I am a technical writer & IT analyst associated with the top IT firm for over 8 years.
Around the world, many of us are working from home because of coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads. Whether you're working from home or remotely, it's an uncertain time. And it is also difficult to stay focused and productive.
Working from home means more distractions which can lead to less productivity. To overcome this challenge, here are five ways you can keep your team productive while they are working from home.
1. Get Your Team Right Productivity Tools
One of the most important ways to help employees succeed while working from home is to get them tools and software to help them stay connected and productive. These tools may include daily project assignment tools such as Asana, productivity tracker such as Hubstaff, and video conferencing apps such as Skype and Google Hangouts.
Getting your teams with these new tools allows all your employees to stay updated no matter whether they are working from home or working from a remote location. These new tools might also help keep your employees more productive and connected amidst the fear of COVID-19 spread.
2. Encourage Your Employees To Have a Dedicated Work Space
Your employees have never needed dedicated workspace in their homes, but now when they are regularly working from home, you should encourage them to have a dedicated workspace at home separate from a communal space.
It’s true that your physical surroundings affect your productivity levels at work. Dedicated workspace can help employees to stay free from the distractions at home life. If you have a dedicated room that you can use as a workspace, try to also arrange a desk or use an existing table for work purposes. Avoid working on your bed or couch, as these places are usually reserved for relaxation and not for work time.
3. Stay Connected With Your Employees During Work Hours
The biggest struggle of working from home every day is the lack of motivation, communication, and negative thoughts, employers should provide emotional support to employees. Leaders should set up regular check-ins, which helps create a workplace where people can still get things done.
Managers should also be available on instant messaging apps and video conferencing apps throughout the day to help employees. Additionally encouraging your employees for self-care is also important to continue on with lives as normally as they can. And you should also tell them to keep their work and home life separate. Make sure they don't do errands or watch videos while working from home. And once work hours are over, don’t disturb them into their chill time.
4. Don’t Forget About Team Building Activities
When your employees are working from home, which is surrounded by other people, it's often not easier to stay focused on work. When you're at home no one is assigning you work, you will very quickly learn how undisciplined you are. Developing self-discipline is also important to be productive at your home, but there are a few things that can help.
Creating time and space for workers for example by assigning them daily work, talking about news & updates, and other topics — just as they would have done in the office helps them feel better connected. One way to do this is to make video conferences open for all your workers to catch up. Another is to arrange a virtual team-building exercise to bridge the gap between employees.
5. Promote Small Screen Breaks and Healthy Habits
We all know that sleeping enough, eating healthy, and getting exercise are good for your body and mind. As working from home you're likely staring at laptop screens and phone screens for hours and hours each day. It's unavoidable, but try to make your workers take small breaks away from the screen throughout the day.
Leaders should allow workers to take walk breaks outdoors (abiding by laws and regulations in your country or region), as walking around for a few minutes helps think and work a bit better.
This can be helpful if you're stuck on a business problem, coding errors, and more. Try to avoid eye strain with a white light filter on your laptop or mobile screen. Or you can use mobile apps to make your screen light-tinted slightly yellow at night. For example, you can use the free f.lux app on your laptop.
Best wishes, and stay safe out there!