The world has shaped differently at the dawn of the year 2020. It’s a new world altogether which thinks, acts and works differently than before the pandemic. As a matter of fact, it was a long-shot even in the wildest of our imaginations that employees would be facing the challenges and benefits of working from their own homes, while many businesses are struggling to survive. Work from home concept is, however, shaping up to benefit organizations by reducing their capital expenses of sales and general administration.
At the same time, building social capital is very important in organizations, as it helps foster a strong rapport among employees. Face-to-face engagement between teams stimulates intellectual conversations which can help generate fresh ideas as well as induce brainstorming sessions in casual discussions. This missing link is seemingly hard to simulate in the work from home routine. For home office to be the next most adopted work regime, it is essential that working from home must be productive and efficient. Yet it is of prime importance to create a work environment with physical ambience, work ethic and social connection. This will help employees to adjust to the new normal and create a healthy work-life balance.
Here are some work practices that my team and I have adopted to enhance productivity and balance.
1. A well-planned day is half victory
At home, I usually felt at ease where I could span out a bit of my leisure time to my hobbies and interests. That was my mindset before we started working from home. Today, when my home is the space in which I must be very productive, I need to plan my day properly. However, categorizing activities into time slots for each day is a commendable task. To get this right, I started creating to-do lists and sharing them with my team. To track my progress at work, I kept small milestone checks to ensure that everyone on my team is working as planned towards daily objectives. This really helps as it keeps you focused and get through your day with maximum productivity.
2. Fix your work space at home
When I started working from home at the start of the pandemic, I was lucky because I already had an office space. It includes a desk, a comfortable chair, a larger monitor that I can connect to my laptop and a door that I can close for privacy. If you are new to work-at-home and don’t have a home office, look for a quiet place to set up your computer. Try not to set up at the kitchen table or on the sofa in front of the television – if you live with others, it will be distracting to you when they want to use these areas and annoying to them if you expect them to be quiet while you are working in these typically social spaces. Choose a spot that is quiet and away from any heavy traffic like the kitchen or the front door. Be sure to use a comfortable chair and good posture – your back will thank you! Anything you can do to make your home office like your work office will help you feel more professional and productive.
3. Spread the word at home
I wasn’t the only one I my home who had to adjust to big changes. My family was used to the old normal – I usually worked from the Vertiv office, and when I came home at the end of the day, it was time to socialize, do chores or relax. When I started working from home, I had to remind the family a few times – “Even though I’m home, I’m working full-time.” After a few loving, gentle reminders of my work schedule and what deserves an interruption, we fell into a good routine. If you are living with family or roommates, remember you are also disrupting their old normal! If everyone communicates their schedules and expectations, it will help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
4. Get better every day by communicating with other
Social distancing norms have just led to people not interacting with each other as they used to. I miss the meetings and the discussions that we have in the office and how productive they were. But now the game changed, and I realized that staying connected over the network to people helped me get there partially. I started understanding my team’s work and addressing their concerns over digital forums which made me more attentive towards my communication skills. You really need to sharpen these skills to grasp the verbal cues and be precise, clear in communicating inside and outside the organization.
5. Become a task-master and not a task-duster
When I started working from home full-time, it was really a challenge for me to multi-task at a whole new level that I haven’t done before. But then it just took a few changed in my schedule and priorities and I was able to do it well. Multi-tasking is a skill only a few have mastered, and the rest just wonder how they did it. Well, they just didn’t multi-task. They only set proper priorities in their task-lists to ensure that they are efficient and effective. You can do it. Prioritize by differentiating between what is urgent and what is important, which will eventually help you meet your timelines with ease.
6. Engage with your team
I enjoyed meeting my team and discussing with them daily at office but then one day, all of this suddenly stopped. I was startled at how I could stay in contact regularly with my team and that too on digital platforms. But, it was all about acceptance and evolving into a digital work frame. I kept regular calls almost thrice a week with my entire team just making sure that they aren’t feeling left out. Staying connected with your team will improve your performance multi-fold. Utilization of common folders and shared resources will empower you with quicker and efficient ways to work. All you need to do is just reach out to your team regularly on email, phone or any other engagement forums.
7. Evolution starts within you
It is said “you are the creator of your own circumstances”. Might as well be true. Staying fit and healthy, taking regular breaks, and uncracking the sedentary lifestyle routine could just get you improving and growing each day. Exercising regularly, eating healthy food and keeping yourself hydrated all the time has always help lead a better life. It’s never too late.
8. To do more, you need more power
Now what are you going to do with all the energy levels you’ve built over the last 7 steps? You would possibly work more efficiently. But what if your laptop or your desktop is not able to match up to your energy level? And suddenly you face a power outage. Ever thought about what would happen to all the work you are supposed to do? Well, don’t worry. Get a UPS system just like you – reliable, rugged, cost-effective and technologically advanced that ensures your work is seamless and super-smooth.
For more details, visit Vertiv.com or contact your local Vertiv representative.