Remote work is gradually becoming a popular method for running businesses. Both businesses and employees benefit from working remotely from locations different from their offices.
Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted many businesses to hastily transition from a typical face-to-face office environment to an entirely remote working environment for health and safety concerns. But even without the covid restrictions, businesses have started adopting the remote working concept.
Although remote working seems fairly easy to adopt, employees need to focus on different challenges to improve their work productivity. This article will discuss different ways to overcome those challenges while working remotely.
What is remote work? How does it work?
Remote work is the method for employees to work from a location different than their office. These locations can be employees’ homes, private offices, hotels, or any place other than a typical office location.
Remote working demands a unique blend of culture, practices, and technology targeted toward enabling remote workers to function effectively from anywhere.
For remote work to be effective, there must be a general assumption that a person or team has to work off-site regularly.
A remote worker needs to have a reliable internet connection, devices (such as laptops, smartphones, or tablets), and remote working tools for communication, project management, collaboration, time tracking, etc.).
How to improve productivity while working remotely?
Remote working seems like a nice situation to escape the office. However, there are certain things that you need to follow to keep yourself productive.
Not being at the office can make you feel lazy and unproductive. So, you can keep your working life healthy in the following ways:
1. Formulate the best possible schedule
Remote working allows you to have a more flexible schedule than working in a regular office setting. However, you will have to formulate a healthy schedule for your work time at home.
i. Pick an ideal time
At worst, a routine is often viewed as a limitation and a murderer of creativity. But following an ideal routine is beneficial for doing your office work. It helps employees to stay productive and motivated.
A consistent morning routine will assist you in distinguishing between your business and personal lives.
This may seem obvious, but creating a morning schedule for heading to work will help you prepare to be ready for the day ahead.
You should try to shower, dress, put on makeup, or do anything else you need to feel work-ready, even if your desk is only a few feet away from your bed.
These seemingly insignificant actions will allow you to psychologically prepare to focus on your work.
ii. Plan a schedule
You will have trouble scheduling your work without the actual in-office working environment. But, on the other hand, you will have a lot of freedom to work things around and have many responsibilities at remote locations.
Research shows that a shorter and heavy workday is more productive than a longer and light workday.
You have to figure out when you’re most alert, productive, and watchful. This will help you to make extract the best time for working hard. Such hours are when the brain is efficient.
This schedule should be flexible enough to accommodate unexpected commitments and situations. It helps you keep to what works best for your needs and strengths to be more productive and meet deadlines.
2. Get your priorities straight
It’s challenging to prioritize things and arrange your workflow when you don’t have the framework of a regular office.
i. Maintain self-discipline
There is no general solution for organizational skills, so you’ll have to figure out what works the best for you. However, to-do lists can be really useful.
Whatever you choose, keep in touch with your team members, and plan your day around your goals.
It’s just as crucial to know when to stop as it is to know how to move forward. When you work from home, you’ll never be bored.
Stop working when your office’s working hours are over, and you’ve made progress on your to-do list. But, of course, everyone needs a little additional motivation to accomplish a task now and then.
ii. Stay away from distractions
Make every effort to get the most out of your working hours. Remote work is less distracting than working in an office because there are no scheduled meetings, coffee breaks, or unexpected talks with coworkers.
However, being alone in front of your computer all day doesn’t mean you can’t get sidetracked. Recognize when you’re becoming distracted and devise strategies for dealing with it.
Tasks such as grocery shopping, surfing the internet, or reading an article should be written down and completed after work.
Look into programs that can assist in focusing on your work. For example, white or ambient noise players can help you tune out the world and enhance your focus on work. Also, productivity timers that complement the Pomodoro technique can help you get things done.
3. Choose the right equipment and tools
Working remotely from home does not have to entail leaning your laptop on the edge of your coffee table. Instead, having the appropriate tools on your side might help you increase your work productivity.
i. Get the necessary equipment
It’s worth investing in the proper equipment because your workstation is where you spend most of the time. In addition, a comfortable chair will allow you to focus on your work rather than your painful lower back.
You should place your computer screen at eye level with your back properly supported and straight. A standing desk can be better if you don’t like sitting for long periods. It’s excellent for your back and keeps you awake to alternate between standing and sitting.
Your workspace should be relaxing, well-organized, and productive. Don’t keep any more than you need. This entails keeping your workspace clear and taking frequent breaks.
ii. Select your right tools
If you work from home, your computer is your major tool. Not only do you utilize it to do assigned tasks, but it’s also your primary means of communication with your coworkers and supervisor.
Much cloud-based software can aid remote teams like virtual cloud phone systems, productivity tools, task management tools, and information sharing.
4. Set predefined boundaries
Getting lost track of time while working at home is a common problem people face. To avoid this scenario, it’s critical to strike a healthy work-life balance.
i. Get a separate area for work
It will be considerably more difficult to enter into a work mentality if you are working on your couch or bed as these are spaces designed for relaxation.
Although not everyone can benefit from having a home office, it is critical to designate a spot in your home as your workspace. This will make it easier to distinguish between work and home modes.
The ability to walk away from your workstation when you need a break or when the day is done allows you to symbolically and mentally leave work behind.
ii. Get a break
You must put your work aside while taking a break or doing your home responsibilities. Make sure to put your communication devices in do not disturb mode and proceed to clock out after your full day of work on a professional level.
This will gradually but firmly divide the two parts of your schedule, one for work and one for remote location.
You should balance your work life and personal life by allocating the right amount of time. You’ll have a more challenging time relaxing and getting work done if the boundary between them blurs.
5. Focus on self-care
While working remotely, it’s critical to look after oneself, which typically entails keeping track of your energy levels. Employees are less likely to take sick days and prefer to work through their discomfort.
While this is good for businesses and it’s a credit to the commitment of employees. But working alone can cause you to ignore your own body’s warnings. That’s a quick way to burn out. Self-care is vital to keep yourself productive but in a more indirect way.
i. Exercise your body
Everyone benefits from regular physical activity. Employees need to do more exercise at home than they do at work. Don’t be afraid to stretch and work out for fifteen minutes during a break.
ii. Get proper sleep
A snooze in the middle of the day can significantly boost your productivity and fitness levels. A proper sleep refreshes you rather than makes you drowsy that’s why you should schedule one in your routine. Sometimes power nap is a good energy boost if you are feeling lazy.
iii. Roam outside
Working remotely can lead you to stay in your house for a long time which is not a good thing. You need to go outside to get fresh air and sunlight. This is good for your health but also assists you in clearing your mind.
Spending the entire day in front of a screen, especially if you’re working on a challenging assignment.
Having plants in your house can be a good solution if you cannot go outside too much. A little greenery can boost your mood as well as your productivity.