Working from home is now a normal trend in business operations. Whether you’re forced to move towards a work-from-home set up during this pandemic, or you’re working remotely for an offshore company, here are 3 actionable tips in embracing and being productive while working from home.

1. Declutter & Establish Workspace

If you have been working from the sofa, the bed and multiple locations across the house, you may find that your creative juices are not flowing, and your productivity hampered. This is because the human brain works on triggers and it is no different when it comes to work. The psychological trigger to work used to be communicating to work, a cold morning shower or making breakfast – you will need to recreate these routines for your remote work. Therefore, first thing first, if you have not already, you will need to “Marie Kondo” your work desk at home. Sitting on your established work desk should trigger work focus and productivity. Keep it simple and minimal and you would be surprised how it will boost your mood and productivity down the stretch. If something on your table does not spark joy, stash it away or discard it! The items on your worktable should be purposeful and inspire work and creativity. On this note, try putting a small indoor plant on your desk or in your line of sight. Plants are natural air filters that help improve air quality in your workspace. Additionally, a study by University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2010 has shown that having plants indoors help reduce anxiety, depression and hostility in a workplace by significant levels. These cute desk plants can be easily purchased on all major e-commerce stores such as Lazada and Qoo10.

2. A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

Having a work buddy is more important than ever right now. We often hear the saying that humans are social animals. It does not matter if you identify as an extrovert or introvert, social interaction is fundamental in establishing work collaboration and cooperation. Gallup’s 2017 “State of the American Workplace” research paper has some insights on this topic: forming friendships with co-workers increases levels of happiness and makes employees more engaged at work. What does this mean for organisations as we enter a remote working world? Mangers should seek to facilitate more engagement within their teams as it has indirect impact on work performance. With the power of technology in telecommuting now, co-workers are now having afternoon coffee breaks and their Friday night drinks over Zoom. Block out time for your team to have a casual, informal catch up on life. If you are not a manager, you too can take initiative: spearhead a group fitness call or a gaming session with your colleague. They will thank you for it!

3. Wholesome Tip: Improve Yourself Every Day

You may have realized that the concept of time has evolved working from home. Without the traditional structures of a 9-5 and that routine lunch break, your day to day schedule may have become inconsistent. These changes may cause disequilibrium and unnecessary stress, impacting how we perform at work. Remember that this is perfectly fine, and you are not alone! Make use of the flexibility of remote working to refine your work life balance. You can do this by incorporating wellness and self-improvement in your daily life. It could be picking up a new habit such as running or reading. You could also attend a self-improvement course online. With the increased funding by the government, it is a good time to look around for live online courses to upgrade your skillset, be it a soft skill or technical one. Exploring the area of self-improvement can be immensely satisfying and gratifying for oneself. Look out for online courses that are instructor led and ideally in a live format to keep learning fun and engaging. If you have never explored self-improvement before, what is a better time to try?

One of Dale Carnegie’s bestselling books “How To Stop Worrying and Start Living” outlines four working habits that can help prevent fatigue and work while keeping one’s energy and spirits high. The four working habits are:

  1. Clear your desk of all papers except those relating to the immediate problem at hand.
  2. Do things in order of their importance
  3. When you face a problem, solve it then and there if you have the facts necessary to make a decision.
  4. Learn to organise, deputise and supervise.

Dale Carnegie’s Secret to Success e-Book

Download the Dale Carnegie’s Secret to Success e-book for a handy guide on how to be more a more productive and effective person.

We are not asking you to do all three steps and become a productive remote working robot. Just try doing it one step at a time and keep at it – that is more than enough!