How to Help Employees Stay Productive While Working from Home

Remote Working from DB Computer Solutions

Article 4: How to Help Employees Stay Productive While Working from Home

Let’s face it. Working from home is different. While telecommuting has become a fairly acceptable work practice, and telecommuters understand the pro’s and con’s of working from home, employees now forced to call ‘home’ their workplace may find life a bit…conflicted.

At home, so many things can prove to be disruptive for those not used to it.

The television is right there calling them to watch that special new series or film they’ve never seen. Partners and children can be one room away, also demanding attention. The dog seems to always  need walking or fed. Social groups they belong to might want to run daily Zoom gatherings.

Distraction, therefore, is part of life. So… how can you help staff, now working at home, to work smarter, and take care of themselves at the same time?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Claim a single room or other area as THE WORK SPACE – make it a stress-free area well away from distractions such as the television or music centre. As they enter this area, tell employees to think of it as if stepping into the office. Here is the place of work. When they step away, they’re moving out for a needed break. But while in the area, they are free to focus on one activity: work.
  • Stick to a Routine – everyone’s routine is now down the toilet. However, routines are part of our lives. Productivity gurus suggest that creating a daily routine, and sticking to it, increases efficiency, work effectiveness, and contributes to mental health. For example: start the day at a given time every day. Take breaks just as they would at the office. If they take a one-hour lunch, advise them to take ALL of it, not just a bit. Having established a daily routine, stick to it just as they would at the office.
  • Make Rules and stick to them – if an employee has a family, those individuals are an even more important part of their lives because they are all staying at home. However, to get work done (and not go crazy), employees must be able to negotiate boundaries. For instance: every day, let family members know their working hours; calls that are important during which they cannot be disturbed; deadlines that are critical when interruptions would be disruptive; the daily start and end-of-work times. Balance these ‘no-interruption’ periods with time for family and self. During set working times, ask for cooperation from all family members not to disturb them. In return, when work is over, make time for family.
  • Don’t Make the Day Last Forever – people working from home can end up working much longer than they would at the office. However, working too long can decrease productivity, lead to exhaustion, and unbalance emotions already filled with stressors such as family and the worry of the virus and its affects. For that reason, the day (both the start, and end) should be well-defined. If the day ends at 6PM, that’s when the employee should get up and leave the home office. Then… turn off and get away from every device: mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. In short: take a break.
  • Tell friends and ‘outside’ family about working from home and ask not to be disturbed – loving family and friends can phone, WhatsApp, Skype, or otherwise sneak into the work-from-home routine at any time at all and completely unannounced. Let these good people know the work from home rules, so they won’t intrude during work hours.
  • Exercise, eat, sleep, relax – working from home is a discipline that can prove exhausting over time. For that reason, employees need to look after themselves by getting outside to exercise; to eat well, to take time just to unwind; and to sleep.

With this simple advice, employees can work-from-home productively, while also balancing the demands of family, and also maintaining the positive attitude that is so necessary for everyone right now.

Past Articles in our Remote Working Series: see directly below for more information on   Remote Working

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DB Computer Solutions is here to help throughout the Covid 19 crisis. If you need assistance to backup your data (onsite, off-site, or a combination), do contact us:

info@dbcomp.ie                              061 480980

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