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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies worldwide have begun work from home initiatives to curb the spread of the coronavirus. If you are one of the millions of people who became a remote worker in 2020, you have likely realised that your work from home setup is more important than you once thought. Prior to the pandemic, working from home was likely a luxury, meant for laying in bed or slumping on the couch with a cup of coffee. However, if you are planning to work from home for an extended period – or permanently – then finding ways to stay productive without travelling to an office will be important.
Organisations today are developing an increasingly mobile and connected workforce. With current social distancing measures across the globe, being digitally available has become an inevitability for many, and learning to adapt to this new change while still maintaining productivity can become more challenging over time. Although what works best for working remotely will vary from person to person, today’s digitally connected workforce and easy access to smartphones and the Internet have also provided many with the opportunity to maximise their capabilities through the use of these high tech devices.
How to Flex Your Creative Muscles and Stay Engaged in Isolation
Working from home can become monotonous. The work-life separation can make staying focused a chore, and inspiration difficult to find. With all the potential distractions running rampant at home, you should always keep your vision front-and-centre – especially for complicated projects – in order to consistently move closer to the goal, and ensure work is completed effectively. An inspiration board (or a mood board) is an ideal solution for when creativity is required, and focus is lacking while working remotely.
Whether you are looking for a source of inspiration to get your creative juices flowing, kick your skills into higher gear, or maintain momentum with current work, a digital mood board can work wonders. More than a collection of images, illustrations, colours, ideas, words, and textures, mood boards can help generate ideas, curate creative inspirations, and can define the direction of your project. Ultimately, mood boards help you “get inside” your head, revealing your intended vision better than brainstorming or a simple to-do list. Our smartphones are more than a communicative and entertainment tool; they can also help us organise our thoughts on-the-go.
Furthermore, it may also help to extend your creativity outside of your notebook, or have it purely limited to the medium you are expressing your creative freedom in. Using the right medium – like the AR Doodle feature on Samsung’s Galaxy Note20 – you only need to turn on your camera with Samsung’s S Pen in hand to fully unleash your imagination. Explore the space around you through the lens of your camera and sketch your ideas across the room, before converting them into your digital mood board. Connected to apps like the Samsung AR Doodle and Samsung Gallery, having the freedom to express creativity in your own space can be liberating, allowing you to be fully immersed in your thoughts anytime, anywhere.
How to Connect with Colleagues and Work “Together” Effectively
Working remotely can be extremely isolating at times. Fortunately, with the smart devices available to us today, staying connected is as simple as the push of a button. As part of your routine, try and interact with your colleagues regularly, fully utilising our digital connectivity to communicate and work virtually with one another. Chatting over messaging apps like Slack or holding meetings over face-to-face meetings with Zoom are examples of two quick and easy ways to stay in the loop. The advent and accessibility of smartphones have enabled us to constantly be online where needed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made face-to-face meetings difficult, but it has also allowed the workforce to experience a meeting culture without unnecessary travelling and time spent commuting between appointments. Through text messaging on chat apps and optimising video calls, productivity can still be boosted, minimising miscommunication, and ensuring that teamwork continues to be fostered between colleagues. In whatever ways you decide to connect, do not let email be the only way you interact with colleagues.
How to Maximise Notetaking through Digital Tools
Notetaking is the unsung habit, whether in school, at the workplace, or even while working remotely. While notetaking is often overlooked, the ongoing effect of poor notes or skipping them entirely can hurt the work process, especially now as we work in the silos of our own homes. On the flip side, taking notes can help with doing your job better as well, helping you refer to important information when you need it, and ultimately allowing you to be more efficient and effective.
Then, can our smartphones be viable notetaking mediums? In general, research shows that taking notes by hand allows you to remember the material better than typing the same notes down on a device, but paper and pen may not always be within arm’s reach. As we move towards using our personal devices more – whether for calls, meetings, or brainstorming sessions – it only makes sense to rely on our smartphones for our notes.
By complementing technology with notetaking, we can create efficient notes that is easily shareable and can be synchronised across our devices. While some have adopted the portable Bluetooth-enabled keyboard to type quick notes, savvy users have been adopting tactile notetaking on their smartphones with smart styluses.
Learning to maximize the features of your notetaking toolkit can be a gamechanger. For example, the S Pen allows you to use your Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone like a smart notepad with its screen-off memo. If you are in a rush to begin taking notes, simply use the S Pen to write on your phone even while it is asleep, and you can still get your notes in quickly without needing to unlock your device. It’s a nifty tool that allows you to convert your hand-written into text that you can copy and paste, and easily sync notes across your devices for your easy reference needs. Also, to simplify yet still keeping your notetaking fully effective, Audio Bookmarks can strengthen recall and bring you to timestamps in which your notes were taken, allowing you to play your recording back where needed and better keep track of all your meetings, even while you are separated from your team.
Convenience at the Tip of Your Fingers
Over the duration of your work-from-home experience, you will find that there are already many tools and resources that can help boost productivity. While the general setup only includes a decent Internet connection, a computer that meets your needs and a reliable smartphone, it still pays to know the mileage you can gain from each avenue, and how to best drive your personal work output and visualise creativity, whether it is for your professional or home life.