WFH: Maximise your productivity
There has now been such an unusual role reversal with the vast majority of employees working from home with some having to go to work. And instead of waiting for a delivery or finishing early for your child’s assembly, we’re doing it to help protect the vulnerable and save lives.
Our last blog touched on the mental health effects this can have on some people, but in this blog, we touch on a few ways you can improve your productivity and effectiveness while working from home for an extended period of time in isolation.
In our earlier blog in this series, we talked about the benefits of a team huddle for social interaction and mental health. However, they are also fantastic for idea sharing and collaboration. You can use these huddles to set some short-term goals for the day, catch up on projects, share new resources, or talk about how to improve processes in the downtime with less time face to face with customers.
Set short-term goals
Behavioural psychology tells us that people respond positively to achievement, no matter how small. It spurs them on, motivates them. If you set short-term goals that are regularly attainable, you’ll be far more likely to stay motivated over time.
Before or after your morning huddle, spend 5 minutes quickly setting yourself realistic goals so you don’t become all consumed by what you must achieve in the day.
Tidy house, tidy mind
It’s easy to look at your to do list, only to then be distracted by the dishes stacking up or washing on the side, or a mountain of toys kindly left behind by slightly noisy and chaotic children. A tidy work area helps keep the mind focused so start on the things that will help you to be more productive in your work and leave the rest for when the day has finished, or children have gone to bed. Better yet, get the kids to help you do it before they go to bed – all this extra time at home means plenty of opportunity to learn new [cleaning] skills and adopt new habits!
Rather than cancel those face to face customer meetings or 1:1s with your teams, do them over video conference as a ‘virtual f2f’ instead. However, remember that not everyone is going to use the same digital tools, so you’ll have to adapt quickly if you’ve never used it before. You can propose to use your own, but if others don’t know how to use yours, be prepared to use theirs. We now have to learn quickly, engage fast, and try to communicate with people frequently.
Take regular breaks
It’s easy to let the entire day go without taking a break because you don’t have that usual routine of a team tea break or going outside for lunch. However, it’s important to make sure you take these breaks to allow for your mind to rest and to recharge.
Training & planning
This is a fantastic time for those who find themselves with more time to proactively plan, doing research, account and project planning, and online training. At Timico, we use Pluralsight as one of our training resources to upskill our people, and they have kindly made two courses publicly available for free that you may find useful at this time on Working from Home and Managing Remote Teams. Why don’t you speak to your HR department to see what options are available to you or seek new training resources online?
Whilst there are many other things that can help you work from home more productively, we’re sure that you will soon create your own routine and find the things that work best for you and your team. Minimise distractions, schedule your time, set short-term goals and stay motivated. We’ll all get through this and learn a lot about ourselves and our teams in the process!
We deliver Connectivity, UC&C, Cloud & Hosting, Security and IT Managed Service Solutions to our customers, through Service Operations based in Newark, Winnersh, Telford and London.
Mar 30, 2020
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