Coronavirus has affected the world in a very bad way. IMF downgrades global economic growth by 0.1%. To put it into perspective, the global GDP in 2019 was 95.325 trillion dollars. If it lost 0.1%, about 953 billion dollars’ worth of wealth was wiped off from the economy.
Forget the economic implication. Health-wise, every agency across the planet has advised social distancing. That means every organization is forced to ask its employees to work from home. That isn’t so bad because global leaders seem to agree that working from home is a great option for employees.
The problem arises because so many people are new to working from home. It is taking them time to adjust to the lack of schedule and strict ‘punching in and punching out’ routine that they had to follow in the office but not anymore. But what happens when you aren’t forced to work from home? The same problems as now would arise. The major drawback of working from home is how erratic your schedule can become.
You can only stay in touch with your colleagues or your clients through technology. But what happens when technology becomes the bane of your productivity?
Surprisingly, there are clever-but-not-so-clever hacks that you can use so that your productivity increases while cutting down the cost of performing unnecessary activities. Here are some things you could do
The world’s fastest typing speed recorded is 216 words per minute, or wpm if you so please, while the average wpm is 50. The average speed that text recognition software on your system records your text is 150 wpm with an accuracy of 90 percent. Even adjusting for the accuracy, it is still more than 130wpm.
I rest my case. Do I really need to say anything more?
You’d be surprised at the amount of time you spend typing things out. Whether you know it or not, typing can strain your fingers and exhaust your mind because you have to keep focusing on what you’re typing. You can’t afford to type slowly because there are deadlines. The only solution here is to type gently. But can you? Of course, you can’t. The solution is to use text-to-speech software. iOS and Windows have developed advanced speech recognition systems.
Google has improved the accuracy of its speech recognition too. The fact that this speech recognition is present everything makes your work that much easier. You can use it in google docs, on Word, Notepad, Emails, texts, or anything else that needs typing. The best thing about this is that you can focus on what needs to be typed rather than checking if what you’ve typed is error-free.
Control Spam and Mute Notifications
What is the biggest peeve when you’re working? Those pesky notifications on your mobile and those newsletter and promotional emails from websites you don’t remember subscribing. But remember how much data of yours is out there. Is it any wonder that those advertisers found your information and sent you mails? Many of those emails contain viruses too.
In fact, one mail actually said, “click on ‘looks safe’ to access our products” when Gmail had a huge banner notification above that mail saying, ‘this looks dangerous.’ How would an email provider know that you had to agree that a suspicious-looking mail looks safe? Hmm, doesn’t sound fishy at all, does it?
Anyway, there’s a website for that, Unroll.me. This is such a useful tool because it identifies all the subscriptions on your account and asks you which ones you want to keep in your inbox, which ones you want to put in a separate rollup (which, incidentally, what they call it!), and which ones you want to unsubscribe from. As far as your notifications are concerned, come on; you know you need to put your phone away to work peacefully. But then again, let’s be realistic. That just isn’t possible.
There’s an alternative for that too. iOS and Android have upgraded their DND feature so that you can customize which applications you want to keep receiving notifications from. Put a stop to those pesky notifications so that you can work in peace. You’d be surprised how much work you can get done just by muting the notification. Oh, and those desktop notifications you enabled? Yes, those you have to remove by yourself.
[Also Read: Top 8 In-Demand Technology Skills to Learn in 2020]
Macros and Staying in Touch
When you’re typing, whether it is on your mobile or your computer, there are macros available. Use them. There are hotkeys that you can use to reduce typing. Set them up so that your work becomes easier for you. It’ll indeed take some getting used to when using those macros for the first time, but do you remember how awkward you were when you first started typing? Now you don’t even need to look at the keyboard, really, do you? This is something similar
And please use a lot of keyboard shortcuts. They are a time-saving angel. The more keyboard shortcuts you know beyond cut, copy, and paste, the quicker you can get your work done. Several commands will actually help you share files from one application to another application with the click of a button. Soon your mousepad might catch dust too! (Okay, yes. That was an exaggeration).
The other thing that you must use is sharing platforms for all your work. Word and Excel are amazingly comfortable. You’re used to them from when your computer-literacy teacher in your school taught you how to click the start button.
But it is troublesome having to send so many emails to all your colleagues for every single document. And if those documents need revisions, they’d revert to you on a mail. Why? Because everyone needs proof that they’ve done their duty diligently. Now, how long will it be before your mail says, ‘out of space. Incoming mails may be delayed’?
Use Google Docs and Google Sheets. You don’t even navigate to Google docs and click on the untitled document. Just type docs.new and sheets.new for a new document or a spreadsheet. It won’t take as much time as you’re thinking in familiarizing yourself with the commands in Sheets and Docs.
Even if it does, the redeeming factor is that each change is recorded and instantly recognized. So you and your colleagues sitting on the poles of earth can instantly know any changes you made in the document. That removes the need for shooting mails for tiny corrections. (1)
Working from home requires commitment. It is not the same as sitting down at 10 and getting back up at 6. You will realize that you’ve stretched until 9 in the night, but don’t feel like you’ve accomplished anything. To compensate for that, you’ll start at 8, but still, take until 7 and wonder how time flew by. Technology is a great tool if you can use it correctly.