Staying Productive during Covid
Productivity in the workplace has always been important for any organization, be it a startup or a large enterprise. Companies spend massive amounts of time and money in the forms of employee wellness programs, project management, and performance enhancement programs for employees to be effective and efficient. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot has changed. Working from home has become the new normal, with organizations struggling to stay productive in this new environment. From daily standups to remote collaboration tools, many of us are still adjusting to this new routine.
Are you also struggling to find your groove in a remote work environment? If yes, you are not alone. Although many do not feel like they have been productive, remote workers have been just as efficient. A survey found that remote employees worked 1.4 days more than in-office workers and had less idle time than office workers. So if you are feeling the stress of remote working and want to stay focused and productive, here are a few simple tips to help you and your team stay productive anywhere –
Stick To A schedule
The 9-5 workweek has been replaced with an erratic work schedule since there is no defined start or end time. The flexibility in working is often abused, as many of us tend to procrastinate and keep getting distracted during work. To help you stay productive, stick to a schedule and have a defined in and out time for yourself. This will help you stay focused on the job during work hours, and you can enjoy some time for yourself post working hours.
The time saved in commute can be spent doing activities you like or learning a new skill. However, this is possible only if you stick to your schedule. Make sure your organization sticks to working during office hours, and no one feels too stressed out.
Limit The Time Spent On Conference Calls
The time spent on conference calls and meetings has significantly increased, leading to the feeling of being overwhelmed with work. This phenomenon has been termed Zoom fatigue since too much of the time spent in meetings has led to teams feeling overwhelmed and overworked.
To help keep meetings short and precise, make sure that it has a defined agenda as an organizational protocol. Ensure every meeting has notes and takeaways to keep it productive and ensure that teams do not miss out on what was discussed.
Define Focus Areas & Tasks For Each Team Member
Do you or your team feel unproductive? If yes, the reason may be because you are not tracking your progress. Utilize a project management tool to help you define tasks and showcase progress. For your team, make sure each member knows their role and responsibility, and we suggest having daily standup calls to make sure everyone knows their tasks for the day. A weekly call on Friday can be great to track progress since teams can then define what’s been done and what needs to be done next week.
As a leader, make sure every team member knows their focus area and does not micromanage. Successful work from home stories showcase that individuals have started taking more responsibility for their own tasks, and this has developed strong values of ownership in several organizations.
Do Not Miss Out On Lunch Or Breaks
Many studies show that workers tend to skip breakfast or lunch and have a late meal to prioritize work. This may seem productive but ends up disturbing your entire schedule and is bad for your health. Ensure you never miss out on your lunch or breakfast and eat during the stipulated time to stay fit and productive.
Also, take breaks often. Spending too much time in front of the screen or indoors also lowers productivity over time. A short 5-10 minutes break is enough to rejuvenate and refresh you to be productive. Make sure you utilize this to stretch, get some sunlight, and move. If you can be outdoors briefly, that helps too.
Be Available For Each Other
Working from home can make one feel isolated, especially if you feel your team members are not available when you need them. In an office space, it was easy to get work done where collaboration is necessary. This is because you know when a person is available and can have a small 5-min chat to get things done. Often, when calls are missed, or there is no response on a message for several minutes, one can feel anxious, and this could lead to a drop in productivity.
To avoid this, make sure your team members are available for each other. Ensure you are available and accessible and communicate the message to your team. Organizations may even define a turnaround time for emails or messages. A simple acknowledgment can go a long way to ease the pressure, and organizations must enforce strict protocols on this front.
Consider Having Group Meditation
The rise in anxiety and stress levels with working remotely has much to do with teams feeling isolated and alone. The pandemic led to several uncertainties and negativity, making the environment stressful, especially in terms of emotional and mental health. To help lower the stress and stay focused, encourage group meditation sessions. Even if it is just 5-minutes, it helps the team get some breathing space and reduces anxiety and depression due to work-related stress.
Automate Your Task Lists Using Project Management Tools
The key to staying organized and focused is to have your tasks and activities defined. Having a to-do list or a schedule helps you stay focused, and you don’t end up feeling like you have wasted your day since you can see the activities get ticked off. To ensure the entire team knows their tasks and are on top of their activities, consider automating the process using intelligent project management tools. This way, your team is aware of what’s expected, and you can easily manage multiple stakeholders in a project even while working remotely. Whether you work with teams halfway across the globe or in a shared workspace, remember that technology had advanced and improved the way teams function and interact. We hope this article has helped you identify the key ways to stay productive and keep remote work anxiety away. If you’ve learned something, be sure to share these tips with others. Stay safe and keep collaborating!