that add no value to your life and consume a lot of your precious time in reading and discarding them
  • Setting aside a fixed number of hours every day watching TV with your family or alone and remaining disciplined about it
  • Detaching from all screens a few hours before bedtime so that you reach a relaxed state of mind and get uninterrupted peaceful sleep.

4. Constant internet and power glitches

The WIFI at home might pale in comparison to office internet to which one gets so used to. Also, the neighborhood you are living in might register regular power cuts and when that happens, suddenly it may seem like an end of the world.

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Regardless, one can still ensure the quality and quantity of their work output by:

  • Communicating regularly with your manager and team. If any of your tasks is getting delayed by the internet or power crisis, you must inform your manager and colleagues about the same immediately so that they cut some slack to you or the job gets assigned to someone else in case it is time-sensitive
  • Having a strong backup in a place like prepaid mobile broadband, pocket WIFI, or wireless USB sticks in particular during emergencies to avoid any gaps in your assignments
  • Conserving the batteries of your gadgets by limiting the use of social media, mobile, and laptop for browsing mindlessly. Before anything else, you must prioritize your work obligations
  • Using your car for charging devices in the event of an unforeseen power outage. You should invest in a car charger adapter in advance, particularly when your car doesn’t have an outlet
  • Downloading critical work-related apps on your mobile so that your work gets least affected in case your laptop discharges. These apps could be outlook, Skype, Zoom meeting app, etc.

5. Bad posture due to makeshift office because of lack of dedicated workspace

In the absence of proper office chairs and a tendency to work for extended periods on your bed, couch, or a kitchen counter, you might experience acute strain and stress that is associated with the compromised body posture.

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You can make it more ergonomic by:

  • Varying your posture all through the day, as sitting in the same position for long hours can contribute to shoulder, neck, and back pain. To avoid this pain, for example, you might start your day at your dining table chair and then transition to a kitchen table or sit on your soft couch. Alternating your position every hour can be extremely helpful
  • Inserting a thin pillow underneath your seat can immediately convert a conventional chair into a lot more comfortable chair. In case a pillow is not available, you could also fold up a towel for the same comfort
  • Putting your feet up by supporting it on an elevated surface, or stretching your legs at regular intervals as these activities can greatly increase blood circulation and make one can feel well-rested. Investing in a good recliner chair might also help with maintaining a good posture
  • Working towards elevating your laptop. If possible, position your laptop in such a way so that the top of your monitor is just below eye level, so you don’t have to distress your neck for reading. You could use shoeboxes or a stack of books to prop up your laptop
  • Taking regular breaks, doing quick stretches on your workstation, and adding regular exercise to your routine can greatly help in keeping aches and pains at bay.

 

Creating a dedicated workstation at home, establishing boundaries, following a disciplined routine, investing time and resources on self-care, delegating household chores, spending quality time with the family, reaching out to colleagues and team lead when you get stuck on a job and limiting screen time can greatly increase one’s productivity while working from home even during this pandemic.

 

 

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