Work-from-home culture in the wake of COVID19. What are the struggles of employees and how they can make the most of working remotely?
The next two weeks are the most crucial for India in the wake of COVID-19. Considering this, businesses across are taking precautionary decisions which are meant to maintain social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travel of employees. Some of the key businesses especially the internet based business, startups, and tech giants have mandated work from home for all of their employees.
Work from home culture has been gaining popularity in businesses for the past couple of years. However, only a small percentage of companies and its employees are completely familiar with the concept. In this scenario, professionals who are new to the concept, face the challenge of keeping up their productivity and efficiency.
When you are working in a home setting, you are likely to get distracted because of multiple factors like family, pets, television, changed eating and sleeping routine, and so on. Here, it becomes a challenge for you to be equally productive at work as you would be in the office. To gear up for this, you could take the following measures and ensure maximum work efficiency:
1. Plan your day: When you are working from home, spend some time at the beginning of the day planning your whole day. List down all your tasks and arrange those in descending priority. Set targets for the day and document those as and when you achieve one. Share your progress with your team members or manager at the end of the day. Plan the calls and web conferences with your team or clients ahead as you would normally schedule a meeting.
2. Stay connected with the team: To stay focussed throughout the day, it is essential that you stay connected with your team. To do the same, make sure you are always available for calls, emails, and instant messaging apps like Hangouts chat. Check-in with your team every once in a while regarding work or to discuss something informal as you would do in the office. Practising this not only ensures your focus but also helps your team members to stay on track too.
3. Keep dedicated office space at home: Despite being in a home setting, plan work as if you are at your workplace. Keep a dedicated space for work at home that is less prone to distractions and is comfortable. Have your family or roommates understand your work schedule to avoid distractions. Be clear about your work timings which include when you will start working, take a break to snack or stretch or walk, have lunch, and when you will end your day.
4. Get acquainted with tools to navigate work-from-home: In order to stay as efficient as possible, it is critical that you get acquainted with technology as it is through this only that you can stay connected with your work life - team and their progress, clients, boss, partners, and so on. You must get acquainted with basic tools like document sharing, using work management tools like Trello and Teamwork, Google Drive, Dropbox, Skype, and other tools like Google Hangouts Meet, Slack, Team Viewer, and Zoom to coordinate with your team, having meetings and conferences with your clients, or to conduct interviews for recruiting new employees.
While it is challenging to work remotely, this is also an opportunity for you to acquire and hone so many new skills like planning, forward-thinking, coordination in times of distress, and so on. In addition to this, it is natural that when you are working from home, you will save a lot of commute time and get to spend it with your family. You could utilise this time to plan your work, spend time with family, and help your kids manage their studies when the schools are closed.
About the author: Sarvesh Agrawal is the Founder and CEO of Internshala, an internship and training platform (internshala.com)