How to be productive when working from home during COVID-19

By Arwa Khan

I am sure many of us who would go to office every day, ever thought of a time where their office desk would be their dining table, the couch would replace the office chair or the ease of availability of all the documents in one designated area.

Well, I guess it’s okay for me to say that the coronavirus has actually made the ‘work from home’ dream a reality for us all.  

The term work from home may have a nice ring to it but there are chances when it can also go wrong. Now imagine that your boss has sent you a checklist that you need to get done with by the end of the day. But after 8 hours of doing absolutely nothing, the list remains the same without any changes! The question here would be, what were you doing all day long?

One may ask what the benefits are of working from home and how can it be seen as a productive place?

Being able to work conveniently and efficiently are some identified features a person should look out in their working environment. This could support the need of working in an unrestrained routine and give a boost to our spirit. Moreover, working from home can prove to be more enjoyable and help you in tasks by allowing in creative ideas. 

Multiple distractions of office life, such as meetings, cessations of employees are points that can be stroked off the list while working from home. 

However, there are various challenges that can be faced if we are going to work from home:

Struggle of being productive when left unsupervised.

Distractions caused by other people or even pets can divert your concentration. 

In order to not let these distractions take over and let your mind stay focused here are some tips that one can follow: 

  1. Minimise distractions. Distractions can lead in lowering our productivity and develop stress. Social media, messages, technology that surrounds us can limit us from getting our work done on time, which is why we must try to assess out time spent and allot breaks for them. Working in a “Do Not Disturb” zone will help the people around give you time to focus on your work. Make sure you are able to keep your To Do Lists brief and feasible.
  2. Motivate yourself. It tends to be extremely baffling when we realise we need to accomplish something, however we can’t get around to our take-off; but it’s a fact that the more we delay in doing something, the more pressure and weight you’re likely going to feel. Inevitably, you may even begin to lose trust in your morale to finish the task by any stretch of the imagination. We need to broaden our perspective and develop accountability so as to use the expectations of our superiors to motivate ourselves to get the job done. Remember that we do our job because we enjoy doing it, not on the grounds that we have to do it.
  3. Reward yourself. Make your mundane tasks more fulfilling by giving yourself something to work toward or break them down into smaller parts. Find ideas to make each task pleasant and rewarding in itself, just as giving yourself “treats” when they’re completed.  For instance, allow yourself your preferred forte coffee for finishing a task effectively.
  4. Know your goals. Along with task-related goals, ensure that you’re clear about your career goals and the intention you’re endeavouring to accomplish. Remembering these will propel you to accomplish your best work, whatever your interests may be. Listing out the positive outcomes of your job can help invigorate you. 

Doing a lot at home can be as risky as doing too little! Along these lines, make “off limit” zones for work gadgets, take routine breaks, and drop the curtain on your work by the end of the day.***

(The writer is currently on Internship attachment with IIUMToday. She is reporting directly from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia)

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