As many of us are forced to change their environments and work from home, it can be challenging for some of us to keep the same level of productivity as before.
Our Community team is curious about how you are keeping your workday productive during these uncertain times. What challenges you are facing and what tips and tricks you find to work well for you and keep you moving forward.
Share with us your TOP productivity tips that are improving your workday during the Corona time!
Let's create a motivational discussion thread where everyone can learn from each other.
Every answer will be awarded with 100 reputation points!
While working from home it may be harder to separate yourself from work. Make sure you take breaks just as you would if you were in the office. Just because you are working from home, it dosnt mean that you have to be in your home office all the time.
Mix things up as well if you are able to. If the weather is nice and you are working from a laptop or mobile device, go sit out on the porch, balcony, patio or deck.
Talk to others as well. Just as if you were in the office! Call up some co workers, have a Skype/Zoom/Webex session and converse with them. You dosent need to be about work, it could be casual as well like what you are planning on doing this weekend and so on. The important thing is to have some level of social interaction, much like you would have in the office.
I'd raise a health challenge with staying at home. Don't know how about you but when I've started to work at home I do less breaks, and I sit for longer periods of time - no meetings, no invitations for "coffee" etc.
What it means and what are the problems?
- I started to drink water less - hydration level goes down ;/ that
- I sit longer - my back and neck started to suffer
What I did?
- Gamification, challenges (also at Community 🙂 ), reminders and apps help me to stay motivated and do the stuff -> I've installed an app on mobile "Drink water!" (there are plenty of them) which includes hydration challenges, reminders, tracker etc. Since I have this - it improved a lot! Highly recommend.
- I have purchased sit/stand desk in IKEA - works like a charm to have "stand-up" meetings and sit-down focus time.
How you deal with that?
Thanks, Radoslaw for being so honest and sharing your experience. +100 goes for you 🙂
I have a similar situation. Working from home also contributes to my health problems. I walk less and drink less water. That is why I am grateful for all reminder applications. For example, my watch vibrates every hour to remind me to move and the phone sings to remind me to drink water, etc. By the way this water app I started to use inspired by your example. This is a great thing to keep me hydrated.
First of all, I must make a disclaimer: I was responsible for creating a teleworking environment at a Public Organization in Portugal in 1995, and we did, with some pretty interesting technology (TCP/IP) at the time. The project failed when HR suggested in having a time clock in each of the teleworkers homes, so they could control how much time teleworkers were "working". Given that our time clocks were TCP/IP connected, that was also not a problem, but I then gave them a provocative argument for not having one of those time clocks at my home: I would put the alarm on for 08:59, I would then awake, go to the clock and pass my card, and then get back to bed! They came back with a "better" solution: there would be no time clock, but from IT we could control when the teleworkers would "start" working by controlling when the PC had activity. I then told them that it would be easy to "program" some activity, so that I didn't even have to wake at all! They got furious at me, and the project was aborted...
This said, what is important first of all is that the work being done from home, or elsewhere, be based on clear goals. The goal at the time in that organization was "working" 36 hours a week. Goals determine a lot of other factors, and unfortunately a lot of times those are not clear for those working remotely, even today!
So, my first suggestion is to stick with the goals. That should be our first work motivation. You can procrastinate a little bit, but be sure it doesn't interfere with your goals. And if you have a silly environment like I had, well, you probably have to find other goals...
Next, you should separate your "working" environment from your home. I know it's very difficult for a lot of people, but mixing work with other things will be problematic in the long term.
Finally, I believe working remotely has a very big problem today: it tends to not favor team work, and it seems to me that a lot more people are trying to solve the same problems, in very inefficient ways. And not communicating. It's true that meetings are mostly a waste of time, but when there is no team work, very little will be done... So, be sure that your team work is at least maintained!
Fascinating and hilarious story! You should've post that on the previous challenge as well!
