Out of all the many changes the pandemic has caused, one of the most notable is the massive shift to remote working. According to Jeff Polzer, a professor at Harvard Business School’s organizational behavior department, professionals across the country have had to adjust their work patterns. Today, we work 48 minutes longer, attend more meetings, and send more emails.
However, it’s important to note that sometimes these changes don’t always equate to greater work efficiency and productivity. That said, here are some ways to ensure that you and your team are working smarter, and hopefully not just longer:
Now that professionals are working in the very same space where they relax, getting into work mode is harder than ever. This is the reason why it’s important for professionals to set boundaries. Having a designated workspace will not only enable you to minimize distractions and concentrate better. It can also help maintain some sense of normalcy and create a physical divide between your home life and work life.
As tempting as it may be to work on your pajamas or indoor clothes, it’s still better to put on your work clothes even when you are working from home. The simple routine of showering, picking out clothes, and putting light makeup on can help your brain slowly transition into work mode and prepare you for the day.
De’Von Patterson, a psychologist at Baptist Behavioral Health, points out that it could be easier for some to be productive when they recreate the cues that are associated with productivity. This is because such activities can put them in the mindset and mood to work.
Not all work tasks are treated equally. So, if you want to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed, you have to arrange your tasks properly. Skip the easy wins and tackle the hard ones first. A study on doctors conducted by researchers from the University of North Carolina and Harvard Business School found that those who took on difficult cases were more productive in the long run, compared to their peers.
By dealing with difficult tasks right from the get-go, you are relieving yourself of the stress that is associated with putting off complex tasks. This, in turn, can boost your productivity and make your workdays easier.
One of the easiest ways you can boost your productivity, creativity, and focus is by taking proper breaks throughout your workday. Though it may sound counterproductive at first, breaks refresh the mind and recharge the body — allowing you to be more effective at your tasks.
But hitting the pause button on a busy and tiring day isn’t always enough. Dr. Erika Rasure is an assistant professor for Maryville University’s online business degree programs. According to her, it’s important to set yourself up for a more positive perspective during your break for when you do go back to your desk. This way, you aren’t using self-care as an excuse to be inactive and further dig yourself into a hole. Instead, use your break to do something that truly boosts your mood, helps you decompress, and allows your body to stretch.
With no social and non-verbal cues to count on, a lot of information can be lost in translation. To avoid miscommunication issues that can snowball into time-consuming problems, make it a habit to practice overcommunication.
When speaking with your colleagues, be as detailed and as straightforward as you possibly can. Do not be afraid to ask questions. This way, you can keep yourself from assuming things. It would also be a good idea to be meticulous about the communication apps you use. Try a useful app like Clariti, which has handy integrations, can be accessed anywhere, has no communication silos, and has sound security. The threads make it impossible to lose context and hamper productivity.
To learn more about how your team can communicate better and improve productivity, sign up for Clariti today.
Written by: Allie Cooper