Between cramped WFH spaces, blurred work-life boundaries, longer working hours, and higher stress levels, WFH isn’t without its own set of challenges. As recent surveys indicate, though, most Singaporeans are still keen on incorporating WFH (one way or another) into their post-pandemic work routines.
Regardless of the extent to which WFH becomes a part of everyday working life in the future, though, this much is true: measures have to be taken by all parties to ensure that well-being is maintained, productivity levels are at least preserved, if not vastly improved.
To that end, here are 4 practical solutions to WFH’s greatest struggles.
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Presumably, one of the greatest benefits of WFH is the time savings it confers upon employees. With no more commutes and a home-based workspace, you should technically have more time to spend on leisure or with your families.
Studies have shown, though, that these time savings end up being replaced with more unproductive work during WFH. The solution, then, is simple: find ways to save time by cutting out unproductive work.
Being busy all the time doesn’t necessarily equate to being as productive as you can. Track exactly where your WFH time goes every day for at least a week At the end of it, use the data you’ve obtained to peruse your daily schedules vis-a-vis the following questions:
Cultivate your cognitive ability to quickly get “in the zone” and out of it. Practice makes progress; in time, you’ll take less time to get into deep-focus mode and be able to work in longer and longer stretches of distraction-free time.
When it comes to self-management, different people need different things to be at their most productive and engaged at work. WFH presents the perfect opportunity to calibrate yourself and learn about what you personally need in order to be your best self.
Ask yourself questions like:
WFH has evidently forced a general well-being shift from work-life balance to work-life integration. Part and parcel of adapting to the new normal therefore entails learning how to adjust to the far more blurred boundaries between “work” and “life” in WFH. Enforcing stronger work-life boundaries for yourself is critical in hedging against WFH burnout.
According to NYT bestselling author Cal Newport, to facilitate your brain’s transition out of “work mode”, it needs to stop continuously tracking and remembering unfinished tasks in the background.
Shutdown rituals must consist of:
Change out of your pyjamas and into something more office-ready, physically delineate your WFH workspace from the rest of your house. Preserving simple pre-pandemic routines in this way goes a long way in helping your brain change gears from “work” to “life” more effectively.
As with any collaborative setting, healthy communication is essential to effective teamwork and high performance. WFH, however, amplifies the need for smooth communication within and between teams.
Without the normal amount of face-to-face interaction to provide emotional context and non-verbal cues for healthy communication, it’s easy to misread or misunderstand your co-workers (and vice versa), particularly when it comes to conflict resolution.
Instead of assuming that everyone communicates the same way, be sure that you all agree on a specific and clear set of communication norms, such as: