How to Increase Research Productivity during Covid-19?

Working from home entered our lives with Covid-19. With the fall 2020 term starting so many academics will be conducting research from home, as well as teaching online.

Research shows that working from home affects our academic productivity. Especially the female and early career academics are more affected. Initial analyses suggest that since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, female academics are submitting fewer articles and starting fewer research projects than their male peers.

So what can be done to increase academic productivity while staying at home?

Let’s check these productivity tips:

Share the Housework Equally

House chores take a chunk of time. Especially when you are stuck at home and obsessing over hygiene to fight with a pandemic. Sharing childcare and house chores equally if you are sharing a living space is the best strategy. Doing quarantine with children can be full time work, mostly when the schools and kindergartens are closed. Even in dual-academic households, the evidence shows that women perform more household labor than men do. Although changing this trend needs actions on many different levels, realizing this at our households, and dividing the chores equally is likely to increase productivity.

Have a Workstation

Confined in the apartments, working, sleeping, and watching TV at the same place affects productivity. In fact, isolating oneself and being locked down in a single space highly resembles being in a space station. So why not steal some productivity hacks from the astronauts? Our minds associate the space and what we do in that space with one another. So, this old trick really works; use your bed only for sleeping and dedicate one spot in your apartment only for working.

Take regular breaks

To remember taking regular breaks, you can use the Pomodoro Technique. Get a timer and set the alarm for 25 min. You choose a task and work for 25 min followed by 5 min short breaks. After you do these 4 times, you can take a longer break. The idea behind the technique is that the timer gives a sense of urgency. Rather than feeling like you have endless time to get things done, you know you only have 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task as possible.

If you are working on qualitative research, don’t lose your precious time with manual transcription, replace it into automatic transcription.

These suggestions are proven to increase academic productivity and reduce stress while doing quarantine at home. On top of these, especially if you are a qualitative researcher conducting research interviews, you are likely to spend a big chunk of your time transcribing and analyzing these research interviews.

Here comes Scrintal. We created Scrintal, an online transcription service, to save you enormous time when organizing research interview recordings, sharing it with your colleagues, transcribing research interviews from audio to text, and conducting the preliminary analysis.

Ece Kural's profile picture

Ece Kural

PhD Candidate @ Stockholm University