COVID-19 has hit the industries hard, globally. Most of the small and medium businesses are struggling to cope up with the sudden change in the work environment. The fact that COVID 19 will have a significant impact on the global economy including a slowdown in various sectors cannot be ignored. Companies across the world have been trying to keep continuity in business and cash flow possible. The massive outburst of coronavirus has made more and more businesses to mandate that their employees work from home (WFH) to minimize the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak.
With working from home becoming a norm during the lockdown, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind to maximize productivity, maintain good health and ensuring that our co-workers are safe and getting the most out of your day working remotely.
- Stay Connected – Working from home can make you feel detached from the rest of the office which in terms lets you lose your focus from work. A lot of people might be working from home for the first time given the uncalled times, thus communicating with your co-workers constantly can help you focus and let you be more productive at work. Companies can use various tools like Zoom, Skype to stay connected with their employees.
- Outline Responsiveness and Availability – A clear set of communication guidelines need to be set with managers to avoid any kind of confusion. Employees constant availability during set hours should be discussed prior to the beginning of working from home. To ensure a better outcome, the employer should have policies where they allow employees to take a break from work to finish their household chores. The work from home scenario right now is quite different than ordinary work from home policies offered by various companies. The lockdown situation is very difficult for people, thus the break-time for employees can help them finish their work on time without anything to worry about.
- Group Activities – The tough times are anything but ordinary. With the proper tools and policies, companies can kickstart the productivity of the employees while lowering stress. Virtual activities planned by the HR can help in employee motivation where they relate to their colleagues and not missing out on any fun that would have happened if at the office. Employers should be constantly in touch with not only for work-related things but also to check on if they are facing any kind of problems.
- Mindfulness and being considerate – This is an unprecedented situation, where everyone’s doing the best they can. Employees at times can feel out of place and frustrated with the current situation, these are the time when leadership is truly tested. Being considerate towards their mental health will help them curb through bad times and not worsen the situation. People away from home can feel terribly homesick and can worry about their parents too. As an employer, give them the support they require, if possible, an off day which might be beneficial for them and increase productivity in the long run. Lead with trust for your employees, don’t overburden and micromanage them with work to complete 8 working hours, let them know the priority of the work so that they themselves take responsibility to finish them on time.
As various organizations have begun to practice work from home with employees quarantined in their homes to contain the spread of COVID 19, a lot of people might be having a disorienting experience especially those who spent most of their time outside the house. Social distancing or self-isolation can sound fun in the initial days but gradually one runs out of things to do with boredom kicking in along with loss of productivity in work as well. Here’s a list of things to do during the quarantine period to keep yourself entertained and continue business as usual.
- Exercise and Meditate – During this tough time, it is significantly important to take care of your well-being by exercising every day. Starting with basic yoga can also help you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is also the time to be mindful about your health and your surroundings whilst in quarantine. Meditation can help you attain peace of mind in such hard times of uncertainty.
- Maintain an organized routine – Having a disciplined life, just like office would help you during working from home. Set a timeline for each work that needs to be done and try to stick to it. Have a clear understanding of the work timing, do not stretch yourself beyond working hours, this can help during remote working to maintain a work-life balance. You can set an office space to focus on your work and to increase productivity in remote working.
Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of Bhavin Turakhia, CEO and Co-Founder, Zeta.