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Tips for working from home: Maximising productivity

19 April 2020

As our society goes through unprecedented change in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, many employers are making arrangements for their staff to work from home in order to comply with the latest government recommendations during this difficult period.

To help companies who have opted to work from home, we’ve put together a handy guide to help your team stay productive while working away from the office. In this blog, we look at how you can boost productivity at home and optimise your workflow to make your life easier and achieve great results.

 

Start the day with a team conference call

Team meetings are a great way to get everyone on the same page, especially during periods of uncertainty or confusion. Conference call technologies like Microsoft Teams, Skype or Zoom are excellent choices to hold your start-of-day team meetings.

Use this opportunity to open up communications with everyone on your team. Give your staff a brief overview of what is happening with business operations and what is being planned for the short-term future. It’s also important to keep in touch with any furloughed staff as a result of the current pandemic and consequent reduction in business volumes. Tech like WhatsApp could be an easy way of doing this with a simple update at the end of each day.

You will also want to allow time to address any concerns or answer any questions your staff may have. Use this time to orient your team towards a unified direction and assign workloads accordingly.

Clearing up all forms of confusion and clarifying what is expected, will help ensure your team is off to a great start each work day.

Use team meetings to keep your staff accountable and manage expectations. If workers are expected to update their managers and give progress reports each day, staff will strive to perform at a high level with an impending deadline approaching, even while working unsupervised.

 

Cultivate a “working” mind-set and culture

Although working from home definitely has its advantages, let us not overlook some of the potential pitfalls.

It is important to gently remind your team that although they are not physically present at the office, they are still being paid as if they were. Working from home is not a paid vacation (although many of us would like it to be J).

At home, it is very easy to become distracted or get side tracked by impending household tasks or other family members.

Encourage staff to speak to their families about establishing appropriate boundaries so family members do not interfere or distract the work-from-home environment where possible.

Also, encourage your staff to set up a dedicated workspace and working hours to help mitigate unwanted distraction.

By implementing the ideas presented in this guide, you should be well on your way to keeping your team’s spirits and productivity high during a work-from-home scenario.