How To Remain Productive During The Coronavirus Pandemic?
With the Coronavirus pandemic knocking on doors in over 78 countries, it is necessary to take precautionary measures to curb its spread. In most countries, there have been many shifts from the norm. Notably, one area that has been profoundly affected is the working environment.
Typically, the spread of the virus is fast. According to research data, every infected person can pass the virus to 2-3 people during the early stages of the infection. With everyone being vulnerable, limiting in-person interactions is a great strategy to prevent its spread.
One way this limitation can be ensured is by allowing workers to work remotely, especially from their homes.
Taking Precaution Against the Coronavirus
If you have interacted with people that you fear have been exposed to the virus, the chances are high that you have also been exposed. However, do not panic yet. Health professionals have advised that you stay in isolation for at least 14 days until you note these Covid-19 symptoms.
Other than these preventive measures, adjusting to working from home is a massive shift for most companies and individuals. In that case, we explore ways to remain productive and get things done in this article.
Tasks That Can Be Done Remotely
We understand that some business operations will have to shut down during this pandemic. More so, several business models will cripple due to the lack of customer interactions. Working from home is not a new thing. Up to 3.4% of the US workforce work from home. Some of these tasks that can be done from home include.
1. Customer Service Management
Their roles can still run smoothly if your company has a customer service desk. These tasks include IT support, helpdesk, and salesforce.
2. Independent Contractors
For most B2B and B2C business models, Independent Contractors are one of their primary resources. These assets include marketing personnel, freelance content creators, virtual assistants, and salespersons.
An intrapreneur is a person who works as an entrepreneur in a large corporation. Think of senior business executives and C-level decision-makers in large companies. Someone like a Chief Technology Officer or an Executive Director does not need an HQ office to offer their services.
4. Administrative Jobs
Most of the company’s business executives need a helping hand to help them get through a chaotic day. Most outsource repetitive and time-consuming tasks such as calendar management and invoicing to executive assistants, project managers, tutors, and virtual secretaries.
When you look at this shift to remote work from a merit perspective, the system is championing creativity. The economy will not take a break since the demand for essential goods and services will have to be met. This viewpoint means the above tasks are just a handful of what needs to be done for businesses and consumers to survive.
Consequently, for you to have a similar working experience, such as the one you had in the office and get things done, you need tools and resources. These tools and resources will duplicate the office workplace experience in your home to ensure maximum productivity. Let us look at some of them.
Tools and Software That Support Working from Home
1. Communication Tools
One huge barrier to working from a remote location can be effective communication. In an office set-up, you have landlines that you communicate to your seniors and juniors, which cannot offer a similar experience at home. However, technology is there to account for this gap.
Teleconferencing is the new way in which people communicate from remote locations. By relying on technologies like VoIP, you can use tools such as Skype, Zoom, Loom, and GoToMeeting to keep the conversation going in your business.
2. Collaboration Software
Most corporations and business operations work effectively with teamwork. For instance, the finance and procurement departments must work together to ensure smooth inventory management. In that case, workers in these departments should have a way to track their progress and liaise for updates with each other.
Project management tools such as Trello, Slack, and Bitrix 24 are perfect tools for collaborating seamlessly with fellow employees. These software products ensure smooth interactions with unfinished work and encourage workforce productivity.
3. Time Management Tools
Time management involves a lot. Essentially, you must apply time management in tracking, to-do list management, throughput completion, billing, and task management. Working from home is like working for yourself – you will have little or no supervision. Hence, you need a way to remain productive and self-disciplined.
Some excellent software tools you can use here include; Scoro, Asana, Google Calendar, and Toggl. All these tools have different functionalities and features that greatly benefit you.
Designing a Home Office Space for Productivity
One thing that’s for sure is that you might have difficulty shifting to working from home, well at least during the early days. Several items might account for this, and one of them is your workstation or home office. To remain productive, you need to set up a place where you can work with minimal distractions; therefore, your couch is probably a bad idea. The following tips will help to set up a space that will allow you to get things done quickly and effectively.
1. Invest in an office desk and an ergonomic chair
These two will trick your mind into thinking that you are in an office, thus letting you work as you would in your office. Also, an ergonomic chair will offer comfort while working for long hours.
2. Have a morning and evening routine
Repetitive tasks can be tedious, especially if you are isolated and miss the water cooler chatter with your workmates. A routine, however, will help you get through this since you will have other things to do apart from work.
3. Exercise regularly
Health professionals have advised staying indoors for the most part. That does not mean that you stay glued to the monitors or stay bedridden like an ailing person. For productivity, you can incorporate home workout plans into your routines.
4. Communicate effectively
We saw that communication could be a huge barrier to productivity. You must strive to call, email, or text your business associates regularly for updates on what is happening in the business. You will meet deadlines, avoid burnout, and stay motivated.
5. Make the right decisions, fast
You might get overwhelmed with work sometimes. In such instances, it will pay to decide what to prioritize and what not to do. You can use decision matrices such as The Eisenhower Decision Matrix to work out the different tasks based on urgency and importance.
Benefits of Working from Home
Working from home can have its pros and cons. For one, not every business model is flexible enough, and not every home is as flexible. Say, for instance, you have noisy neighbours in your apartment. Nonetheless, work must be done, and here are some benefits you will reap when working from home.
Saves you money – say no to buying lunch daily from that joint with inflated menu prices outside your office.
More time for your loved ones – listen to your kids’ success stories during your classic coffee breaks in the living room.
No office distractions – you are free from the complaints of your desk-mate about how their cat just died.
Ignite your creative self – implement those insane bucket list ideas during your free time.
Get to wear however you want – the HR manager will not call to ask why you are working in your pyjamas.
The Coronavirus pandemic has opened a whole new world of opportunities for us. Thinking positively about it, we can use the time it has given us to continue life from a different perspective and maintain standards. You just need to be willing and able to work for you to remain productive. Ultimately, with these tips and tools, it can be business as usual.