As the world struggles with new strains and resurging waves of the virus, many companies have decided to let employees work from home for the long haul. An extended WFH has its upsides and downsides for the workforce and you deserve to know both. It will keep you safe from the virus, but you will have to bear the stress of remote work for the foreseeable future now. But it’s a small price to pay for personal safety, and you can take some measures to get smarter and more productive with remote work. Here are some tips worth following.
Invest in a dedicated home office
The WFH stint has lasted longer than anyone could have expected, and you will probably know the value of having a dedicated workspace at home. If you haven’t invested in a home office yet, you must do it now. Look for a distraction-free space where you can focus on work even when kids and pets are around. Don’t overlook ergonomics because physical comfort keeps you productive and healthy.
Maintain a schedule
Since the arrangement will be around for the foreseeable future, you must maintain a work schedule. It will restore your work-life balance and ensure productivity and efficiency with minimal stress. If things aren’t going well enough, discuss your concerns with your manager and seek a solution that works for everyone. A normal work schedule is the only way to stay sane through the crisis.
Get smart with communication
You will probably know your communication tools and apps like a pro right now, but you need to go the extra mile now. Get smart with communication by learning how to record a google meet, Zoom, or Skype meetings so that you can check them later. Stay in touch with your team to facilitate better collaboration on projects. Think beyond work and communicate later to avoid the feeling of isolation at home.
Revisit productivity tools
You will want to do more with less in the second year of remote work, which is possible only if you ramp up productivity levels. It is a good time to revisit the productivity tools you have been using since last year. Consider things that can be improved and ones that are missing from the suite. Discuss the gaps with your employer, and they will be happy to empower you with new tools to get better productivity from the team.
Cut down distractions
As WFH extends for the long term, you cannot expect to be home alone. Your partner will also be around, and kids will be at home when schools close. It makes sense to do more to cut down the distractions that keep you from giving your best. While a dedicated workspace gives you a good start, make sure that you maintain a schedule that keeps the kids busy. Sharing the household duties with your partner will help as it will minimize stress on the personal front.
Getting smarter with remote work requires only a little effort and some creativity. But it is a worthwhile effort as it can boost your performance, curb stress, and keep you going through the tough times.