Working from home can be productive

Friday April 3 2020

Offsite.  Be disciplined, and keep off

Offsite. Be disciplined, and keep off distractions when working from home. Shutter photo 

By Desire Mbabaali

Weeks into what has now become our life - social distancing, it is hard to deny that the idea of physically going back to work has never been more exciting. But again, depending on one’s job nature, some people are still required to work from home as workplaces wait on the dark blanket of this pandemic to be lifted.
Despite prevailing conditions that have forced many to work from home, telecommuting or remote working is among the growing trends in the world of employment today. But, if you are just not used to working from home, have got a lot of distractions there or just behind schedule on your work, here are a few tips to help you be more productive while in your quarantine.

Manage your time
Among challenges that working from home poses is failure to manage one’s time. As a result, there can either be working less hours or longer hours.
“While working from home, you have to manage your time really well; creating and drawing time to do things around your home, other personal responsibilities, but also working and executing your duties and responsibilities. To help me do this, I have a to-do list with time lines or a daily time table or routine that I strictly follow so that my work is not affected,” Sheila Nantongo a data analyst who works from home shares.

Work environment
Martin Mukasa, a videographer, shares that creating a work-like environment in your home can help you concentrate while working. If possible, have a silent corner in the house or even in the compound where you seat and give quality time to your work.
“Instead of sitting on the bed, for example, while working, have a real desk and proper comfortable chair to work. If you are one who likes to listen to music while working, keep it low volume.
If you know that you share space with others, share with them to give you some space so that you work. For someone with space in the house, this might be time to create an office in your house to help you work in a better environment,” he says.

Be disciplined
Wilson Muheirwe, a human resource manager at Ham holdings, cautions that working from home calls for a very high level of discipline. “One should be able to execute their duties and responsibilities as promptly as required with no supervision from their superiors,” he says. This can include discipline to wake up early, self-discipline in knowing that no one will be following you around so that you work, but yourself, but also discipline to stick to your work plan while at home.

Avoid distractions
In the same vain, avoid distractions. Nantongo says: “Some people don’t understand this system of working from home, so when they see you home, they usually think you are not working for real. So, try to make this clear to them. I used to have this friend who didn’t care whether I was working. Because they knew I would be home, they would drop by any time and expect me to attend to them. I had to seriously tell them off that I was working and that they had to respect that,” she advises. Other distractions may be children or other people in the home, television, or your phone. Try to minimise these as much as possible.

Be in the loop
Working from home can be alienating from your team, boss or organisation. However, keeping in touch with them about what is going on, where they are at and new projects relating to your work is useful. “If possible, meet them in person every once in a while, or talk to them using various means of communication so that you are not detached or lose track of where you are heading, but also not losing track with them,” Muheirwe cautions.


Invest in resources
Some of the things that will make your work easy and up to standard is investing in the right and necessary tools that you need to execute your work.

“I know that most remote workers leverage and highly rely on technologies to do their work and so, investing in the best technologies you need will make you more productive. Invest in gadgets like laptops, smart phones, tablets, cameras, plus software and applications that relate to your work to make your work easy. Keep yourself up to speed about new technologies or research about technologies you can leverage upon for your work,” Muheirwe adds.

Our minds often become lazy if our bodies are doing little activity. Therefore, since there are very limited opportunities of moving up and about, one might consider exercising.