Let’s face it: a work from home set-up may sound ideal, but truth be told, it can be more difficult to get used to. So, we found out the best possible ways to help you effectively navigate through it.
It really isn’t that hard to see the advantages of being born into the digital age. Its benefits are insurmountable to the extent that every year, there are new technological advances that are showcased across the world. And as we are armed by the power of the internet, each of us has now easy access to data and information right on our hands—literally.
Part of the ever-advancing world of tech is how various industries—from creative agencies, publishing, to SMEs—are required to adapt and go digital. These types of companies are starting to go paperless, and in-person meetings have now become virtual meetings—thanks to such platforms like Google Hangouts.
With that in mind, work from home has become the norm for some companies. And while it may be hugely rewarding to do your job right in the own comfort of your room, there are still some challenges. It may be your kids who could easily distract you, your boomer parents asking for help on how to navigate through social media, or your own self battling procrastination. It isn’t unheard of, so don’t be frazzled. Everyone shifting to this set up has had to get used to it, too.
So, we realized as the majority of the Filipinos now are required to work from home due to the community quarantine, we asked some professionals who have been in this type of work setting way before the quarantine took place how to do it effectively and efficiently. One of which is Tracy Manlangit, Public Relations Manager of Sweet Escape. The photography service startup has always had work from home setting in the Philippines where they only meet once a week during Wednesdays.
“There’s plenty of advantages when you work from home. You save on a lot of the usual expenses like transportation and eating out (you get to enjoy home-cooked meals). But most of all, you save on time,” she says.
“The time you lose by sitting in traffic and you get to turn it into something more productive like, squeezing in a workout, or finishing a book, maybe even learning a new recipe,” she expounds. “It gives you more room to move and accomplish more without sacrificing your productivity at work.”
We also asked Aey Rey, Accounts Executive of Lit Digital who has the same work setting. “Working from home allows me to set up my own creative space, do my side hustle, avoid crowds and traffic, wear comfy clothes (but sometimes I dress myself up, too),” he says. But more than that, he could spend more time with his family.
How do they manage to be productive given that there are also a lot of distractions? “It’s really creating a “work routine” and actually following it,” Aey explains. “Because there can be a lot of distractions that can block you from doing your work.”
In fact, Tracy also has the same sentiments as Aey. “Maintaining productivity while at home can be quite a challenge, too. Your bedroom is so close that the chances of you sleeping off the whole day are pretty big,” she warns. So, with that said, MEGA compiled six best possible ways on how to be productive in a work from home setting.
Prepare Everything Ahead
Before starting your day working, it’s best to prepare all your work essentials. It could be your laptop, notebook, and pen, or simply your cup of coffee beside you. By doing so, if you need something, you won’t divert your attention and eventually halt the flow of your thought. Come to think of it, nobody likes the feeling of forgetting what you exactly need to do (or say).
Keep A Dedicated Office Space
Here’s the thing: in an ideal world, having a specific room as your office in your home is greatly beneficial for your productivity. But that’s not the case for everyone. So, what you can do is to simply select a certain space for your needs—whether it may be the desk beside your table or the breakfast nook in your apartment. What’s important is you’re comfortable working in that spot for hours.
Set Ground Rules
While you may be focused on accomplishing your work (with a shot of espresso helping you stay awake), there are certain elements that are not within your control. As much as we love family or anyone we live with all dearly, there are moments that they would be the distraction. The best thing to do in this situation is for you set ground rules such as locking the door of your office space or simply ask not to be disturbed during work hours. “If you have a meeting or a conference call, you should let them know so that they can help minimize the movement and noise so you can focus,” Tracy suggests.
When you’re working from home, there’s a tendency that you forget to take a break. That’s normal because you are in the comfort of your own home. But even if that’s the case, you shouldn’t neglect your mid-day or 30-minute snack breaks. Setting your daily schedule is a must as this will also keep you on track with your workload.
Checking-In With Teammates
Apart from the distractions that pose a challenge to being productive, not knowing how your team is doing may impact the productivity of everyone, unfortunately. So, enlightening us on this crucial social and professional manner, Joey Santos, Associate Editor of Digital DJ Tips who has been working from home for 6 years now explained that making sure that all of your communication lines are open is critical. “Working online with a team requires a different communication style that benefits greatly from being direct, but it’s also crucial to understand where your teammates are coming from,” he details. “Since you don’t see them in person, it’s advisable to have regular catch-ups with your team via Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts instead of messaging in Viber or WhatsApp. In the long run, being more understanding gets a lot of jobs done instead of turning the phone facing down in frustration.”
Get the Right Amount of Sleep
No matter if you wake up early at 6 AM or 10 AM, if you actually don’t have the right amount of sleep (which is 6-8 hours), you will definitely struggle in accomplishing everything. Instead of becoming both positive and productive, you’ll feel like you’re dragging yourself all throughout the day. But in case you didn’t have enough sleep, the best remedy is a power nap. Sleep scientists have found that even a short nap is effective to recharge you mentally, hence, making you more productive.