With the current COVID-19 pandemic having brought the entire world to a standstill, companies have started implementing work-from-home policies to ensure their business operations keep running smoothly.
Even though work-from-home or remote working is not a newly invented practice, it is gaining popularity among employers right now. As employees cannot go to their workplaces due to COVID-19, working from home is the best way to ensure that work is being completed. It also allows employees to maintain social distancing to ensure their safety and prevent coronavirus spread.
While remote working may sound like a dream scenario, nothing can be further from the truth. It can be challenging to work from home, and many distractions can arise when doing so, such as kids playing, pets making noise, and so on. Unlike the professional setting of a workplace, homes are associated with comfort and luxury. As such, it can be tough to get tasks correctly done when working from home.
To ensure that employees are productive and not distracted while working from home, here are nine tips that employers can use -
1. Creating a dedicated workspace
Encourage employees to create their dedicated workspaces when they work from home. A dedicated workspace will help create a professional atmosphere, and it will significantly boost employee productivity. Moreover, by establishing a workspace in their homes, employees will be able to keep distractions away from their work.
Instruct them to set up their workspace on a desk or a table, away from the television's distractions. If employees have a separate room, it is well and good, but if they don't, it's not a problem. They need to have a desk, their laptop, and, if possible, a pair of noise-canceling headphones, and they're good to go.
Once employees designate a specific area for work, they will avoid working while sitting or lying on a bed or couch, which can affect their posture. Lousy posture is highly detrimental to health and also productivity.
2. Staying away from phones and social media
Mobile phones are extremely distracting while working and even more so when employees are without a supervisor's watchful eyes. Encourage your employees to put their mobile phones down during work hours and avoid checking on them unless necessary. Without the continuous distractions of mobile phones, employees will be able to concentrate on their tasks better and be more productive and creative.
Due to constant notifications, people frequently tend to pick up their phones to scroll through social media platforms. Doing so can be very addictive and can take away a lot of time. Employees can restrict such habits by keeping their phones on silent.
3. Maintaining a strict schedule
Encourage your employees to wake up, have breakfast, and get ready for work as they would do under normal circumstances. Instruct them to strictly adhere to the work hours designated by the company and work accordingly. Also, please encourage them to finish up their work on time as they would usually do.
Being disciplined while working from home can help prevent distractions from affecting your employees' productivity levels and focus.
Moreover, maintaining a strict schedule can help employees feel like they are working in their offices, and it will help get tasks done better and faster. It will also enable them to complete their household and personal tasks without hindering work.
4. Dressing appropriately
A home is a place of comfort, and people associate it with relaxation. People mostly wear comfortable clothes when they are at home, but working in their pajamas can be hugely detrimental to their productivity.
Your employees do not have to wear a suit and a tie while working from home, but they also must not work wearing their pajamas. Your employees need to get into a professional mindset and wearing pajamas while working is not the way to do that.
So as they work from home, encourage your employees to get up early and change into something other than their PJs to ensure that they are prepared mentally for their work.
5. Using the right tools and resources
It can be easy to get distracted and de-motivated when working from home if one does not have the right tools and resources. For example, without a high-speed internet connection, it can be challenging to work on specific tasks and complete them on a given time-frame.
As such, employers must ensure that their employees have all the necessary remote tools and resources to keep their work running smoothly from their homes. Also, access to communication and sharing tools that are essential to ensure that work is as seamless as possible.
Ask your employees if they need any tool or resource to work from home and provide them with the necessary information.
6. Staying connected
Proper interaction among employees is essential to prevent them from getting distracted and feeling lost when working. Communication is vital in such times of social distancing to ensure that all work is being done correctly and efficiently.
It also helps to keep employees engaged, prevent misunderstandings among each other, and avoid feelings of anxiety and stress.
Hence, tell your employees to maintain communication among them as they would generally maintain while working in their office together.
7. Making others aware
One of the potential distractions while working from home is constant interaction with other family members. Kids and pets, especially, can make it challenging to work at home.
If employees have other family members in their homes, the latter might not know if the former is busy working. Thus, it is essential that employees inform and notify other family members of their work schedule and when they are free.
Accordingly, instruct your employees to do so and tell their family members to cooperate with them and avoid distracting them.
8. Taking Breaks
Sitting all day working without taking breaks can be highly counterproductive for your employees. Doing so can build up work stress and fatigue, and can significantly hinder concentration and focus.
In essence, not taking breaks can cause employees to be distracted from their work very quickly. Taking a short break to give in to their distractions, such as checking notifications or watching a 5-minute video, can boost employee productivity.
Make sure to let your employees know that they can take short breaks now and then to refresh and rejuvenate their minds. Also, please encourage them to enjoy their lunch breaks as they would do in their office.
9. Taking Care Of Mental and Physical Health
Employee health is a vital part of a successful organization. When employees are healthy, both mentally and physically, they are more likely to be motivated and less likely to be distracted. Healthy employees are also more disciplined and productive.
Encourage your employees to look after their physical and mental health by exercising regularly, doing yoga, eating healthily, and so on. There are also wellness applications that you and your employees can use to help stay fit and healthy.
Vantage Fit, a corporate health and wellness application created by Vantage Circle, allows employers to create simple and effective wellness challenges for their employees to keep them healthy and fit. The wellness challenges can be incentivized, and with features like step count tracker, heart rate monitor, and more, Vantage Fit makes it easier for employees to adopt healthier lifestyles.