20 Tips for Working Remotely and Staying Productive
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Importance of productivity strategies when you’re working from homeIn remote work everything is great, from the opportunity to sleep a little longer, to flexible hours and a comfortable environment. Only one thing is bad: you have indeed to work. How to organize your home office and plan your day so that working home doesn’t become a waste of time? In fact, opening a laptop in the living room is not enough to work from home. There are many challenges to overcome. In many cases, working remotely turns into a test of your ability to manage yourself. Here are some main difficulties you may encounter and how to cope with them. The main problem that will arise in front of you when you start working at home is yourself. You need to force yourself to tune in to productive behavior. The very thought of labor discipline disappears if there is no supervisor behind the shoulder. There are, of course, people who do not care whether they are controlled at their work or not. But this is a fantastic ability, and most of us need help and some time management tips. It will not work to constantly shirk from work while sitting at home. If you are one of the remote employees, then the boss will notice your flaws and either force you to return to the office or fire you. And if you are the boss yourself, you will suffer for various reasons, from shame for your behavior to the collapse of your company. When you work from home, you need to stick to your responsibilities. And for this you need to set boundaries.
20 Tips to stay productive while working from homeRemote work has become quite popular lately, especially now under quarantine conditions. Those who think that working home is as easy as shelling pears are deeply mistaken. Remote work has its drawbacks that remote employees face, first of all, it is a decrease in productivity. Here are some simple tips how to work from home as proactive as possible. With the help of them, you can set yourself up for the workflow and get rid of the factors that constantly distract you. Remote work can be efficient and even more productive than from the office if you try hard for it. How to do this?
Keep your morning routineIf your working day at the office began at 9 am, then you should follow your schedule. After all, the quarantine will end and you will again need to go to the office for a certain time. Therefore, you should not break your biological schedule, but rather stick to a specific time. Work in your usual rhythm to maintain habit. Don’t wake up a minute before the start of your work day. Exercise, shower, breakfast will help you stay in shape even when working from home. While working home does not require any dress code, it is still a good way to differentiate between your home and work hours. Find comfortable casual clothing that you will use for work at home. It will also help you get in the mood for work.
Maintain Regular HoursOne of the most beautiful things of working home is that you can define your own work schedule and no one will reprimand you for being late. However, do not be tempted to delay the working day for another hour. This can seriously affect your productivity. Try to be clear about when you will sit down at the table and what time to finish work.
Set Rules With the People in Your SpaceSet limits for others to save your relationship. Explain to friends, family, and acquaintances that the days you work from home are not free time and are therefore not meant for outside activities. For example, if you are staying at home with your husband or wife, say, “Today I plan to work from 8 am to 5 pm. We can chat over lunch, but the rest of the time I’ll be busy”. If you make a promise and keep it (for example, you actually stop working at 5 pm), people tend to understand the limits and don’t think you are consistently available.
Schedule BreaksRegular short breaks will help you recover quickly. During the break, it is better to switch to another type of activity, for example, do exercises, cook lunch, walk outside. Switching this way will help you get things done faster and more productively. In order not to forget about breaks, set yourself reminders. They are really effective, especially if you are very passionate about the work process and forget to get up every hour for a short break. Take a big hour break once a day, which you can use to get a quick coffee with friends or just walk and stretch. This will help you regain strength and distract yourself.
Structure your day like you would in the officeTreat working home the same way you would treat a regular day at the workplace. When working home, people often make the same mistake changing their regular schedule. In fact, you should start your remote work day, for example, at 9:00 (as it usually happens in your office), and finish at the same time as you always finish. This will allow you to organize your work time and also determine when to complete the work. Be your own manager and monitor your activity, set tasks. Use calendar to schedule your day not to miss anything important. Motivate yourself with small gifts and be honest to yourself.
Choose a dedicated work space.Even if you do not have the opportunity to allocate a separate room for a work, organize yourself a small workspace. A regular desktop is enough where you can store your work materials. The main thing is that it is a place that is associated with work. So you can more easily and quickly tune in to the working mood. Keep the workplace clean and tidy. This is another way to discipline yourself and stay focused, even though a cluttered desk won’t cause sidelong glances from your colleagues.
Leave HomeDon’t sit within four walls! If you feel like you need a change of scenery, head to the nearest café or park, or co-working. Nowadays, there are points with free Wi-Fi everywhere that will help you stay connected to the job, and such changes will only benefit you and make your work more productive. In addition, changing the environment will help you come up with creative ideas and non-standard solutions. At least, go for a 15-minute walk to breathe and produce vitamin D. It will give you some additional energy and help to reboot your mind. Just do not forget to maintain social distance during Covid-19 lockdown.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask for What You NeedIf your work duties require special equipment to be fulfilled you have an absolute right to ask your employer for it. You are allowed to request necessary materials, maybe even computer, technologies, tools, software etc. Inform your organization as soon as possible to provide you with everything you really need to perform your job. Be assertive, but rational, maybe asking for a perfect chair is a little bit too much.
