Who doesn’t love working out of the comfort of their home? 2020 showed us that despite many organizations’ fear about productivity suffering, many employees working from home managed to maintain or even improve their output!
Even so, remote working isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. When you have no choice but to work from home, there are several other problems that crop up. Working in a fluid environment where your living room is also your office space can be a double-edged sword. So how do you reconcile this duality? To start off, you need to identify the key problems for your team.
Send out regular employee pulse surveys that ask about the most common work from home productivity hacks. Ask your team members how they are feeling and what problems they are currently facing.
An employee pulse survey will keep you updated on their engagement levels and alert you in case of changing trends. Once you know just what the concerns are, it becomes easier to address them! Here are a few of our tried and tested ways to combat the more common remote working problems and create solid productivity ground rules for you and your team.
One of the most common concerns when it comes to remote working is the lack of ‘transition’ that we are used to when going from home to office. As a consequence, you might just feel stuck or unproductive when you begin your day working from home.
Create a Mini-Commute
This doesn’t mean you have to get ready and live life as usual. Instead, a mini-commute is just your way of telling your brain to get into work-mode. This could be as simple as a 10-minute walk around the living room or a quick team yoga session before work begins. When you repeatedly follow certain activities by sitting down to work, your brain recognizes these as ‘transitions’ to shift into work mode!
Want an early morning energy boost? Start by completing a task! Every time you achieve a goal, your brain releases dopamine, the happy hormone. And if something makes you happy, why wouldn’t you want more of it? For all those days you’re feeling overwhelmed with deadlines, break your work into smaller tasks and start the day by completing one. You’ll realize you have more energy to fly through your task list!
One of the biggest drawbacks of working from home is the complete disruption of a space dedicated entirely to work. This upsetting of the usual order also means that some days the motivation just doesn’t hit the way it would if you were in the office.
Make a Schedule
To prepare for such days and ensure you’re always on top of your game, create a schedule and abide by it. Routine is more important that motivation. If you’re used to doing certain things at certain times, you’ll just end up doing them regardless of how motivated you’re feeling.
Let People Know
Another way to ensure you’re on top of your game is by making yourself more accountable. Tell colleagues your deadlines or send out pulse surveys asking your team whether they met their goals. You will be able to keep track of how productive everyone is feeling while also nudging them to stay productive.
Being Burnt Out
Your work laptop is constantly staring at you, and that often means you will avoid taking the breaks you need. Even when you log out of work, you don’t mentally switch off, and that can contribute to the feeling of exhaustion.
Take the Complete Break
It’s 30 minutes into your hour-long lunch break, but you have nothing else to do. Sit by the window, read a book, or just unwind. Don’t just rush back to work as soon as you can. This way you can help yourself recharge.
Stick to your normal work timing. This trains your brain to be productive when you need to be and unwind when you need to. In turn, you can stay productive for longer!
Colleagues just can’t stop by your desk anymore, and you no longer have random brainstorming sessions with your team. While this means fewer distractions, it also creates an atmosphere of isolation.
Get in touch with your team members over anything other than work. Catch up on your lives, find out what’s going on, and get your regular dose of socializing with time set aside just for that. You will realize that you aren’t alone and will notice a decided uptick in energy!
Regular employee surveys, team updates, communication channels, and virtual team activities all help employees stay connected with what’s happening, even if they aren’t setting aside time for informal meetings.
Working from home has several benefits, but it comes with its own set of challenges as well. If you are noticing a drop in employee engagement levels, you aren’t alone. We’ve all been there, and the easiest way to bounce back is to keep your team connected, be more proactive, and encourage employees to create a home office space that inspires!