Anyway... you raise a very important topic here - goals. I believe what makes sense and especially during these times - are value based goals (and SMART of course!). This is what we have always been doing at Dynatrace and this is what works now as well - without any time measurements - which in fact I think come from lack of trust and not lack or bad goals.
Re: team work - it's also a matter of trust, relationship, transparency and openness - all together = Company CULTURE!
I found this out for Europe:
It's based on a survey, and it has some quite interesting data. I'll just refer to two graphs.
Figure 7 has a quite interesting view of which European countries had a bigger implementation of teleworking.
Even more interesting seems to be the following graph, that seems to show that the higher the rate at working at home, the lower was the decreased working time. This might be an empirical, at least, indication that teleworking might be more productive? But I can also see other possible implications 😉
Thanks, Antonio for sharing such an insightful story, especially about your teleworking project. It clearly shows that there is no need for excessive supervisory control over the work of employees. Excessive control will always lead to some resistance and desire to fake something. I'm happy that now becoming more popular to focus on providing a motivating working environment where employees feel the desire to do their best and be responsible for managing their own time in their own way.
Love that you mentioned goals, separation of workspace and living space and teamwork! These are very valuable points.
+ 100 points to you 🙂
My wife and I both used to work to the office in the morning. It was a 25minutes walk. It was always good to move your body, clear your mind and then get ready for work. Well - coffee - then work 🙂
Since we are started working from home we started the same routine by "faking" our walk to work. That means - we get out of the house at 7am - start walking towards the office and about half way we turn around - with that we simulate our "commute to work". Back at home we grab a coffee and start working.
Having this routine helped us. We started it Day 1 of the lockdown and have been doing it every day since. Its a good motivating force to get out of bed on time and out on the streets. IF we are not on time we would miss the regular folks we have been meeting in the morning on our walk, e.g: the guy who walks his dog, the lady that is feeding the birds or the couple who takes a run in the morning.
To sum it up: having a routine is a good thing for us as it gives us structure to our day. In our case thats how we know we "leave the house" and come back to "our home office".
We have a simliar routine at lunch where we simply walk around the block - just to stretch our legs and "leave the office for a while" 🙂
Hope this helps
Have been going around the block, with my wife, too!
Maintaining a schedule is a great thing too, as you know when to start/stop working. I have heard of cases where people try to mix private and working activities, but I think in the long term it is difficult to manage/sustain.
When working from home, my productivity was affected mainly by two little people: my son and my daughter 🙂 Unfortunately, in a rather negative way.
I organized my home office in the living room, but even if I hid somewhere, my kids would eventually find me 😉 My productivity was decreasing as it was hard to focus on anything and my frustration was going up.
Here’s how my working conditions used to look like:
What really helped me improve the situation, was creating a detailed plan for each day for the kids. That way their days were better organized, they knew what to expect, so they didn’t need to bother me that often 🙂 In the morning, they were usually doing home schooling, as they were rested and focused. Then they were usually watching some educational programs either on Netflix or National Geographic 😉 The meals were planned somewhere in between my calls so we could eat them all together. Thanks to less interruptions, the frustration was lower, productivity higher, and everyone was just happier 🙂
I love the idea of faking your morning walk to work from Andy. I try to "trick" my mind in a different way - just by changing clothes when I'm in and out of the work, even if I'm in the same room. Wearing something Dynatrace branded or a little bit more official, reminds my brain - "Hey, now it's time to focus". And right after I finish the day, I immediately changing it to something more casual and comfy. It's not much, but it helps.
Also, if this is possible, the separation of the workspace and a living space really makes a difference. I couldn't do this in my old flat, but in the new one, it was really a game-changer. Just have a separate desk only for work, use the work computer only for a fixed amount of time during the day (and for nothing else) and don't touch it after.
As Radek mentioned earlier, gamification also can be very useful. In my case, this worked especially for exercises. If the app or the videogame is flashing my score and burned calories after the workout, it is much easier for me to stay motivated and do this every day.