Regardless of what some people believe, remote work isn’t a new concept. Quite the contrary, employees in all career fields have been using it for years now. However, most people are actually used to working from home once a week, once in a while, or never. But, to quote Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changin’. In recent years, remote work has exploded. And, no, it’s not because of the novel coronavirus. Working from home is now a boon employees crave.
Indeed, there was a 159% increase in remote work between 2005 and 2017. Some companies are still reluctant to let employees work from home. However, if COVID-19 proved anything, it is that remote work is possible. It became a new normal for many people around the world. Regardless of whether you’re a veteran or novice remote worker, there are times when you think that this isn’t as easy as you have thought. And you’re right. Remote work comes with unique challenges.
To help you, we’ve prepared a list of productivity tips for remote work. At the end of this article, you’ll be more efficient and successful at your everyday tasks… all while sitting in your pajamas.
With the below productivity tips for remote work, you can start conquering the industry you’re working in. Just make sure to always be at the top of your game and stay focused on your goals. Now, let’s go over those tips!
Bad internet connection. Computer or laptop malfunctioning. Children crying, dogs barking, and neighbors yelling. Honestly, this was what the first few weeks of working from home were like for most employees. But you live and learn. If you’re a veteran of this, you probably know how important it is to have an impromptu workstation in your own home. If you’re a novice, you might not be aware of this yet. Luckily for you, our productivity tips for remote work will give you a nudge in the right direction.
If you live alone, you have it easy compared to a lot of other people. You can just go and create a little workspace in your living room, bedroom, or wherever you want to. There won’t be anyone to distract you… except for your mobile phone perhaps. For your own sanity, it’s a must that you separate work and personal life. For instance, you can decorate one part of the room and use it for work. That way, when your shift ends, you’ll feel like you weren’t working from home at all.
On the other hand, if you live with your family, it’s not always possible to have a home office. In this case, discuss with them what your best option is. Where can you work without any interruption? Select the area you just thought of. Of course, you can always put an “at work, don’t disturb” sign. This can show that interruptions aren’t welcome and that you need to work. Let’s go over our other productivity tips for remote work!
You’re not in the office anymore which means your structure is completely messed up. You now face the difficult task of creating your own schedule. Yes, you’ll have more freedom. But, with great freedom comes great responsibility. In this case, your responsibility is to plan your working day to be as productive as possible.
Furthermore, you should figure out when you’re most awake, focused, and creative during working hours. This will allow you to make the most of your day. You’ll crush it when your brain is the most efficient, and then rest when you need to. Of course, your schedule should be flexible enough to allow for unexpected obligations and emergencies. But to be more productive, you need to always stay on top of your deadlines.
Another “problem” remote workers face are friends and family thinking they have more free time because they’re at home. Sometimes your parents approach you while you’re in the middle of something, asking if you can go to the store. They see you sitting there with your laptop, but they think you’re not really working. If they were to see you in an office, you’d look like a diligent employee to them.
To avoid this situation, you can always inform your family and friends of your working hours. With this information, they’ll be more likely to respect your work time.
The ugly truth is that we all face distractions, even if we’re working from home. There’s always something or someone that may distract us. With so many emails, notifications, conversations, and tasks, it can often feel like it’s difficult to stay productive. After all, when we’re distracted, our productivity and low energy take a nosedive. During this time, we can’t really focus on our work tasks long enough to complete them.
So, our next productivity tip for remote work is this – minimize distractions. Around 70% of employees are distracted at work. And if you’re wondering, here’s what distracts the modern worker the most:
Just think about your day. If you analyze it, you can also blame these culprits for your low productivity. But how can you reduce their influence on you? Easy, by turning your notifications off. In this way, you’ll focus on an important task without getting interrupted with an app.
You can also come up with a plan. For instance, you might decide that you can check your emails only four times per day. So, open your email client every two hours and go over any new message you might have. If you control your devices instead of them controlling you, you can minimize distractions and maximize productivity. And don’t forget, a productive employee goes a long way.
Communication is key for any work arrangement, especially for remote work. In this setting, you’re not face-to-face with your colleagues and you can’t get their opinion on the spot. You’re basically building an online relationship with them. Thanks to a variety of software and tools, businesses can easily keep in touch with their employees. You just need apps like Zoom and you’ll be in the middle of a video chat before you know it.
Whichever app your employer chooses, make sure to use it as much as possible. If you’re unsure about a task or anything else, send a quick message and ask for clarification. Without a direct and open communication, you can’t do your job right. For example, let’s say that you’re stuck and can’t complete your task because of unclear instructions. You have to options:
Which scenario increases and which decreases productivity? We think that’s clear enough. Our point is – communicate, communicate, communicate. This is a crucial productivity tip for remote work. If you don’t follow it, you might need longer to complete a task than usual. That’s why you shouldn’t be reluctant to ask questions and learn from your colleagues. Make conference calls your allies!
We bet that some of you didn’t expect this to be a productivity tip for remote work. But this is perhaps the most important one on the list. Sometimes, it’s easy to just get lost in your work. You finish one task, move on to the second and third, and before you know it, it’s time to log out. Although this is commendable, it’s not something you should do all the time. You need a break to unwind during the daily grind.
What’s more, it can be tempting to think you’re being more productive by spending more time in front of a computer. However, without any break, you can become slower and distracted. So, you should take small breaks to stretch, grab a snack, or chat with your friends. You’ll recharge your batteries and be more focused for your tasks!
We’ll end our article on productivity tips for remote work with some hard facts about this arrangement.
Love it or hate it, remote work is here to stay. If you want our two cents, you should lean towards the former sentiment. Why? Because employees want flexibility. No one likes being stuck in traffic when they can sit at home and work. In fact, 80% of Americans say that they would turn down a job if an employer didn’t offer flexible working. So, to attract new talent, look at remote work as your wingman that knows how to pull people towards you.
What’s more, the possibility to work remotely will be beneficial for your business. Namely, 85% of companies report an increase in productivity because of flexibility. In addition to that, 90% of employees say that remote work would boost their morale.
And if your workers’ job satisfaction is decreasing, try to lift their spirits by offering flexible working. If you do, they will be 57% more likely to love their jobs.
These figures prove that remote work is the future. And if you want to keep up with the times, offer remote work! For now, check what the future of remote work will look like here.