Working from Home and How to Stay Productive

March 16, 2020

By Alexander Rubin

Working remotely has been considered the future of the workplace for some time now.  However, no one could have predicted just how quickly the practice could become so widespread, albeit under extenuating circumstances.  The current COVID-19 pandemic has forced workplaces around the country to request their employees work from home in order to slow the spread of the virus. While employee health is paramount at this complicated time, one cannot help and wonder if this remote workforce trial period will speed up the predicted shift.

In a world where flexibility and convenience are amongst the most important factors when making decisions, it is understandable why many would prefer the option to work from the comfort of their own homes.  Employees would no longer need to worry about paying high rent in order to live near their place of work, or spending significant time and money commuting.  From the employer’s point of view, rent costs could significantly be cut, as less real estate is needed to house employees. 

Additionally, according to one study, employees who are given the ability to work remotely take shorter breaks, use less sick and vacation days, and even tend to stay at their respective firms longer.

Working remotely is not without its flaws, however.  Human interaction is very important in the workforce. Teamwork, collaboration, and client interaction can take a hit when team members are scattered in different locations.  Whether it be having a phone call rather than a messaging conversation, or setting up a daily video conference to touch base, communication with team members and clients alike requires extra attention while working remotely.

It stands to reason that employers would be happy to have their employees work from home, if only work productivity from employees does not sustain a decline.  The good news is multiple studies have indicated that not only is there no decline in productivity, but often there is an increase. 

So, In an effort to maintain, or even increase your productivity while working remotely, here are some important factors to keep in mind, according to the results of a survey from Airtasker:

  • Have Set Working Hours: Although you are in the comfort of your own home, it is important to remember your responsibilities.  Set time that you will sit down to accomplish your work.
  • Take Breaks: This may seem counterintuitive.  The best way to be productive is to take breaks? It is important to not burn yourself out. A quick reset can improve your productivity.
  • Create a To-Do List: Without a list of goals and objectives you may find it hard to focus and work in an efficient manner. Each day, write down what is on your agenda and work to cross each item off the list by day’s end.

Hopefully, this public health crisis will be resolved in a quick and efficient manner, but until then we all must do our best for our firm and clients to ensure productive business continuity.

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