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How to Increase Creativity, Productivity and Efficiency While You Work from Home

Data & AI Solutions

April 6, 2020

COVID-19 has caused a major disruption in the way things are done and staying at home while you are able to do your work has become highly important. With this sudden need, most of the IT companies have asked their employees to work from home and suddenly the entire organization has become virtual. The IT industry is used to remote working of the employees from quite some time now but it was never the case that all the employees are working remotely, at once.

This sudden change has unsettled the routine and it is not surprising that some are struggling to cope with this new way of working. To make things complicated, all the family members are at home and the support system consisting of the likes of day care centers and schools that help families in a normal situation is also unavailable. Here we will examine the impact of these changes in your professional lifestyle and look at the ways to handle them.

  1. Work life balance: Ability to work from home was earlier considered to be an important contributor to work life balance. But in the current scenario, with everyone staying at home it is indeed a major factor in unsettling the work life balance. It is important to prioritize both professional and personal tasks and handle both of them in a highly efficient manner. It is very important not to succumb to the temptation of mixing work and life and ensure you have a highly disciplined approach to plan a practical schedule for both these tasks.
  2. Security and Compliance: Handling professional data and documents from home would need high attention to being compliant with security and confidentiality agreements entered into with customers. Any leak of data and non-compliance, intentional or otherwise, could lead to severe consequences. Hence it is important to check with your organization on related aspects before you start accessing official content from home. Create a checklist of tasks to be followed and track diligently for compliance.
  3. Infrastructure and limitations: Working from home can significantly affect your productivity regarding the availability of computing and network infrastructure. Assess your ability to meet the agreed deliverables and schedules. In case you need to re-schedule the milestones, communicate pro-actively and raise appropriate flags. When estimating for new work, take into consideration the reduced productivity due to these issues and make commitments accordingly
  4. Impact of missing personal presence: It is important not to underestimate the impact of missing personal presence. Especially when communication is involved, be it between business teams and the functional analyst or between the functional analyst and the technical team. It is for a reason that some of the interactions were mandated to be physical and business travel was a necessary part of the corporate operations. It is very important to document all the interactions and minute all the discussions so that all the stakeholders are at the same level of understanding. Plan for more checkpoints for your deliverables and demos should be more frequent so that there is less chance of communication gap.
  5. Getting used to asynchronous communication: Make yourself comfortable with not being able to pop into your colleague’s office to get the information you need. Document sharing tools may not work as expected when trying to connect from home. Please double check your updates and changes are uploaded for everyone else. If required call one of the team members and verify the same. At the same time, it is important to understand that frequent chat alerts can be distracting to the colleagues. Have a realistic attitude and don’t expect instant replies to your questions

Conclusion

Working from home today and avoiding stepping out are not only necessary but are also essential for the wellbeing of the larger community. Good planning, preparation and the ability to learn on the go will help you cope with the unexpected challenges at work and get things done in an optimal way.

About the Author

Sreeram KVS

Sreeram KVS

Sreeram KVS is a BI & Analytics professional with two decades of experience in conceiving and delivering technology solutions that leverage data driven insights and decision making for some of the world’s leading organizations. He is currently leading the solution practice for the Travel, Transportation, Hi-Tech and Profession Services industry analytic services.

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