A recent report by Bloomberg Wealth expressed the newly-found affinity of modern employees for flexible working so much that they are now quitting their jobs to rebel against their typical bosses who want to regain control of their minions. Empowering employees with the choice to work from anywhere or from a range of locations provides a real fillip to productivity. Research from HSBC that has found that nine in ten employees feel that the ability to work remotely has the greatest effect on their productivity, substantiates this point.
However, while you may choose to work near home from a coworking hotdesk, the buzzing energy of the office can also be distracting at times, typical work things like meeting a looming deadline, completing a nagging project, responding to a slew of emails and answering those never-ending phone call, etc often get overwhelming and we struggle to keep up at it. In such a scenario, achieving optimal productivity will be dependent on you and your self-discipline.
When it gets challenging to tackle everything, it is important to be realistic about what you can do on any given day. For instance, make a shorter to-do list, set simple and achievable goals, and pencil in more time than you think you’ll need. In other words, set yourself up for success.
The following tips can go a long way in ensuring productivity in a flex setup. If you’ve been procrastinating for a while now, reboot your productivity by accepting what you’ve done, forgiving yourself, and moving forward with these tips- both at a group and individual level:
- Technology is primary
- Standups are great
- Break for your sake
- Check your external factors
- Stay fueled
A small initiative of upgrading all staff computers with the latest models can improve the overall operational productivity, as newer models promise greater speed and increased storage. Superfast WiFi and video conferencing are a must. Research from GlobalData suggests that the nature of employment will change with more hybrid work. Individual properties will be better positioned to facilitate this trend as smart homes incorporate IoT and fiber broadband to ensure seamless workflows.
On a personal level, employ apps and websites to your advantage. Sync your emails and events to the calendars of your portable devices, store all your documents and data in a cloud, or check your grammar and record your time expenditure. Automating these mundane tasks boosts productivity in a coworking space.
One lesson that work from home taught us is that most team meetings could be an email. HR consultant Sharlyn Lauby of HR Bartender also agrees and says, “One of the biggest obstacles to productivity is business meetings”. Of course, it is a bad idea to abolish them completely, but organizations need to find ways to run effective and productive meetings. If it is really unavoidable to bring together a group of people to discuss something, encourage a standing meeting. It is quicker, to-the-point, and lets the employees stay mentally focussed compared to people sitting around a conference table running off on tangents.
Human brains stop functioning when exhausted after a point. Studies say that the optimal time work ratio is 52 minutes of focussed and effective work, with a 17-minute break in between. Often, a break need not be total inactivity, but simply a ‘reset’ time in which you may switch to a mindless chore like running to accounts to inquire about a vendor’s retainer. Even stretching or moving around can be helpful to let your productivity flow.
Make sure you have an adjustable and comfortable sitting arrangement. A well-lit place that has optimum temperature can do wonders for your productivity. Enhance your ambiance and make it vibrant and colorful with pinned postcards, magazine cutouts, etc. Remove all distracting clutter that blocks your imagination and organize your documents so that you don’t have to waste time finding them.
Periodic munching at work is important to avoid energy crashes and keep your brain fueled throughout the day. But it is important to eat mindfully. Resisting sugary, transfat-loaded snacks could be challenging especially when they are easily available and you are under work stress. That is why it is important to keep healthy options up for grabs. So keep some roasted almonds and carrot cookies handy.