At first, our T-shirts were made in China, and then our mobile phones were made in China. But now, it looks like even our death will be made in China. Yes, I am talking about the Coronavirus. Initially, China’s exports were hurting other economies. Now, it appears to be the turn of the virus. The woes from China are far from over.
Many companies have closed factories and banned business-related travel and major industry events, seminars, shows, expos, etc. According to Bloomberg News, “the economic fallout could include recessions in the U.S., euro-area and Japan, the slowest growth on record in China, and a total of $2.7 trillion in lost output — equivalent to the entire GDP of the U.K.”
As the Coronavirus outbreak spreads, companies worldwide are taking precautions and asking their employees to work from home. Here are some amazing tips that will help you to work from home and at the same time be productive.
1. Start early
Working from home is a great blessing in disguise. You don’t have to wade through a sea of traffic before you get to work. When you are fresh, you can get more things done in less time. So start with the most difficult task that demands more concentration and attention from you.
2. Have a dedicated workspace
Reserve a room and dedicate a table and chair for your official work. Working from your bed is certainly not a good option, as it may make you lazy and take afternoon naps in the morning.
3. Get wired!
Equip yourself with the fastest broadband connection, latest browsers, a desktop or laptop with decent configuration, audio, and video conferencing tools that are needed to collaborate with your colleagues. Poor internet connection or low system configuration may throw a spanner in the works.
4. Dress up formally
You may have to occasionally get into a video conferencing with your colleagues and working from home with your night pajamas won’t be appreciated. Shave, comb and dress up in formals as if you are in office.
5. Turn off distractions
Make sure you turn off your television, all social media notifications, personal calls, a friend who stops by uninformed or anything that may affect your concentration.
6. Structure your breaks
Taking time to cook, taking your dog out for a walk, babysitting, online chatting, and frequent coffee breaks should certainly be avoided. You need to commit yourself to working for some fixed hours.
7. Use cloud-based file sharing
As you are working from home, you may need access to some important files. Saving the files on your desktop won’t work. So having an account in these cloud storage drives like OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, pCloud, MEGA, etc will be of great help.
8. Create a to-do list
As and when you interact with your colleagues, please make note of all the action items by creating a to-do list. It helps you to keep track of all your official work without missing any action items.
9. Choose the right tool
Amidst the outbreak, the share prices of Slack and Zoom have already zoomed due to more demand for collaboration tools. Given the fact that multiple tools are available in the market, choosing the right application to get your job done might be a tough task. While in some cities, working from home has been made mandatory, organizations have expressed their productivity and security concerns.
I have been using Clariti to improve my own productivity without compromising the security of my organization. Ever since I started using Clariti, I stopped using other tools for email, chat, cloud storage, social feeds, etc. Clariti indexes all my communications automatically, based on context, in real-time through a powerful feature called ‘Threads’. Working with Threads helped me get more organized, have quick access to any information and get more things done in less time.
Besides these, Clariti also supports powerful features that are needed for collaboration such as bookmarking, flagging, to-dos, chat from the mail, instantly share emails or chat and an option to include or exclude other participants on the fly from any Thread. Most importantly, I have the flexibility to arrange all my conversations, the way I need it.
10. Dry run your preparedness
Before you commit to working from home, test your preparedness. Save all your passwords, bookmarks, emails and other relevant details that are needed to work from home. Recently, in India, Flipkart asked its employees to work from home for 3 days to test its own system preparedness for working remotely using digital/video tools.
You may not have the necessity to work from home for a longer period of time, as Corona may soon have a natural death as anything that is made in China does not last very long! I hope these tips will help you to stay productive working from home until your employer is ready to call you back to the office, after ordering thermal guns and loads of hand sanitizers.