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How Working From Home Increased My Productivity

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Stories of success, anguish and the internal state of affairs from a “self-proclaimed” productive human

Working from home
Working from home, Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

Working from home really brought out the best in me, it made me more productive. Because working from home gave me the freedom to do what I want when I wanted to. Most importantly, to do what I have to do when I want to do it. It really gave me the flexibility that we all desire in a somewhat “ideal” life.


An Increase In Freedom At Work

Working from home started very soon — too soon. Circumstances that most of you would be familiar with is, unfortunately, the cause of this enigma. Though not unfortunate things result in the bad.

I can confidently say I have done more things done in this 6 months than the previous year. This is a testament to how freedom can increase a person’s productivity overall and it is really highlighted in the recent work from home culture.

To put in perspective currently, I am a software engineer at a well known University in Indonesia. So my work would range from designing to developing systems to help students learn better.

These days people need more applications than we can develop at times. With system integrations and all. Seeing that all things are going digital faster in 6 months than the previous 2 years I can’t really blame them.

Personally I don’t mind, I love making apps that can really help and is used by a broad range of people, it really is a good chance to keep learning.

Furthermore, more freedom is instituted in my workplace to work whenever. We have deadlines to finish a certain amount of work, and work can be done whenever and are not constrained to office hours.

No one monitors you in the day. If I feel like taking a nap at noon no one would say I am a lazy worker. Because now work is not measured by how much hours you put in rather by results.

Previously the results parameter is only commonly seen in startups. Now, it really is taking shape in corporate environments as well.

Merit can shine even brighter these days, and I am truly grateful.


More Time For Personal Hobbies

More can be done now. Without having to endure bad traffic along the city skylines I can really focus on what really matters.

Since I have an interest in artificial intelligence I have more time to research topics related to it. I have always dreamed of contributing by writing my own research paper.

Working at a University gave me a lot of opportunities. Working from home helped me to use more of these opportunities. Making me have more time to learn, and most of all I finally have time to contribute to the field.

Last year, I was able to produce one paper to be submitted to a Journal (still getting through peer review so wish me luck!). Now I am currently working on a literature review, a dataset paper, and a final thesis. A bit too much if I still had to go to the office for my day job.

Another good thing that happened is the many opportunities for free e-learning modules being open to the public (some for a short period of time).

As a software engineer, I saw a lot of free certified e-learning modules shared on LinkedIn. Modules from Alibaba, CertiProf, London App Brewery, and PaloAlto just to name a few. A lot of these free certifications will expire because it is a response to the current pandemic rather than the rapid increase of work from home culture.


Missing Things Taken For Granted

Previously before working from home, every morning I would go to the office on my scooter. Honestly, I thought it was a massive waste of time. I still do.

But I kind of miss the morning rides through town. Enjoying the free air breeze blowing at your face. Going left and right through traffic. The freedom, the joy. I don’t miss traffic jams though.

This gave me a sense of gratitude to what I currently have, and made me think twice to things that previously been somewhat of a pain for me. It made me think and try to understand my circumstances better. Something that I may not have done well enough if it weren’t for this feeling of loss.


Days Become Shorter

All is nice and well until you get the feeling that “Work is not going to stop is it?” No, it is definitely isn’t.

The more you are intertwined between work and personal life the line obviously becomes a little blurry. It feels like there is no coherent definition of work-life balance anymore. The work-life yearned by many people is going asunder as many more realize how much work has defined them.

Waking up in the morning turning on your laptop. Check-in online. Waiting for your daily stand-up meeting just to be assigned something new and different throughout the day.

Ending in the evenings tired and wasted in a whole day of working, realizing how much more time work actually needs these days this doesn’t count the extensive amount of time I use to pursue my research interests and hobbies.

Not that I have much to complain, being that I still have a job that I am very grateful for and I did put myself in this predicament after all, but most of it is worth it, I would say.


No Boundaries

The next line I want to talk about is personal privacy. I feel that recently my private conversations with co-workers are interrupted by family interventions. Not to say that I have children, that would be quite embarrassing, rather older members of my family listening to the conversations even though they say they’re not.

I now cherish moments at the office when I can joke freely with my co-workers not because I want to go to the office, but because office life and personal life is getting all the more closer. Making it very uncomfortable.

Honestly, I am a very private man, if you look at my social media, I rarely post anything about myself. Only through blogs do I choose to share my inner-self with the world.

This rant might be a common theme among working from home fellows who just started this culture because of unforeseen events.


Conclusion

This was a short testament in my part on how current conditions are affecting my personal work environment and most importantly productivity. Honestly, I feel that my productivity has increased two-fold.

Moreover, this is a testament to how freedom of work can really increase productivity. Not everything needs to be controlled. Trust in people. Because it is an essential part of today’s world.

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