As COVID-19 spreads out, more and more people are forced to stay home. Even the ones who are not forced are taking initiatives to stay home. If you belong to any of those groups who are staying home in these trying times – thank you. You are doing a big favor to the society.
Now, although most of us are happy to contribute in our own little ways by practicing social distancing, business cannot stop. At least the parts which can be executed from a distance have to be taken care of. That is why work from home is the solution everyone has adapted.
Here is the deal –WFH sounds amazing from the outset. You don’t have to change into formals. You don’t have to go anywhere outside the comfort of your home. But after a few days, most of the people who are new to WFH observe one common phenomenon – they are spending more time working than they would in the office. This is simply because their productivity has dropped. The reason? Your house has more distractions than the office.
So, if you want to get your productivity back to its normal stage or even improve it while you stay indoors and work from home, here are five tools that will definitely help you out:
(Note: None of these are product recommendations. You can simply understand the idea and search for alternatives that suit you. The given list is a solid starting point of tools that are popularly used.)
The biggest problem with working from home is organizing yourself. When you are in the office, you reach your desk, greet your co-workers and before you know – you’re working. You are in the zone, so to say. That is not how it works at home.
The distance between your workstation and your bed is hardly a few steps. You don’t get the time to contemplate what you want to do for the day. Plus, you know for a fact that you can plug out anytime and catch the new episode on Netflix or Prime or your favorite platform.
Organizing tools like spreadsheets help you make a list of everything that is due for the day. If you don’t use a spreadsheet to organize your work, you are at the behest of your mood. But the sooner you can visualize your schedule, the easier it gets for you.
Some tools you can look into MS Excel, Google Sheets and Google Drive. Excel is more powerful than Sheets on any given day. But Sheets is more conducive to collaborations, feedback and cloud access.
It might be a little easier if your job is to take care of your own deliverables. But if you are responsible for taking care of an entire team as a leader – WFH will be a little more difficult for you.
In the office, you don’t have to micromanage your team or think about what they are doing every second. But as soon as they are working from home, it becomes your responsibility to ensure that their productivity does not drop. It will cost them more time, which they could’ve otherwise spent with their family. And it will cost delay to your company in everyday processes.
So, here is a list of remote meeting and team management tools that will help you communicate, delegate, supervise and monitor in real-time.
Video Communication Tools: Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoho Meetings are great tools. They give you standardized products with all the features necessary. If you don’t want a paid tool, you can also use Discord or FaceTime. Facebook and WhatsApp also have group video calling features. But they may be a little distracting.
Collaboration Tools: If you are very clear about the list of deliverables everyone is responsible for, an elaborate Spreadsheet and a Drive folder will be all you need. But for most of the leaders practicing ‘remote leadership’, this is not adequate.
This is where you can use tools like Trello and Slack. If you need remote assistance of systems, TeamView can also be of great help.
No one can stress this enough – you need website blockers installed on your browser. It is very easy to get distracted when you are sitting in a comfortable environment. One minute you are checking your mails, the second you are going through a newsletter and third you are wondering what Plato would have told you about remote working!
Not just this, since we all are in a pandemic lockdown of COVID-19, we also try to stay updated with news. This can get you distracted very easily. The point is – it is really simple to avoid even the possibility of this happening.
Top Website Blockers: StayFocused, Freedom, Focus, and Nanny are some popular tools. StayFocused is a free plug-in that works great for Windows laptops using Chrome. You should ideally look for a tool that works across all browsers and also syncs with your phone. Ideally, you shouldn’t think about getting a paid tool; but the incremental productivity is absolutely worth the investment.
Getting into your daily rhythm of work might require a little push into setting up your workstation such that it resembles your workplace. One way to achieve this is by getting a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. You can easily find them online.
In case you don’t have a pair, you can use any regular set of earphones. Many freelancers who work from cafes or entrepreneurs working from co-working spaces use music with binaural beats from YouTube and other music streaming services. Generally, these music pieces last for hours, give you a noise-free environment to think & operate in and ensure you don’t get bored easily.
The key issue that stands as a challenge when you shift to a WFH lifestyle, even though temporary, is setting a new work-rhythm for yourself. In the office, you have your co-workers and meetings automatically prompting you on how your day will layout. At your home, all of that comes on to your shoulders.
If you get too carried away with work, you may ignore taking care of yourself. This, indirectly, will hamper your productivity since you will get burned out faster than you expected. Lunch and evening coffee breaks are quite naturally taken. But you should have a set of alarms and prompts that notify you when a break is due or about to end.
Alarm and Prompt Tools: Start with getting Eye Care 20 20 20. It’s a simple app that helps you relax your eyes when you have been working with a screen all day long. Pair this with Tomato Timer, which is a free web-based tool that helps you use the Pomodoro Technique. You can divide your entire working day into 25-minute sprints or sessions and optimize your productivity.
These tools are there to help you stay productive and focus on work when work is necessary. You should also use this time to work on your skill sets, reach out to family & friends and stay updated with what’s going on in the world and around you. The times are testing; but with some calmness, social distancing and diligence – you too can get out of it without any stress.
biggest problems is to work from home is internet issues
internet problem in home
Mainly internet and power 🔋 issues