Productivity Hacks For Remote Workers in the Philippines

Here in the Philippines, it seems like remote working or working from home is here to stay. Companies have temporarily closed their doors for the safety of their employees as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and many employees are now being encouraged to work from home to prevent the virus from spreading further.

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The shift for some individuals who have already experienced working from home can be easy, but for those who are used to working in an office, the transition can be challenging, especially if it is your first time working from home. 

According to research done by a WFH experiment at CTrip, a 16,000- employee, NASDAQ-listed Chinese travel agency. Call center employees who volunteered to WFH were randomly assigned to work from home or in the office for 9 months. Homeworking led to a 13% performance increase, of which about 9% was from working more minutes per shift (fewer breaks and sick days) and 4% from more calls per minute (attributed to a quieter working environment). Home workers also reported improved work satisfaction and experienced less turnover, but their promotion rate conditional on performance fell. Due to the success of the experiment, CTrip rolled out the option to WFH to the whole firm and allowed the experimental employees to re-select between the home or office. Interestingly, over half of them switched, which led to the gains from WFH almost doubling to 22%. This highlights the benefits of learning and selection effects when adopting modern management practices like WFH. (Bloom, N., Stanford Business, 2013) 

Here are a few hacks to remain productive while working remotely! 

  1. Create A Home Office Space That’s Conducive For work 

Rather than having a set cubicle or workstation at work, you may now pick and design your own home office space as you deem fit. Buy an ergonomic chair, office table, an organizer for your cables, pens, and notepads, or even a humidifier. Pick a spot in your house that works for you - there's no way of knowing where you'll be most productive, but once you know, you'll know. Stick to it once you've found it so your mind recognizes it as your formal workstation rather than simply another room in your house where you may relax. 

  1. Create A Routine That Works For You 

Now that you have set up your workspace, it is now time to turn to creating a regular habit that you can stick to while working from home. When it comes to how your work from home experience will go, consistency is key. It's also a good idea to switch up your work routine now and then to keep things interesting, but don't forget to stick to a plan so that working from home is a breeze. Plan out your breaks, take naps in between if you want. The important thing is you plan out your workday wisely to avoid getting burnt out or being unproductive. 

  1. Disconnect from Any Form Of Distractions 

Unlike being in an office where your activities are monitored every day and it is hard to give in to distractions, remote working it's different. 

Mobile games, social media, TV, streaming services, and even your house pet can be disruptive and distract you from your work. That is why, to concentrate on your task, you must separate yourself from them. 

Keep your phones away, switch off your other electronic gadgets, and shoo away your house pet. Make  

a reward system for yourself, do all of your work first, and then indulge in your distractions after. 

  1. Use the Pomodoro Technique 

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that motivates individuals to work with rather than against the clock. You divide your workday into 25-minute pieces followed by five-minute intervals using this strategy. Pomodoros are the name for these intervals. 

The Pomodoro Technique in 5 Easy Steps 

  1. Decide your objective and the amount of time you'll spend on it. 
  1. Start by setting a timer for 25 minutes 
  1. Spend 25 minutes on the activity. 
  1. Start another Pomodoro after a 5-minute rest for energy regeneration. 
  1. After finishing four Pomodoros, take a 20-30 minute rest. 

Stay Connected By Having Proper Communication Channels 

Working from home might be monotonous, and you may feel alienated. No matter what position you're in, communication is essential. Even if you work from home, it's critical to maintain frequent communication with your coworkers to keep your connections strong. Even when you're off work, don't forget to have fun and mingle with your coworkers, even if it's just virtually. 

Consider utilizing alternatives to e-mails that allow you to simulate true in-person conversation. Use apps that allow you to chat with each other like you would on a regular workday. 

  1. Take A Breather 

It's also critical that you take a short break in between your workdays. Taking a break can help you recharge your batteries and keep on pace. This is also an excellent time to discover inspiration to feed your creativity and stay empowered despite being cooped up in your houses. 

This is an ideal opportunity to stretch, do yoga, take a short nap, go out of the house and take a brief stroll; however, the COVID-19 scenario makes this more problematic, so instead of stepping outside, you could prefer to take a walk around your house. Small pauses will make a big difference in your mood, so don't forget to take them! 

How about you, what do you do to stay productive in the new normal of working? 

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