THE NEW NORMAL: WORKING FROM HOME.
Working from home is now affecting monthly income for many since COVID-19 lockdowns have magnified individual and team productivity as key factors in driving and increasing profits of companies and businesses instead of hours spent in physical workspaces.
A year into the COVID-19 global crisis, Various countries went back to lockdown. In Kenya, this happened when hospital admissions in the country increased to 52% within a span of two weeks from the last week of March and first week of April. The new restrictive measures announced by the head of state recommended that organizations let their employees work from home in a bid to curb the third wave of the virus.
With many companies, freelance service providers and businesses embracing online working/telework and teleconferencing, it has been challenging to meet or measure pre-Covid productivity levels. Many employees openly admit on social media posts how their routines revolve around wearing pajamas all day and attending many painstaking virtual meetings. Despite Employees and Management hosting these update and follow up meetings to try and enhance their team's outputs, research conducted by The Martec Group indicates that it is taking a heavy toll on employees.
Furthermore, data collected by the researchers also shows that working from home is still not the ideal work environment for most employees. Many wish to return to the office as soon as possible.
For freelance services, the concept is not entirely new. Businesses however have been adversely affected and many that had physical spaces now operate online for customer orders, support and marketing. However, with a third wave of the Corona Virus proving to be more lethal, remote working seems like a concept here to stay in the future of the workplace. It is also viewed that wages are now being oriented to each individual’s productivity instead of hours at work. This greatly affects income. Here are ways in which we can assimilate to remote working effectively.
How to be productive while working at home.
- Have a routine and stick to it.
Previously, an 8–5 pm work schedule would demand many workers to wake up earlier to beat traffic. This should not change in our remote working routine.
Wake up immediately your alarm sounds. Start your day as early as you did. You can incorporate a fitness regime into your routine that can boost your mind and body to being active as you start your day. With an established work plan and a tabulated timetable, you will promote your productivity through seamlessly executing and being accountable to yourself or your work management.
2. Work-life balance.
Establish a clear working schedule that pinpoints the start and end of your workday.
With more time to ourselves as a result of the limited commuting, we may be tempted to keep working beyond work hours. While this may seem to improve your productivity, the kick-back effect is that you have less leisure time to actually restore your depleted energy. Find a way to incorporate hobbies into your leisure time after work. Spend time with family or go out for a walk. Interact to exercise your social skills and grow your network. Work on your side hustle to increase your return. Take time off screens (especially your phone or laptop). This often adds to your wholistic growth and revives low productivity.
3. Setup your workspace and boundaries.
Maintaining a work-life balance may prove difficult during this period particularly for parents with children indoor since schools are closed. Sometimes it’s the noisy environment that may distract you from efficiently working from home. Either way, it is important to balance the two without allowing one to encroach upon the other. Both define us, neither should be neglected.
Designate time to spend with family and make sure they understand the importance of giving you space during work hours.
4. Take breaks, recharge, then work more!
Make time to eat healthy and rest. Take breaks so that your attention span to work is optimized whenever you re-focus. Ensure the breaks you take are not too long that you become tempted to procrastinate. keep in mind that unnecessary breaks may also lower your focus level in performing tasks, therefore, impacting negatively on one’s productivity level.
5. Reconnect with your colleagues and your friends.
Stay socially connected, COVID 19 has changed every aspect of our lives, and more than ever we need to maintain the relations we have with people around us for the purpose of meaningful connections.
Mental health cases such as depression have been on the rise as a result of isolation, bereavement, loss of jobs, and the closure of small businesses. About 41% of adults have reportedly suffered anxiety and depression while 11% of teens have battled suicidal thoughts during the lockdown.
It is therefore important to check on people close to us.
Follow Financially Fit Africa and comment below on ways you think can improve working from home.