In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak a few months ago, working from home was the only resort for many. What appeared like a short break from the regular routine for office-goers has now become a way of life, instead. This is not without challenges for both the employees as well as employers.
Employees working remotely are facing an array of negative emotions such as lack of motivation, sense of isolation and disconnect from the 'professional space'. The employers, on the other hand are facing another set of problems like losing track of employees’ performance, cumulative financial losses and anxiety of an uncertain future.
As the WFH trend continues to be the top choice of work, with significant proportions of the workforce doubling their homes as offices, employers must consider this time as an opportunity to create a happier and more productive workforce. Here's advice from Dr. Ishita Mukerji, a senior psychologist at mental wellness centre Kaleidoscope, to help one successfully adapt to the new norms of work.
Plan your day in advance
This practice can surely reward a person in many ways. It will save your mind from the exhaustion to think about what to do next when it is pre-decided. Such a work routine can also enable you to multitask and can achieve more by planning it smartly. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to stick to a schedule as it makes a person more productive. Remember to wake up at the same time, take a bath and wear fresh clothes every day at the same time. This will instill the required sense of confidence and freshness within you to get through the day with ease.
Set up daily goals
It always helps when we have a roadmap for how the day should look and know our top priorities. It gets easier to schedule our time and attention around making sure that our work is focused on accomplishing the listed goals. This way, you can begin each morning ready to tackle those tasks. Moreover, you are less likely to be distracted by other priorities if you have absolute clarity about which task needs how much attention during the day.
Create a dedicated work space
It is advised to have a designated place for work at home, to create the right atmosphere, away from distractions. You must have a desk or table chair combo that is solely dedicated to you for performing your job. Try eliminating any unnecessary clutter as the professional place should be clean, organized and well lit. Work environment has a direct impact on the quality and efficiency of your work, thus avoid couches and beds as they tend to encourage laziness.
Take regular breaks
It is important to break in between your tasks during the day, as it helps in boosting productivity. Overloading oneself with work can wear you down, putting you at the risk of making mistakes/blunders at work. If you do not allow yourself time to rest and recuperate, you may experience a burnout by the evening. Ensure taking proper tea breaks and lunch breaks and minimise screen time in breaks. Doing this will make you feel rejuvenated when you return to your work desk and you’ll be able to tackle the rest of the day more effectively.
Reward yourself for each task completed
Let the breaks that you take act as a reward for yourself. It can be as simple as deciding to treat yourself with a chocolate or a cup of your favorite coffee on the completion of top two tasks. Allow yourself to surf social media for 15-20 minutes after finishing the next two jobs. Challenge yourself to complete planned tasks before time and use that earned extra time to indulge in some entertainment activities. This will further boost your morale to keep going and make you ready for the next task.
Stay in touch with your colleagues
You must keep in touch with your co-workers via messages and various other voice and video calling applications available online. It is imperative that everyone stays connected and informed without losing cohesiveness.
Sleep away your worries
Look after your physical and mental well-being by ensuring that you get the right amount of sleep. Your body and mind will be most productive when it gets a minimum of 8 hours of sleep. Incorporate some sort of physical workout like yoga or aerobics or anything that can be easily done while at home. These activities will help you beat away the lethargy and increase your energy levels that eventually lets you do more and achieve more.
Invest in your personal growth
You must actively involve and engage yourself in various participatory sessions available online. There are a number of webinars being organised that you can register and attend depending on your interest areas. One can also listen to podcasts, spend time in developing a new skill, learn a foreign language and explore new avenues suiting your hobbies/personality.
Though the current times are stressful and no one has a definite answer as to when everything will go back to the way it was, the least we can do is keep ourselves and our colleagues positive and engaged. It is also advised to set aside 15-30 minutes a day as ‘me-time’, as it can have a positive effect on one’s mood and motivation. Let us also continue to encourage each other to remain calm, strong and focussed while dealing with daily work pressures.