By: Allanah Paragas
Months have already passed since most of the communities have experienced hard lockdowns to prevent the widespread of the coronavirus. Most organizations have already passed through the challenges of transitioning to the new normal ever since. From adopting new technologies to thriving in the new phase, how are professionals doing in terms of working productively from home in the ‘Now Normal’?
Prodoscore, an employee visibility software, has reported a 47% increase in productivity while working from home was seen despite the lockdowns. Based on a hundred million data points of 30,000 users, here is how professionals are making the most out of their working-from-home setup:
• Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the most productive days.
• The most productive period during the workday is from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
• Email activity was up 57%
• Chat messages were up 9%
As professionals, productivity depends on your ability to understand the current situation, adjust, and change lifestyle according to what is deemed necessary. Creating a good balance between work and personal life is the best way to increase productivity levels on a daily basis. Here are three things you can do right now to further maximize productivity while working remotely:
1. Find your work spot and get comfortable
Having your own workspace at home creates physical and social boundaries thereby enabling you to eliminate distractions and focus on accomplishing simple and challenging tasks.
• Choose a well-lit area. As much as possible, position your workspace where you are exposed to natural light. Why? It’s because sunlight regulates your circadian rhythm thus keeping your body alert and active throughout the workday.
• Consider your use of furniture. Uncomfortable sitting for long hours can lead to posture problems in the future. Being able to sit correctly and comfortably can help you stay focused without worrying any back or joint pains.
• Have the right tools and equipment. Find out the body-related nuisances that affect how you work and don’t dismiss them. Have trouble seeing numbers on a laptop screen? Get a separate monitor. Are online meetings getting frustrating because of unnecessary noise? Get noise-canceling headsets. Work is also meant to be enjoyed, so owe it to yourself and consider the little upgrades as investments to get things done easier.
2. Plan your day and establish your priorities
According to HR executive, Irma Aure, “You have to be intentional about how you plan your day.” Planning what you will do for the whole day allows you to check and balance your time for work, your loved ones, and for yourself.
• Keep a to-do list intact. Writing down what you need to accomplish within the day prevents you from jumping from one task to another, which can lead to being unproductive due to hanging or unfinished tasks.
• Delegate, outsource and prioritize convenience when needed. Know your priorities and what you’re accountable for, and then decide on what’s important. Find out which activities need more of your focus, time, and energy. However, do understand that you cannot accomplish everything in 24 hours. For example, meals and groceries can be delivered, or take turns with other house members on chores.
• Multi-task like a pro. While some studies mention that multi-tasking may seem counter-productive, there are some tasks that can be combined without compromising results. For example, in your next online meeting, why not stand or take a walk? This way, you can be in discussion with your team, while crossing off light exercise. When taking online courses, you can play the video and actively listen while doing your meal prep in the kitchen. Or how about tackling your email inbox with a nourishing face mask on? The combinations are endless and should make sense to your lifestyle.
3. Follow a schedule and take breaks
While this is easier said than done, following a structure or routine helps you be efficient. One way to effectively apply this is to maintain the same schedule you had when you were still in an office setup.
• Use the Pomodoro Technique. Many people find this old method effective in terms of accomplishing small and big assignments. Its premise is to aid you in completing a task while taking 5-minute breaks every 25 minutes of hard focused work (or Pomodoro Sprint). For every four Pomodoro sprints, take a longer break.
• Create a break list. Taking breaks helps you rest and recharge your body before continuing to work on pending tasks. Have pleasurable and restorative activities that will fuel and motivate you to get more things done. Avoid checking your social media while on a break unless it drives you to be productive.
Remember, it is essential to finish your day-to-day tasks and at the same time your well-being healthy. By choosing and applying one of these tips, you can maximize your work-from-home productivity, therefore bringing balance between work and your personal life.