A 2020 statistics shown by Owl Lab states that globally, 52% of employees work remotely once a week, while 68% do so at least once a month. The current number can only be imagined now, as we battle with a global epidemic that requires social distancing and an increase in working remotely. Despite the statistics on how remote work helps increase productivity, working from home is still a new concept to some. It takes effort, several trials, and errors before finding a routine that works.
Given this, I have put together these four tips for working remotely and staying productive:
1. Get an Early Start and Prioritize Your Tasks
When working remotely, it’s easy to respond to things reflexively. It makes you derail from your plans as you promptly go into problem-solving mode. You realize that you spend your day working on others’ requests and lose sight of your priorities. One way to get an early start with your tasks is to have them well organized the night before, rather than dealing with them impromptu. Understandably, a new task might come in while you are working. You can evaluate it against your planned tasks in order of priority. If a new task isn’t 100% urgent, you can schedule it later. When you find yourself sidetracking from the routine, it’s okay. You can take short brakes in between to regroup or create a morning routine that’s comfortable for you.
2. Carve Out a Dedicated Remote Work Space
Another tip on how to stay productive while working from home is to designate a private space for work. It comes with a sense of purpose and reduces the distractions from family, friends, TV, etc., to a minimum. Although we might not all have the luxury of space in our homes, you can try these ideas to help fashion out a more productive workspace with minimal distractions:
- Look for an unused corner in your home. It could be in the closet, under the stairs, or a corner of the basement.
- Spruce up space by adding simple DIY office inspired designs like wallpaper, storage containers, table and chair, wall shelves, homemade work boards, etc.
- You can also keep a few office plants nearby. They are great for helping you focus and purifying the air.
3. Maintain a Work-Life Balance
The typical remote work scenario is working odd hours; you’re always on calls, replying emails, writing reports, etc. For some, it is the need to keep busy and not feel like they are out of work. While for others, they do not know when to stop and take a breather. The resultant effect of this is that your work-life balance gets affected, and soon before long, you burn out.
Thus, it becomes essential that you set firm boundaries and stick to them. Besides having a planned schedule for your tasks, map out time in the evenings to relax and un-wine alone or with your loved ones. It could be yoga class, a run, picnic, movie, or date, find what works for you, and make it a habit to unplug yourself from work at intervals. If you have the discretion to set your work hours, you can create weekly or daily schedules to incorporate these routines.
4. Make the Best Use of Tools
The use of tools is an excellent work from home tips to be more productive. These are the platforms where you can easily connect and collaborate with anyone remotely from the comfort of your home workspace. As a highly productive remote worker, you need to have these different tools at your disposal because they can contribute to your overall work success, productivity, and delivery. Some of these tools include:
- Automation software such as ProofHub, Chimpmail, or Spark that can help you carry out repetitive tasks
- Communication and collaboration tools such as eyeson, Slack, or Google docs
- Project management tools such as Trello, Monday, or Basecamp
- Paper writing reviews sites such as Online Writer Rating
- Cloud storage tools, for example, Dropbox or Google Drive
- Productivity and time management tools like Evernote, Toggl, Doodle, etc.
Conclusion – how to thrive as a remote worker:
Remote work entails a lot of planning, time management, discipline, motivation, and self-awareness. Cultivating the right habits will not happen with a day; it’s a process of trials and errors. Using these working from home tips, you make the necessary adjustments that suit you as you work your way towards cultivating the habits that can facilitate your work