One of the most significant challenges that employees will face while working home is how to stay productive. For the last two years – due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 – many businesses all over the world were forced to go remote. Many employees have reported better productivity levels since they started working remotely – however, working from home is different for everyone, and some people may have more difficulty staying productive while working from home. Some businesses – like TechQuarters, an IT services company London SMBs rely on for their IT support – have been successful in supporting their employees to achieve high levels of productivity while working from home. TechQuarters feel that working from home can work for anyone, as long as they have the right IT solutions and practices in place.
So how can one boost work productivity while at working from home? With working from home being an inherently digital practice, it means having the right information technology implemented within the business you are part of, and also have the right technology and equipment in your home office. This can be a mix of digital and physical solutions.
As mentioned above, working from home is a largely digitalized practice. It wouldn’t be possible without the existing software solutions that we take for granted – like word processing programs, and spreadsheet programs. But there are other digital solutions that not all businesses use, but which are essential for productive work at home.
Virtual Collaborative Platforms – collaboration when everyone is working from their own home can be a challenge. However, using the right virtual collaborative platform will circumvent that challenge. These sorts of platforms usually support integration with other apps, such as Cloud storage (think OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox), and also productivity apps like word processors and spreadsheet software. What is more, a virtual collaborative platform will also enable instant messaging, video conferencing, and possible even internet telephony. Having this combination of communications and integration with your work apps is a great way to maximize collaboration.
Task Management Apps – the reason some people might find working from home a challenge to their productivity could be because they find it difficult to self-govern. When you are in the office, surrounded by colleagues and managers, it is much easier to get into the spirit of work, and create incentive for yourself. When working from home, you might need to provide more structure for yourself, which is what task management apps are designed for. They usually include a to-do list function, and may also include rich functionalities, like attaching files and images to a task, etc.
Virtual Team Building – another challenge with working from home is that many employees that are remote are not very engaged with their workplace. It can sometimes feel very solitary to work from home, which is why staying connected with the company is a good idea. But there are lots of great virtual team building solutions available. Quiz sites and apps are a great idea, as it gets the whole team – or the whole company – engaged and having some fun.
Break Reminders – what is interesting is that studies have revealed remote employees take fewer breaks, and actually spend more hours in the day at their desk; but this does not always equate to better productivity. In fact, most research confirms that taking regular breaks actually boosts productivity. If you stick to one activity for too long, you can get tunnel vision, which in turn can make it harder to concentrate, and you might find it harder to have fresh thoughts and ideas. A lot of people find it useful to use an app that gives them regular reminders to take breaks throughout the day. In addition to better focus and productivity, taking regular breaks is also good for your health.
While many sites and companies claim that digital solutions are the answer to all productivity problems, sometimes a decidedly more simple solution is needed. There are lots of ways in which your physical setup at work affects productivity.
Office Chair – one of the many unfortunate things about businesses having to work from home, was having to leave behind all the work-specific furniture, like office chairs. It may seem like the last thing to worry about – most people have chairs in their house – office chairs actually serve a specific purpose in keeping you healthy while sitting down for 8 hours a day. The average dining chair isn’t designed to be sat on for more than an hour or so at a time, so sitting in one all day could lead to back problems. Getting an office chair will make you more comfortable and healthy in the long run, which is great for productivity.
Sit/Stand Desk – while an office chair is an excellent solution for work, it still means you are sitting for long periods of time every day. More and more evidence comes out each year saying that humans should spend as much time as possible standing up. Some people prefer having standing desks, so that they are on their feet all day. This may see like a bit much, especially if you’re used to sitting all day – so a sit/stand desk gives you flexibility, whilst encouraging you to sit down less.