The world we live in has transformed significantly in the last decade. One of these changes is in the ways and places that professionals work. Remote working is not solely restricted to freelancers or entrepreneurs anymore, big corporations and organizations have now begun allowing employees to work remotely for either some part of the week or completely.
Remote work comes with its own set of unique challenges. One of the major challenges that many face is in maintaining their productivity levels while working from home or from a remote location. Remote work can be distracting or even unmotivating, but it does not have to be that way. In this long-form blog post, we will provide expert tips on how to boost productivity while working remotely.
Set Clear Boundaries
When working remotely, it is important to set boundaries between your professional and personal life. It is common for remote workers to struggle in finding a balance between these two domains. You should set clear guidelines on when your workday begins and ends, and communicate them with your colleagues and clients. Make an effort in sticking to these boundaries for instance, by not answering work-related emails or calls during times that you have set aside for personal life.
By creating these boundaries, you can better manage your work and personal life, reduce stress, and stay focused while working remotely.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
Creating a dedicated workspace will aid in improving your productivity levels while you work remotely. It is crucial to select a designated area for your work to eliminate any distractions and interruptions. A good workspace should be quiet and well-lit, with a comfortable chair and desk. Maintaining ergonomics is also important to prevent physical distractors such as back pain or eye strain.
Keep your workspace tidy, organized, and free from anything that can distract you. You should add any equipment or stationery that would be required to complete your tasks so that you don’t have to divert your attention to other parts of your home for these things.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Remote work requires a strong reliance on technology. It’s crucial to keep up with advancements in technology and make use of the tools available to make your work more efficient. Utilize project management or team collaboration tools like Trello or Slack to coordinate, communicate, and streamline tasks.
Make sure to optimize the tech tools you have in place. For instance, if you are on conference calls most of your day, invest in a good noise-canceling microphone or earphones. Take time to research and try out different productivity apps, project management software, or collaboration tools to figure out what works best for your work.
It is easy to become overwhelmed with work when remote working, leading to a rather long to-do list. Hence, you need to prioritize your tasks to manage your time better. Prioritizing also helps you focus on what is truly important, thus boosting productivity.
Effective prioritization begins by setting specific goals for yourself or with your team. Goal-setting helps define the endpoint you are working towards, making it easier to determine the steps you need to take. Then, break down your list of tasks into smaller ones and put them in order of priority. It is important to tackle tasks that are important and urgent first, and then deal with tasks that are not as urgent.
Take Regular Breaks
In a typical office environment, workers usually take regular breaks to take a walk, refill their coffee, or simply stretch their limbs. When remote working, it is easy to find oneself glued to their screen for extended hours. This would only lead to decreased productivity levels, burnout, or ultimately, health issues.
Instead, take breaks regularly. Short breaks to take a walk or stretch your legs, grab a healthy snack, or even just to take a power nap will help improve focus, increase productivity levels, and decrease the risk of burnout.
Connect with Colleagues
Having a community or team at work can be motivating and energizing. This is something that remote workers can miss out on and make them feel isolated or unmotivated. To keep up the connection with your co-workers while working remotely, you can schedule regular check-ins with colleagues or participate in online forums, interest groups, or after-work events.
It’s always a good idea to maintain good relationships with colleagues, peers, or clients. Networking can often lead to opportunities and ideas that can improve workflow, and it can help maintain a sense of motivation while working remotely.
Remote workers often work in isolation, have long work hours, and struggle to separate their personal and professional lives. All of these factors can lead to burnout, which would decrease productivity levels and overall well-being. To ensure that you are at your best, it is crucial to practice self-care activities.
Self-care activities can include meditation, exercise, maintaining hydration levels, or even just taking time off for hobbies or socializing. Maintaining optimal levels of physical and emotional health will make a drastic difference in your productivity levels and quality of life.
Set Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals is a crucial aspect of improving productivity while working remotely. You should set achievable goals, whether you are working on short-term projects or long-term objectives. Ensure these goals align with your workload and the time frames you have available to complete them.
Setting unrealistic goals can lead to increased stress levels, reduced motivation, and decreased productivity. You should break your goals down into smaller chunks and set deadlines for each. This will give you a clear idea of what needs to be done and the timeframe required to do it. Additionally, achieving smaller goals will also provide you with a sense of accomplishment, motivation, and focus required to tackle bigger tasks.
Remote work often comes with a set of unique distractions, whether it’s house chores, family members, or social media. However, managing these distractions is essential to maintain focus and increase productivity levels.
Identify common distractors and put measures in place that will help manage those distractions. This can be as simple as silencing notifications on your phone, using browser extensions that block distracting websites or working in a designated work area that is free from distractions. It is important to communicate with family members or housemates about the importance of not interrupting when working to prevent unnecessary interruptions during work hours.
Schedule Your Day
Scheduling your day is a great way to improve productivity while working remotely. Create a schedule that aligns with your personal and professional goals, and stick to it as much as possible. A well-planned schedule can help with time management, increase focus, and ensure that tasks are completed within the required time frame.
You can use a calendar application or task-management tool to schedule your day. Create a routine that includes both work and personal activities, such as exercise or taking a break for lunch. A well-planned schedule will also help you prioritize your tasks, create a sense of purpose, and keep you motivated throughout the day.
Track Your Time
Tracking your time is another effective method of improving productivity while working remotely. This involves recording the time you spend on specific tasks and projects. By doing this, you can understand how much time you need to complete specific tasks and adjust your schedule accordingly.
Time-tracking applications such as Toggl or RescueTime can help you monitor how much time you spend on specific tasks or websites throughout the day. This can help you identify any time-wasting activities, manage your workload effectively, and increase productivity levels.
Take Advantage of Flexibility
Working remotely offers a great deal of flexibility. You can choose to work during your most productive hours, take breaks as required, and manage your workload as per your preferences. Take advantage of this flexibility to increase your productivity levels.
For instance, if you are most productive during the early hours of the morning, schedule your most important tasks for that time. Similarly, if you feel that taking a break in between work helps you recharge, schedule break time during times of the day when you typically feel fatigued.
Remote work is becoming an increasingly popular option for professionals, and with it comes unique challenges. By implementing the strategies discussed above, you can overcome these challenges and boost your productivity levels. Set clear boundaries, create a dedicated workspace, use technology to your advantage, prioritize tasks, take regular breaks, connect with colleagues, practice self-care, set realistic goals, manage distractions, schedule your day, and track your time to improve productivity levels while working remotely.
Remember, creating a productive remote work environment requires discipline, commitment, and a positive mindset. By following these steps, you can master the art of productivity while working remotely and achieve success in any work you undertake.