To be honest, when I was in office, I’d always think, that working from home would be much better than coming to office everyday.
No need to pull myself out of that dreamy sleep and slip into those formals, keeping an eye on the clock all the time.
No last minute rush to book an Uber, and forgetting my packed lunch in the kitchen itself, and then realizing it in the late of an afternoon (and self-cursing).
And I expected a substantial boost in my productivity as well – no water-cooler gossips, no frequent Tea-breaks, no afternoon slumps. Well, I wasn’t expecting a miracle, but being a consultant – a 13.33% (don’t ask the source!!!!) productivity increase, definitely was on the cards!
I was hoping for some event that would make the constant WFH a reality – that was the dream.
And when WFH home was finally mandatory due to the COVID-19 crisis, I suddenly found myself hating it, and that was the strangest part. And the major reason was, a 33.47% (never ask the source!!!!!!) in the productivity – which meant long nights required for doing almost the same amount of work.
And then I realized the fundamental problem – I have been thinking of WFH as a mandatory task being forced on me, rather than a dream every employee has been chasing – and from that point in time, I decided to treat it as choice made by myself, and things started to get better from there onward.
All thanks to a simple 3C’s framework I decided to follow (nope, you won’t find it in the Kotler 😉 ) – Compartmentalization, Collaboration and Connection.
C1 -> Compartmentalization
I decided to draw some clear boundaries between my work and personal life. The simple way for it was, defining a particular area of my home as the work area – you work only in that area, and when you are out of that part, you stop thinking about work at all – it helps you to get in and out of the work-mode, and stops the burnout as well. I have been using my personal room as the work area, but you can make your dining table/couch as that area as well.
Simple thing – but worked quite well for me.
C2 -> Collaboration
It is difficult to do a task individually, especially when there is nobody across your desk, whom you can walk up to and just ask for some help, and I initially felt the pinch. But later, me and my team decided to work on live documents (such as, live word documents in sharepoint), so that it is easy to know who is working on what, how much progress someone has made and if someone is stuck at something.
I also devised my version of the 80-20 rule of understanding – I quickly check my requirements and understandings of my work in the first 20 minutes of the day, and if I don’t have clarity about at least 80% of the tasks, I just check with my manager/colleague about how to work on it. This method saves a lot of time (no need to get stuck on a task for half of the day, and later realizing you needed to do something completely different), and gives me constant feeling that I am in control of the day!
C3 -> Connection
Staying connected with your colleagues is very important aspect of your day, just to lose your steam and also get your daily boost of morale. So, I have been trying to catch with my colleagues on my coffee breaks (of course, can’t survive without them) and strictly keep these meetings casual. Ohh, and a video call helps – show your amazing cups of coffee and caveman hairstyles (why should only you laugh at it, right?)
3 simple tricks I tried to maintain my productivity in this pandemic – 3 simple tricks that worked like a charm!