How to Be More Productive When Working Remotely
Working from home is a privilege and benefit many employees want. Some employees would even choose remote working over a pay raise. While the opportunity to work from home supports better work-life balance and comes with many advantages, it is important you remain productive and efficient as an employee.
We’ve put together five tips how to be more productive when working remotely so you can be a successful remote employee.
1. Structure Your Day & Keep a Tight Schedule
You should treat working from home just like you would if you were working in the office, except you get to skip the traffic and commute.
Set a time for you will log on each day and log off, try to stick to your schedule as often as you can. Find times to schedule breaks throughout your day, it is easy to get caught up working on a project with a strict deadline but taking breaks can actually make you more productive.
Adding structure to your day can help you stay on task while working from home. Find a system that works for you, but blocking time off on your calendar can help you keep on track. Or assigning yourself tasks that you want to complete before a certain time can also help keep you on a schedule.
2. Set Up a Workspace Dedicated to Only Work
Having a dedicated office space allows you to keep your personal and professional environments separate. Make sure you have all the office supplies you’ll need in your office space so you aren’t constantly looking for pens, notebooks, or other supplies.
You also don’t want to pick a space a lot of people (like family members or children) will be walking through while you are trying to work. These kinds of distractions can actually be stressful. On the other hand, working in an area you normally spend time relaxing can bring stress into your personal life. Try to keep your areas separate or compartmentalized.
3. Free Yourself From Distractions
Distractions come in all shapes and sizes. Pets, children, and visitor interruptions can affect your ability to stay focused and be productive.
Here are three simple ways to stop distractions:
- Minimize the dings
Close your inbox and silence your cell phone. Nothing is more tempting than checking the email notification you just got, but wait until you are ready to change your focus.
- Close all of those extra browsers or tabs you have open
I’m guilty of this too. Unless the tab relates to the task you are working on, close it. Too reluctant to close it? Try minimizing it for later.
- Tell your co-workers you are in focus mode
Let others know you would prefer only to be interrupted for urgent issues and to reach you by phone. You might be surprised at how well this works.
I know music is something that helps me focus when writing, so go ahead, put on your favorite Pandora or Spotify channel and get in the productive zone.
4. Stay Connected With the Office & Other Employees
Using tools like virtual meeting rooms to stay connected or communicating with co-workers over the phone, chat, and email often can build a stronger team dynamic. Staying connected means staying aligned, so you’ll want to make sure the work you are doing is still in line with your team’s goal. Because you won’t have the opportunity to walk over to your colleagues’ desk, you need to get comfortable with other forms of communication and learn which are best for different kinds of conversations.
It is also easy to feel isolated when working from home. Keeping a strong and consistent relationship with your manager and co-workers will keep you more engaged with your work.
5. “Be Your Own Boss” to Keep Yourself Motivated
This can be challenging, but it is a great way stay productive and engaged while working from home. Hold yourself accountable as if your manager was across the room from you. Motivate yourself by acknowledging what you have accomplished from your task list or if you have proactively started working on a project that may not have been on your to-do list.
It’s easy to want to skip out on working when no one is watching, but it’s important to keep motivated and do the right thing as an employee.
While working from home is great (I am writing this in my home office), it may not be for everyone. It’s important to be self-aware and know what works best for you to be productive while remote working. Check out our SlideShare on how you can build a successful remote workforce by having the right people, tools, and culture to support it.