The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed major global companies to shift to a WFH (Work From Home) model which just might become the norm even when the pandemic has faded away. Work from home not only saves a lot of costs that companies would have otherwise have had to spend on renting commercial spaces as on transportation. It has been seen to create a better work-life balance and has even increased productivity. Obviously, there are some sectors where work from home is not possible. But those that can afford the set up are more likely to shift to that in the long run. However, the success of the WFH model depends largely on how the workspace has been set up. This is because an improperly configured workspace would lower the productivity of the employee.
In order to carry out the various tasks, you need access to the various tools that are required to get the job done. You should be able to login to those tools either remotely or directly from your machine. Companies are thereby advised to use programs that support remote login. If the program in itself does not support remote access then the company should not invest in commercial versions of dedicated remote login programs. The power of cloud computing should be harnessed and most of the business tools and data should be migrated to it.
In addition to the tools required for getting the particular tasks done you’ll need a computer, be it a desktop or a laptop. In conditions where rain and thunderstorms are frequent, it is better to use laptops as that way a number of issues can be prevented that way.
Connectivity is one of the most essential things that should be accounted for in a collaborative workplace structure. For this, there are a number of proprietary tools available like [Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.] Each has different offerings with the variable pricing structure. Depending on the company’s needs and budget one such tool needs to be invested upon for seamless communication. This way teams can discuss projects over video and call in addition to screen casting making it all the easier to work on the same project despite being situated at different locations.
If weekly meetings are a normal affair in the office the manager should schedule them over a communication tool like the one mentioned above.
There are several factors that influence the creativity of a person. Once these factors are enlisted, they should be optimized to make the person as efficiently as possible. Natural lighting is a key factor. It has been seen that working in natural light instead of closed space with artificial lighting is more beneficial in terms of creativity. So it is a good idea to choose a place facing the window. The feeling of openness that the window creates has been seen to boost a person’s creativity.
The human brain is most efficient when it takes small breaks at regular intervals. It is even better if some sort of light physical work is involved like walking a bit. However, don’t do something too stressful as that will leave you feeling exhausted and you won’t be in the position to tackle the next session. Don’t take too much time during these breaks or shorten the intervals as that would leave you with almost no productive hours. Short five minutes to ten minutes break between every 25 to 45 minutes is beneficial
One of the worst things that hinder creativity is social media. Try to keep your phone in DND or turn off all notifications from all apps. Once you are distracted by a small notification it might take you up to 20 minutes to regain your concentration.
Health and Sanitation
The environment outside has got a lot to do with your wellbeing which has a direct impact on your work life. Various factors like noise levels, pollution, humidity, etc. can have an effect on you. Fortunately, today there are technologies that can solve a number of these issues. Invest in a good air conditioner or an air purification system. However, it is not as important as keeping your home clean. If you can constantly smell the garbage from your workplace, you will obviously find it difficult to concentrate on your work. Hence it is advisable to dispose of the garbage on a daily basis.
Your health is also dependent on your posture. Since you have to sit for long stretches you should make sure that your monitor and chair are set in a manner that helps you maintain a good posture. A bad posture will not only affect your health in the long run but also make it difficult for you to focus on the job. Don’t hunch over your laptop or squint at it. Set the font size and display brightness to a comfortable level and a safe distance from your eyes.
Working for long periods of time with optimal efficiency is only possible if you are relaxed. For this a work/life balance is necessary. Commuting to your office makes sure that there is a change of scene at certain times of the day. When you are working from home that is no longer an option. Thereby you have to take care of the monotony yourself. Do something that you enjoy and would help you take your mind away from work.
It is a common problem that working from home gives us that window of opportunity where we can mess up our schedule. But that is not a good thing. It is important to stick to a schedule that actually helps the brain maintain focus and stay productive. Treat these days as your normal working days. Login at your usual time and do the same for your logout time as well. Read a book, watch a movie and socialize with your friends and family. Just because you have gained that flexibility, don’t misuse it to stay up late at night thinking you can just wake up a bit late tomorrow.
Not everybody can reap the benefits of working from home. Hence the stigma against it. But if you have a good plan and know how to discipline yourself, you can easily become more productive than you were when you had to commute to your work daily.