How To Keep Remote Work Interesting For You

how to keep remote work interesting wfh life working from home

Remote working has become the new norm for most companies, thanks to the pandemic. While this has its perks, some professionals were quick to point out the disadvantages of remote working a few weeks into this new mode of working. 

Yes, remote working gives you more time to spend with your family- time that you would have otherwise spent on commuting to the office every day. For some, this amounted to a couple of hours and with remote working, they were thrilled to have some extra time on their hands. 

The Downside Of Remote Working 

However, there is no doubt that remote working can be distracting. You are bound to feel distracted when the dog barks every time the bell rings or the toddler starts ripping through pillows every time you are not looking. 

You are not alone. A professional workplace has a formal ambiance, designed to rule out distractions so that you can concentrate on your job. It becomes very difficult to build this kind of environment at home. You just cannot ignore the smell of burning toast that your teenage son was trying to make or the ripped wallpaper that was a result of your neighbor’s cat sneaking in. Something or the other is sure to bother you at regular intervals. 

You cannot even ignore all of that even if you try to, because the pandemic has also resulted in a great deal of increased housework and everyone has to chip in to get it done. 

How To Keep Remote Working Interesting and Engaging 

With so many things demanding your attention, you have to take some time for yourself to ensure that you can be as productive at home as you were at the office. Here is how: 

1. Dress Up For The Day 

Yes, dress up a little when you sit down to work. It might not be a complete, formal work outfit, but wear something other than your pajamas. That might have seemed like a good idea in the first few weeks, but then, that drags you down. 

With no need of making it to the office on time and waking up two minutes before your zoom meeting, your mind loses that sense of urgency which makes you excited about your day’s work. 

So dress up a little - wear pants and a button-down shirt instead of the shorts you spend the day lounging in and head to your study. 

2. Stay Connected 

It is all the more important to stay connected when you are physically distanced from your colleagues. Promptly reply to your messages and emails so that the system works as seamlessly as possible. It is very easy to fall into drag with remote working, but you can avoid that by setting up a video studio. 

Work with your webcams on, so that you get the semblance of having your colleagues around you, just as you did in your office. Clarify all your queries on time because someone else’s work might be put on hold because you forgot to ask about the latest datasheet. 

3. Stop Procrastinating 

This is what most employees have complained of after the first month or so of working from home. It is very easy to procrastinate and push your work for later. You could be distracted by the noise coming from your neighbor’s window because they seem to party all day, or you might have simply imagined getting it done later because you have so much time. 

Before you know it, all that work can swiftly turn into a huge backlog that can put everyone’s work on hold. Make a routine for yourself or create a to-do list and stick it on your study wall. Make sure you have a tick beside each of them by the end of the working hours. 

4. Setting Fixed Hours 

Setting fixed hours of work at home is as important as when you physically commuted to your workplace. So if you worked ten to six at your office, fix a similar time at home as well. It might seem unnecessary at first because you have a feeling that you can get your work done anytime that you are always at home. 

However, without fixed working hours, it will seem like you are working all day, and procrastination- which we spoke about earlier- will take its toll. So set boundaries for yourself. Let everyone know that you are not to be disturbed during that period. 

By the end of your schedule, you are sure to feel a great sense of accomplishment when you have achieved all your day’s target. Thereafter, you are free to engage yourself with anything you like, without feeling guilty. 

5. Create A Sense Of Belonging 

If you are an employer, or you have a managerial position, you also have the added responsibility of making sure that your juniors feel productive, in addition to your work. In such trying times, you need to make them feel they are precious to the company and show your appreciation for their efforts. 

They shouldn’t feel undervalued just because they are not turning up in the office each day. Set up video conferences with them and ask them how they feel. Be rigid about deadlines but do not be pushy. Once they feel appreciated, they are going to put in a lot more effort as well. 

6. Take Breaks 

The best way to avoid monotony is to take breaks, just like you would have done at your office for a coffee. Stretch your legs around your apartment because you cannot go out. Make a snack. Run a quick errand, with all precautions in place. Even take a break to stay up-to-date on your latest quarantine hobby, whether that be making bread from your sourdough starter or setting up your new telescope from retailers like High Point Scientific. That way, you will get everything done and still get to relax, without your work piling up. 

Remote WFH Doesn't Have To Be Boring

The pandemic has changed how we live our lives and we have to make the best of it during remote working. As depressing as these times are, it is important to stay on top of our work even more than ever to keep things running smoothly at all levels of the organization. Being a little mindful and organized will go a long way to ensure that each day is productive and fruitful.

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