Productivity and Challenges of The New Normal
It is no secret that the covid-19 onset had its very significant effect on almost all businesses. The imposed shift from office life to working remotely has its positive side-effects on business that has to do with logistics and the decrease in expenses on office supplies, electricity and facility maintenance in general. The positive effects extend to individuals as well; they get to spend more time with their families, the flexibility in working hours, and the possibility to work from any spot they may want.
On the other hand, we need to be aware that the transition to work remotely also came with its own challenges that affect productivity, some of these challenges are:
・Isolation: While working alone pays off when it comes to concentration and focus, it also has its downside when it comes to extroverted people with high inclusion tendencies. Even if collaboration with teammates or coworkers is not a must for a task to get done, it is quite necessary for the mental health to see and interact with people and spend time around them.
・Disconnection: Working at office could be challenging sometimes with the many distractions it may bring. However, engaging with team members, sharing different perspectives and inputs play a key role in feeling connected as a part of an ecosystem. Connecting with coworkers is essential to catch up on news and maintain effective levels of employee engagement. This could be a huge challenge for people with high openness inclinations; as they would find it hard to maintain sharing thoughts and viewpoints while being away from office.
・Effectiveness: While working at office, it is easy to communicate ideas and perspectives on how things are desired to be done. Starting from on job training to one-to-one coaching, interpersonal interactions are effective and fruitful, especially with people who see to it that they get things done the way they find most effective and diligent.
・Work-Life Balance: On one hand, commuting to work gives you a great chance to leave work behind once you get out of the office. On the other hand, when you work remotely, especially if you are working from home, you never really leave your workspace. This may result in working longer hours, because you don’t have to leave to get home. Or, it can result in working less. Working remotely with flexible hours could result in taking time to run errands, and friends and family members could reckon that you are available, which is not necessarily true. However, this could affect spending working hours effectively. Such challenge is sure to affect productivity greatly.
・Internal barriers: The most dominant challenges to productivity while working remotely are almost always internal. Persistent feeling of distraction, multi-tasking and switching from task to another, or the inclination to procrastinate, all are hurdles that are very frustrating. What makes it even a bigger challenge is the constant high expectations of being “hyper-productive,” where you are expected to always be working on something, or achieving another. In many cases, when you are unproductive, even for a temporary period, stress and anxiety are triggered; as you have this constant feeling that you should be doing something, or getting something done and achieved. Such feeling can be in itself a challenge for productivity due to the immense stress as a result.
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