We are now in the second year now with the effects of COVID 19 being felt globally. For organisations the effects resulted in drastic working arrangements one of it being the shit to remote working.
This measure was meant to protect the spread of the virus and adhere to set standards of social distancing. Depending with roles, many staff are required to work from home full time or partially for an extended period. This has come with its own share of challenges, for both organisations and workers.
Without proper planning and time to test out different scenarios to come out with a suitable solution. There was no guidance on how to go about it and many organisations worked it out differently some doing it well others learning through mistakes.
Productivity has largely been affected because of the this disruption, this article seeks to share give ways that organisations and their workers can drive it while working remotely.
1. Learn new skills
To survive and be productive during change, a set of not-used-before skills will be required. Those who are faster to acquire these skills have a smoother transition that those who take longer.
Working remotely may demand learning how to solve minimal technical IT issues alone, a manager will need to learn how to manage the teams remotely, or even facilitating virtual events. All these will require some level of upskilling to ensure minimal disruptions to planned work.
Organisations that realize this need and equip their staff with the necessary skills to adapt will be a step further in driving productivity amongst change.
2. Have realistic goals
Goals that we set prior to the pandemic will hardly be delivered because of the myriads of disruptions. Setting realistic goals that take into account different variables e.g. different working environment, distractions among other things. How we set goals plays a huge role in the ability to achieve them and make progress. one big factor in healthy goal-setting is to choose goals that are attainable and realistic Breaking down big projects into smaller tasks, allows one to have more control and will be much more productive. This will keep you on track in your day-to-day and make the bigger projects seem less daunting.
3. Develop a routine
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. — Aristotle Working remotely can often result in long working hours or mismanaging our time because of lack of structure or processes that would normally be there when operating in a physical office.
Creating a daily routine is essential, it provides structure and discipline. Creating a system that works and following it every day is an excellent way of becoming productive. Routine will help with focus thus becoming more proficient as you start to become better at doing certain things because you do it regularly.
4. Be agile
Agility is a prerequisite to productivity will means that organisations and workers respond to changes and challenges in a timely manner. Being able to approach change with agility, will mean looking for adaptable measures and if necessary, equipping to keep pace and successfully execute the organisational initiatives.
While working remotely will mean a change in routine and processes that once worked e.g. managing staff and team and now having to do this remotely will call for new and sometimes never used routines and processes.
Being adaptable and flexible enables one to correct course early when problems or changes arise, thus maximising the outcome of operations even during change like one caused by the pandemic. Also being agile, workers may realize when some processed have become redundant with remote working and to thus change occupations or careers
It’s no surprise that remote work (which is often online) depletes energy and resilience. Many people are working longer hours, suffering chronic stress, and burning out at levels as never witnessed.
How can self-care result in productivity? Firstly, it gives one a break from stress and anxiety that will accumulate as we navigate the changes caused by the pandemic. A break from common work and life stressors is much needed and this allows for opportunities to recharge and improve on the quality of our work.
Secondly, self-care improves cognitive functions this means better focus and concentration which are need for productive outcome at work. Regular exercise, as noted in the Harvard Health Blog, helps memory and thinking by reducing “insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors.”
What's Your Reaction?
Rachel Gathagu is a Learning and Development Specialist with over 15 years of professional development in the nonprofit sector. Currently Rachel is the Online Member Learning Manager with Humentum responsible for managing learning and development. This includes advising organisations on learning strategies, transforming them into learning organisation by implementing learning frameworks and processes that promote a learning culture. Rachel designs and develops digital learning, manages learning management systems, and designing customized learning solutions for their staff and providing benchmarking tools to measure organisations learning activities. Previously Rachel worked in ActionAid as the Learning & Knowledge Management Advisor and in Save the Children and CARE International in Project Management. Rachel holds a Degree in Business Management & Administration from St Paul’s University in Kenya and currently undergoing a Diploma in Employee Development and Training Management from Cambridge International College. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-gathagu-84900951/