As businesses shift to flexible working arrangements, people are starting to see the challenges that come together with the benefits of working at home. For many employees, working at home poses its own set of challenges that ultimately affect their productivity at work.
However, to make the most of these new work arrangements, there are certain practices you can adopt, and most of them have something to do with the technology available to us. To help you do more without resorting to overtime, here are four ways to maximize your work productivity.
Optimize Your Meetings
There are different ways to make meetings more productive. The best way to do this is to drop whatever you’re doing and focus on the meeting. Doing something else while in a meeting can either make you miss points discussed, make an error on your task at hand or worse, both.
Also, one of the problems that drain employees today is the so-called “Zoom burnout,” or people feeling exhausted from attending virtual meetings. One way to help prevent this and save your energy for the rest of the day is to follow basic virtual meeting etiquette, such as muting your microphone and closing your webcam unless you’re the one talking or presenting.
You can also try attending meetings standing up. This especially works if you’re the one presenting or reporting as it keeps you awake and attentive the entire time. With online meetings, it’s easy to miss inquiries or inputs, and being sleepy makes it worst. It is essential to take the crucial points and ensure they are acted upon as in-person meetings.
Enlist help through apps
With the shift in work from home setups, solutions developers everywhere also took the initiative to help the millions of transitioning workers who might be having trouble tracking their time or their pacing at work. This results in a selection of apps that can help you boost productivity in various ways, including specific tools to help remote teams work productively.
Productivity apps help you focus by blocking apps and websites that distract users, such as games and social media platforms. You can also find programs to help you work undisturbed in predetermined time blocks.
If you find it troublesome, you can use simple tools to keep yourself in line. Your default calendar can help remind you of periodic and repeating meetings, and you can set up alarms to remind you when to take breaks. Similarly, most apps today can be integrated for a more seamless experience. For example, Microsoft Outlook or Gmail emails can include connections with meeting apps like Zoom or Google Meet.
Working from home has given employees a lot of new problems that interfere with their work and excuses to skip them. Whatever it is you’re facing, remember that communication is more critical than ever since teammates can’t check on each other physically. Staying in the loop and keeping your teammates connected are essential skills needed to effectively work remotely.
It might be a good time to start sorting your emails to only notify you when you’re personally involved or needed, or set up your phone as an emergency device to notify your immediate superior when you’re out or can’t reply immediately.
Regular meetings are an increasingly popular strategy for managers and business owners to improve team communication and stay on top of productivity. Your previously weekly or bi-weekly meetings might increase in frequency. Meetings don’t always have to be always about work and technical matters. They can be an opportunity to get the members to know each other better and open previously unexplored avenues of communication.
Respecting work schedules
One of the casualties of the shift to the remote working arrangements is the fixed working hours. With the concept that employees are at home, some clients and workmates feel it is all right to continue working even past the regular schedule. As an employee, you reserve the right to respectfully log off work and keep all business communication for the next day.
This scenario is one of the things that contribute to burnout, even while seemingly working from the comforts of home. Some employees don’t recognize the small yet accumulative toll it takes upon them by losing the distinction between office and home. To keep yourself focused and energized, try to achieve your goals for that particular office day and give yourself time to rest and recuperate. Work out, play video games, read a book–anything that can help take your mind off today’s work prepares you for tomorrow’s challenges.
There is no singular solution for productivity that works for everyone. However, the four tips listed above could give you a starting point in developing a strategy that uniquely applies to your schedule, work, preferences, and tendencies as a professional. Even in your current work arrangements, maximizing your productivity puts you in a better position career-wise and helps the organization you belong to grow even further.