The world of work has undergone a significant transformation over the last few decades. Technology, globalization, and a shift in employee preferences have led to the rise of remote work. Remote work, also known as telecommuting or teleworking, is a style of work that allows employees to work from any location, providing they have a stable internet connection. According to a study by FlexJobs, the number of remote workers in the US increased by 159 percent between 2005 and 2017.
Remote work brings many benefits to employees and employers alike. Employees enjoy increased flexibility, autonomy, and work-life balance, while employers have access to a broader talent pool, reduced overhead costs, and increased productivity. However, for remote work to be successful, productivity must remain high.
In a remote work environment, employees are responsible for managing their productivity levels without the traditional structures and support systems of an in-office setting. In this article, we delve into the proven secrets of productivity in remote work, and how employees can manage their productivity and performance while working remotely.
Define your workspace
One of the biggest advantages of remote work is the freedom to work from any location. However, this freedom can pose a challenge for productivity. When working from home, it is essential to establish a workspace that is conducive to productivity and focused work. This space should be free from distractions such as pets, family members, or roommates, and it should be comfortable and well-lit.
Remote workers can opt for a small office space or a corner in their home, which they can transform into their workspace. The workspace should have all the necessary equipment, including a desk, a comfortable chair, a stable internet connection, and a computer. It should also be well-organized, with minimal clutter and distractions.
Establish a routine
Remote work offers employees increased flexibility over their work schedules. While this flexibility is beneficial, it is important for workers to establish a routine to maintain discipline and productivity. Establishing a routine provides structure and reduces decision fatigue, which can be a productivity killer.
Remote employees should create a schedule that works for them, taking into consideration the time zones of their coworkers and clients. A typical work routine may involve starting work at a set time, taking a lunch break, and finishing work at a specific time each day. A well-planned routine allows remote workers to balance work and family obligations and ensures they have time for exercise and relaxation.
Multitasking has long been considered a productivity booster, and many people believe it enables them to get more done in less time. However, studies have shown that multitasking is not an efficient way of working. Multitasking reduces productivity by up to 40 percent, and it can cause stress and burnout.
Remote workers should focus on one task at a time and complete it before moving on to the next one. The Pomodoro technique is an excellent productivity tool that can help remote workers manage their time effectively. The technique involves breaking work into 25-minute intervals, followed by a five-minute break. After four cycles, there is a more extended break. The technique helps to increase focus and decrease distractions.
Communication is the key to success in remote work. Unlike in-office settings where employees can easily communicate with their coworkers, remote work can be isolating, and it makes it difficult for employees to stay connected with the rest of the team. Effective communication is essential for remote workers to feel like they are part of a team.
Remote workers should use video conferencing, email, and instant messaging to stay in touch with their coworkers, clients, and stakeholders. Workers should set expectations around response times and working hours to avoid conflicts and ensure there is clear communication across the team.
Taking frequent breaks is essential for remote workers to maintain productivity and mental health. Breaks help to relieve stress, reduce eye strain, and improve creativity. Taking short, regular breaks throughout the day can help remote workers to stay focused and refresh their minds.
Remote workers should take regular stretch breaks, walk around, or have a coffee. It is important to avoid long hours of sitting or working without breaks, as this can lead to burnout and reduced productivity.
Remote work can be disorienting without the traditional support systems offered in an in-office setting. To manage their workload, remote workers must have excellent organizational skills and use productivity tools. Remote workers need to stay on top of deadlines, meetings, and deliverables by setting reminders and using notifications.
Using project management software can help remote workers to track project progress, collaborate with team members, and monitor priorities. Online calendars, to-do lists, and note-taking applications are essential tools for managing workflows and staying organized.
Remote work can be isolating, which can make it hard for employees to focus and stay motivated. Remote workers must find ways to stay connected with their team and the company’s purpose. Setting goals that align with their professional and personal growth is critical for staying motivated.
Remote workers should celebrate milestones and achievements, no matter how small. It is also essential to stay connected with the team and participate in virtual social events and group discussions. Regular check-ins with their managers or mentors can help remote workers stay motivated and accountable to their goals.
Remote work offers employees increased flexibility, autonomy, and work-life balance. However, to be successful in remote work, employees must be productive in managing their productivity, performance, and mental health. Adopting these proven secrets of productivity in remote work, including defining their workspace, establishing a routine, avoiding multitasking, communicating effectively, taking breaks, staying organized, and staying motivated, can help remote workers succeed in their work and personal lives.