Maryland and Washington, DC businesses are getting creative with work setups nowadays, owing to challenges and opportunities that the coronavirus pandemic brought to the forefront. So it’s no surprise that many companies are implementing remote work arrangements, as it not only protects employees but it is also a great way to leverage technology to manage costs.
“The biggest fear for business leaders, however, is that work from home setups could ruin productivity”
The biggest fear for business leaders, however, is that work from home setups could ruin productivity. And while there really isn’t any definitive correlation between remote work and staff output, it’s always a good idea to proactively take steps that ensure productivity does not get hurt. Here are some tips you should consider advising your staff, to help raise remote work productivity:
1. Enjoy a “virtual commute”
It doesn’t have to be an actual commute, nor do your staff need to pretend to go on a trip every morning before you clock in for work. A virtual commute can simply be the mental and emotional routine people used to go through every day before coming to the office, when working from home wasn’t a thing. If their old commute involved dropping by their favorite pastry shop every Friday for a pre-work doughnut and coffee, then they should continue to do so every Friday. Or if they used to spend their 20-minute walks to work listening to a podcast, they can listen for 20 minutes before clocking in remotely.
These small routines are not insignificant, as they allow people to gear up for and manage their stress levels during the workday. Continuing to do these will help you ease into your busy day nicely.
2. Stay fit
Staying fit is crucial because working from home can easily lead to a sedentary lifestyle — and a sluggish body will tend to leave one with a sluggish mind. Keeping the mind sharp is a holistic process, and it hinges on balancing stress, eating right, and maintaining good physical health.
And with the many different fitness methods available today, there really is no excuse to stay glued to the couch. YouTube is home to many fitness and exercise programs, and your workers may be pleasantly surprised to find that they can accomplish many of these with only a minimum requirement of space and equipment. And as far as diet is concerned, spending more time at home is an easy ticket to start cooking healthier fare and avoid fast food lunches that are more convenient when working at the office.
Related article: Stress management tips for your remote workforce
3. Play dress up
Many remote workers have gotten into the habit of rolling out of bed, dragging themselves to their laptop, and immediately logging in for work. It may seem like an efficient way to get the workday started, but all it does is force them to dive into stressful situations without really preparing for it. They’ll feel as haggard as they look.
So before logging in, people should enjoy a good shower and dress up for the day. They don’t necessarily have to suit up (unless they want to), but they should at least get out of their ratty T-shirt and wear something fresh and comfortable. When they look good, they’ll feel good — and that good feeling will trickle down to their tasks. Dressing up for work will help put them in the proper headspace to be the best professional they can be.
4. Separate work from life
Perhaps the most difficult thing about working from home is that both work and personal life can become inseparable. When the workspace is the same as the personal space, finding a way to separate them gets stressful. This is especially true for parents dealing with younger children, as their kids’ needs won’t wait for a workflow lull before they arise.
It may seem hard, but the best way to go about it is by taking incremental steps. At the end of the workday for instance, workers should put their work laptop away and out of sight. If they have children and have to deal with their needs suddenly, they should try to fulfill their needs anywhere other than their workspace. They should also avoid checking work emails when they’re clocked out. By adopting a properly segregated lifestyle, workers can maximize productivity even if disruptions arise.
5. Stay connected with your team
With workforces spread out on work from home arrangements, being able to stay connected with coworkers is more important than ever. It can be easy to fall into isolation when all they do all day is immerse in their tasks. Remind them that they are still part of a team, and what makes a team strong is its ability to remain united through adversity.
Also remind them to take the time to check on one another and see how they’re coping with work. When time, logistics, and safety measures permit, they should go out for a cup of coffee and catch up on life. Building those bonds will not only help them work better with one another, but it will lead to improved productivity all around.
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