Commit to doing more.We are usually aware that projects will take longer to complete than expected. However, we need to be ready to set more tasks for a day. This way, even if we finish only part of them it is going to be more accomplishments than it could be originally without high standards.
Use time management techniquesIt is a wonderful working from home advice to search for extra assistance for your productivity using different time management tips and methods. You may simply apply Pomodoro method to your work routine or find another option suitable for you. Install app, if you need something automated to monitor your activity.
Use productivity appsTo do this, you will be helped by special programs that can monitor the time spent and the progress of the tasks that you have completed. If you adhere to this advice, then no TV show in the next tab will be able to distract you on the way to completing the task.
Eat lunch at the same timeDo not torture your stomach. Nobody canceled lunch according to the schedule. Even if you start working home, leave for lunch at a specific time. During lunch, you can not only eat to gain strength, but also do a few distractions from the main routine, for example, clean up.
Schedule face time with colleaguesAgree with colleagues about the main communication channels. So you can always be in touch promptly. Install the necessary operating software on your smartphone or tablet. This will help you stay online even when there is no internet connection at home or PC problems. Despite the fact that modern technology provides many opportunities for communication, do not forget about live communication. Schedule personal meetings with colleagues, friends, or work partners at least a few times a week.
Ask for regular feedbackWorking remotely, management and team members usually have a harder time assessing remote employees` performance. Therefore, constantly share your successes with colleagues, and information about the progress of work with management. It will create the right and encouraging working environment and help employers to see what is going on. And you can also quickly receive priority instructions and additional information on the tasks being performed, if the situation requires it, this is also very useful.
“Show Up” to Meetings and Be HeardSocialize with your colleagues professionally at least to be familiar with those who you work with. Sometimes messaging is not enough and there I need for video- or teleconferencing. During attendance of such meetings speak up and share your thoughts, and listen to others. Be positive and polite not to be misunderstood by your coworkers. But do not let this kind of communication to become a distraction using it too often.
Take Sick DaysIf your company gives you a social package including sick leaves, do not hesitate to use it. Do not try to compensate missed opportunities while you are ill. This kind of sacrifice is a bad idea. Just contact your manager about your sickness, rest and get better. It will positively affect your overall productivity and help to avoid burning out.
Look for Training OpportunitiesLearn something new for at least 30 minutes a day. We must not allow the atrophy of professional skills development, now is rather about time to acquire new ones. Courses, webinars, intensives, podcasts, books, articles, or other tools will help to boost your competence. Ask your employer for opportunities he can offer your, e.g. online courses, seminars.
Work when you’re at your most productiveDo not stretch your workday from early morning until late at night. Find the best period of the day for yourself that best matches your internal clock. At the same time, try to keep the duration of your daily work no longer than the usual 8-hour day for office work. Remote work is ideal if you have a very busy lifestyle. Take advantage of the benefits of working home: go to the gym at a time that suits you or take a walk. Do not force yourself to think that you have to sit all day without leaving your apartment. A little distraction will allow you to shift your focus, rest, and get to work even more energetic.
Plan out what you’ll be working on ahead of timeWorking home offers more schedule flexibility than working in the office. Of course, this is a huge advantage of working remotely. Despite this, it is very important to create a schedule for yourself and stick to it so that working home is as efficient as possible. A to-do list is a good way to reduce distractions and stay on schedule. Do not forget that when you work from home, you are the one responsible for organizing your working day. By spending a few minutes in advance, you can rationally distribute your tasks and get more done.
Pick a definitive finishing time each dayDon’t stay up late if your work day is over. Give yourself a break and switch to other things. The same goes for the weekend. On weekends, you need to do other things, and not check work mail or instant messengers. Often the best results are obtained suddenly, and this requires a reboot, that is, a good rest. Don’t return to work when you’ve finished your day. Even if you have a great idea, it’s best to write it down in a notebook and put it off until the next day.
Final thoughtsWhen your business switches to working remotely, don’t despair. You can also work efficiently and productively from home, all you need to do is remove distractions, set up your workplace and understand that this way you can do even more, and you have additional time for yourself and your family. There some extra tips working from home may need:
- Figure out what working at home tips are the best for you;
- Be disciplined but not too strict to yourself;
- Use advantages of work-from-home style to find time for your hobbies and friends to preserve work-life balance;
- Always communicate your needs and work progress with your employer.