With the rise of remote and hybrid work modes, employers need to evaluate whether these flexible work modes are right for their business. To shed light on this question, Great Place to Work ran a two-year study on 800,000 employees across fortune 500 companies.
The conclusion was that most companies reported stable and even increased levels of productivity after employees started working from home. However, these findings also showed that factors like job burnout and poor leadership skills posed an increased risk to productivity for remote workers.
All in all, flexible work modes offer advantages to both employees and employers, but both need to be careful to avoid some of the pitfalls of flexible work modes. Something that is often underestimated is office design. The way one’s home office is set up can positively or negatively affect one’s productivity.
1. Build a supportive space for your workflow
Take some time to reflect on your workflow. What do you do during a typical day? Think about the tools you need, the steps you take to complete your tasks, and how to make the most of your workspace.
Establishing your process and then evaluating how your workspace can better support you will make it easier for you to tackle your to-do list.
If you find that your role requires brainstorming or complex problem-solving, consider investing in things that support these tasks like a whiteboard to map out your thoughts. If you prefer to contain your thought process online, consider tools that can help you facilitate this, like having multiple monitors.
2. Cut the clutter out
Whether it’s piles of papers or random knickknacks, having a lot of things on one’s desk can feel overwhelming making it harder to focus.
Dedicate the first 10 minutes of your day to tidying up your office. This will avoid having to deep clean for hours down the line. Make cleaning supplies like wet wipes or a trashcan easily accessible for cleaning as you go.
To limit clutter, keep desk décor to a minimum. Think of your workspace as an area where you only keep the things that help make your job easier. You don’t necessarily need all your childhood photos on display. Although having 1-2 personal items can help motivate or provide a sense of calmness, try to limit these items.
3. Have everything you need ready to go
Have you ever tried vigorously untangling your charging cable while racing the clock before your computer dies? Or have you ever not been able to find batteries for your mouse, so you decide to go without it and by the end of the day you have wrist pain?
There are so many little things like this that dig into our work time leaving you wondering where the day went. When setting up your office, keep functionality at the forefront of your mind.
Untangle all your charging cables and cords and set them up on a power bar so that you can easily access them all in a second. Depending on how many you have, you may want to label them. If all those cables are visually overstimulating, consider getting a cable sleeve to mask them.
Organize your commonly needed batteries so that you don’t have to spend hours. Consider investing in a battery organizer that comes with a built-in battery tester. Not only will this organizer help you find the batteries you need, but it will save you time by not needing to test each battery.
4. Create a workspace that manages the distractions
Distractions come in all shapes and forms and as hard as we try it’s challenging to get rid of them fully. Instead of eliminating distractions try setting up your workspace to better manage them.
Some distractions are invisible like stress or anxiety. If the usual tricks like meditating, breathing exercises, or simply taking a break don’t work, try changing your atmosphere. Open the window to let in the fresh air and sunlight.
Sometimes pets wander into our workspace making it harder to focus. Try creating a spot for your pet in your office that keeps them away from you while they can still be in the same area as you. Plus, cuddling your furry friends for even just 10 minutes can lower your stress levels.
If you’re working from home and sharing your space with loved ones, it can be especially challenging to establish work and personal life boundaries. Try separating your workspace from your living spaces as much as possible.
If it’s not possible to have a separate workspace, try sharing your work schedule with your loved ones. This will help them understand when they can and cannot disturb you.
5. Visualizing your time
At Indellient we have flexible core hours and flexible work modes which provide our team with a lot of freedom. However, with this flexibility, it can be challenging to conceptualize one’s day.
Try to keep a visual representation of your day. This could be a good ole fashion physical calendar or you can keep a schedule on applications like Microsoft Teams. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s visible to you so you can refer to it many times throughout the day ensuring you stay on track.
Once you establish your objectives pencil in time in your calendar to actually work on it. Issues like sick kids or technology problems will come up all the time so try to overestimate how long tasks will take so that you have built-in flexibility.
Flexible work modes can present a lot of advantages to businesses, one being increased productivity. However, this isn’t guaranteed. Businesses need to keep a pulse on their team to make sure it’s not backfiring on them and to step in with some guidance when it might be.
There are lots of ways to optimize productivity while working in flexible work modes and a lot of it comes down to the way your office is set up. Consider implementing some of these tips to get the most out of flexible work modes.
We’re dedicated to creating an encouraging, inclusive, and fruitful work environment for all of our team members. Check out open opportunities on our Careers page.