Take advantage of time while teleworking

The percentage of people who telework is increasing and this work modality, in its multiple combinations, has become common, and is the preferred one, of many workers around the world.

Benefits of teleworking

Teleworking, when it is voluntary and moderate (1 or 2 days teleworking in a 5-day work week), has a positive influence on the worker’s performance, while reducing their stress levels and intentions to leave work. This is so because teleworking influences two key aspects for your well-being:

  1. Increases worker autonomy; that is, their ability to decide what to do, how to do it, or when to do it.

  2. It improves the possibility of reconciling, an aspect highly valued by workers today.

We also know that if teleworking intensifies (more than 2 days teleworking), the benefits of work-life balance are accentuated, but at the cost of damaging relationships with co-workers. For this reason, the combinations of 3-2 or 4-1 days of face-to-face work and teleworking are the most common in the organizations around us.

Organize the teleworking day

Like face-to-face work, teleworking requires organization (self-organization in this case) in order to get the most out of it. If what is sought is to have a satisfactory result from teleworking, everything already known about time management in organizations is applicable in the context of remote work. And by satisfactory result I mean both for the employee and for the company. The employee is interested in their well-being and the company is interested in their effectiveness or productivity. Time management tools, well applied, often serve both purposes.

Good time management makes the worker use it better, focusing on priority tasks. But, in addition to this apparently trivial result, time management also allows workers to have a greater perception of control over their work, influences greater well-being -in terms of job satisfaction and satisfaction with life in general. – and, in addition, it allows us to reduce stress levels.

From the organization’s point of view, time management improves the work performance of workers and reduces the tendency to procrastinate. The reason for all these effects rests, fundamentally, on the first of the elements mentioned: the perception of control. Knowing how to manage time makes us experience greater control over our work.

time and work

The interest in time management programs is not new, it already existed at least since the 1950s, when simple techniques began to be proposed, such as creating task lists. Now time management techniques include:

  • To establish objectives.

  • Plan tasks by making lists, reserving time slots for their execution, marking completion dates and monitoring their progress.

  • Prioritize tasks according to criteria such as their importance or urgency.

  • Consider the habitual and personal rhythms of work.

  • Handle unexpected tasks, being assertive and capable of rejecting new tasks that impair the performance of those already committed.

labor biorhythm

I dwell briefly on the point of personal rhythms. Self-knowledge is very important in order to know what hours of the day we have the most energy and to carry out the tasks that require the most effort in those time slots. Or, if you like, you can look at it the other way around: performing routine tasks that require less effort in periods when we know we have less energy.

It is known that, in general and for the most frequent working hours, workers follow an inverted double V pattern in terms of energy. The day begins at half throttle to reach a peak of energy about 2 hours later and then decline around lunchtime due to the simple effect of fatigue. After the lunch break, a new recovery cycle appears, this time shorter, until fatigue appears again at the end of the day.

Personal and organizational influences

One must also consider one’s own personal characteristics and the effect of the context. The main personal influence for good time management is a personality trait: responsibility. The most responsible people organize their time better. Although it may seem obvious, it should not be forgotten that we are talking about personality traits, that is, individual differences that must be accepted as such.

Regarding contextual differences, attention must be paid to the norms of the work group and the organizational culture itself. Generating teams and organizations with cultures favorable to time management is something that can be significantly influenced, for example, through the example offered by the organization’s leaders.

And when the worker does not have autonomy in his work?

Trying to achieve all the positive effects of time management programs in contexts in which the worker is not given autonomy is to expect miracles. Autonomy must always be an option: it is the way to rely on the will of the worker to, along with access to time management tools, increase his well-being, while increasing the effectiveness of the organization. Two objectives that well deserve to give it such autonomy.

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