The entire world is now faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. Since this respiratory illness is highly contagious, especially in places with multitudes of people, more and more companies are now encouraging their staff to start working from home to mitigate the spread of the highly contagious disease.
For some, doing online work from home can be a breeze but to others, it would be a totally new experience and may find it a bit challenging to focus and actually be productive. The good news is that there are a few essential tips that you and your team can practice to help you balance working from home while staying productive and disciplined. Working from home requires a lot of discipline and comes with its perks. However, it is also easy to pick up bad habits along the way.
This post will give you 10 tips on how to go about it and how to motivate your remote workforce to work from home during the current COID-19 lockdown:
1. Start your day right
This means that you start your day bright and early, just as you would on your normal workday, except that you will be working from home. Encourage your team to follow this trend too. Although your home office desk could be steps away, you need to transition from the mood to a working mood.
Getting to work on time starts your day on the right footing and prevents you from slipping into the bad habit of waking up late, which could easily turn into a routine. Furthermore, the morning hours are the most productive hours for most people.
2. Dress the part
For you to achieve success, you first need to dress for success. This is one way of personifying a work-from-home ethic. Try as much as you can to avoid just rolling off your bed and heading over to your work station in pajamas. Pajamas have the slack effect and you will carry that all through the day.
You need to take a shower, look clean and fresh and clad in something functional and comfortable. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a suit. You will effectively adopt the character of what you are wearing.
3. Schedule your team tasks and goals
Creating a schedule helps you map out the activities of the day and the objectives you hope your team will achieve in that week. You need to indicate the steps you expect your team to follow to help them accomplish the set tasks.
Set goals and tasks in a way that they are achievable and manageable. This ensures that the team works within the schedule and avoids rolling over unfinished tasks. Such rollovers only lead to fatigue and stress because of playing catch up. This can be detrimental to the performance of the team
Structure the day with the standard business hours to help your team enforce some self-discipline.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” – Walt Disney
4. Focus is key
When working from home, you are bound to face a lot of distractions. You can have access to social media, the internet, TV, video games and more. Ensure that you focus on the task at hand until you finish it first.
Try and enforce discipline among your team members so that they stay focused, at least through the time they are required to work. From time to time, you will get some sudden urges to do something and that is normal. Ensure that you first finish your task before you do anything else.
5. Work out
Working from home means that you will be sedentary most of the time because there is minimal walking or moving around. Being sedentary isn’t as much of a health risk but dampens your motivation and discipline. Therefore, since you create your own schedule, include some time to work out. Working out will help in terms of boosting your energy and productivity along with getting you ready for the day.
6. Set clear expectations for the team
Working from home means more flexible hours for the team. Therefore, to ensure that they are more engaged and responsive during certain hours of the day, you need to clearly communicate your expectations. Additionally, you also need to periodically check in on them to ensure that your expectations are still aligned with their engagement.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
7. Remember to socialise
This works for both you and your team. People easily get lonely working from home because they are isolated with no colleagues around them. You are bound to miss the daily banter at the tea point and the basic element of social interaction. Therefore, when you and the team are done with the day, encourage everyone to meet friends online and interact. It will help boost everyone’s psyche and productivity.
8. Earn rewards
Working from home gives you the freedom to do whatever you want. Nevertheless, for you to achieve anything significant, you need to discipline yourself to be more productive than binge-watching your favourite TV show. Instead of watching six episodes in a row, do something constructive then reward yourself with an episode then get back to work. You can also have an hour of video gaming.
9. Watch the team’s stress levels
Managing stress levels while working remotely can be a challenge. Always try your best to ensure that stress doesn’t get in the way of your team’s productivity. Always encourage the team to stick to their set schedules and find ways to resolve any arising problems to prevent future stressors. Everyone needs to understand that success takes patience.
Working from home requires discipline and focus to achieve goals, not just for you but your remote workforce too. Using the above tips will help you and the team to stay motivated to achieve your goals.
By Sally Smith