As more jobs move online, it is becoming more common for employers to hire remote employees. But the concept of working from home can be a significant adjustment for many people. If you’re interested in exploring the possibility of working remotely or have already begun the journey and are looking for tips to keep your productivity high and your work-life balance on track, this article is for you.
Five tips for stay productive when working remotely
One of the biggest trends in the workplace today is the office-less office. Now almost everyone is working remotely, but it can be challenging to stay productive.
Communicate with your team. When you’re working remotely, it’s easy to feel isolated and lonely. You’ll need to have meaningful conversations with your coworkers. Establish a direct line of communication with them throughout the workday so they know when you’re available. Your team will thank you for this.
Schedule defined time each day to work on side projects. A typical workday might start the same way you would in the office — with a morning meeting to brief your coworkers and discuss the day’s tasks. However, after the meeting, you’ll spend a few minutes consulting the computer or your smartphone.
In this time, you can tackle projects that interest you. You might make a list for tomorrow’s meeting or show off a new side project you’ve been working on. It would help if you tried to arrange these hours around when your coworkers and supervisors are available and try to keep them to a minimum.
Schedule time to read and write. In the workday, you’ll spend a lot of time working and thinking. Suppose a project you’re working on requires additional research or clear instructions? Spend a few minutes researching and writing a high-quality outline for the rest of the day. Using notes, messages, or a notebook can help you keep everything in order and avoid lengthy explanations at the end of meetings.
Follow three steps to stay organized: Pull out your notebook and make a list of everything that needs to get done. Keep all your important documents, like invoices, tax forms, and contracts, in one place. Assemble your task list for the following day.
Finally, sort all your to-do lists into one big pile put them in an envelope, and throw away the rest.
1Establish a working routine
Make a plan and stick to it. My wife works from home as an insurance agent, but I have to commute to work in a 15-minute drive-time drive. That awkward five-minute walk in the morning can feel like an eternity, so planning my activities around my wife’s work schedule helps.
I also like to focus on my first drafts before bed. I pepper those hours with services I’d personally benefit from, such as savoring a pint at the pub, curling up with a good book in bed, or catching up with a friend.
Marathons are a popular way to stretch your legs and boost your mental health too. Volunteering and other community service activities such as food collection can also give you a more fulfilling work experience.
Studies have found that people with regular and intense work schedules enjoy more rest and mental health. So if your job keeps you up all night, prioritizing rest and keeping an eye on your wellbeing can go a long way. I started my workday on a later shift to allow me more leisure time, and later in the week, I work with a colleague on a podcast about mental health.
Working with my wife allows me to build relationship-based projects and creative outlets outside of work. As an insurance agent, my job involves using technology to complete my work, so I often spend time with my partner, creating websites, designing models for skincare, and writing. The creativity of those amiable hours gives my weekend the green light, and I look forward to those ideas flowing into my work.
2Develop a communication strategy
It can be challenging to keep in touch with your colleagues when you’re not in the office, but there are some simple things to do to make sure you’re all on the same page.
- Whether you work remotely from home or work from home part-time, it’s essential to set boundaries with your colleagues. It can help clarify who has the right to break your productivity bubble and who has it covered and also keep you accountable if someone should step over the line.
- Setting boundaries early on can also help avoid annoying arguments later on, without you having to repeat yourself endlessly. Communicating and setting boundaries with your colleagues, even with family members, is an excellent way to ensure consistency in your performances.
- Setting boundaries with colleagues work in both situations. But it’s important to refine this with each addition since it might not always be relevant in your particular case.
- Having a system to check in and check off the tasks you need to do each day can make managing your to-do list much more accessible.
- It’s also important to know if work is a priority for you and who and its focus. As a flexible person, there will be times in which working for a day means nothing more than brushing your teeth and eating a few nutritious snacks.
- So a day off won’t create a huge problem. It might help — but understanding how much importance you need to attach to specific tasks and activities can help adjust your daily routine. The same goes for taking time off, even for a few days.
- It comes down to your priorities. If you know when you need to be at work and know how important your job is, then setting boundaries with your colleagues can be easy.
3Focus on your personal needs to stay happy
It would help if you focused on your personal needs to stay happy, healthy, and balanced. Whether it’s a hobby that enables you to relax, a workout routine, or a weekly massage, you need to know what will help you have a healthy body and a healthy mind. Remote working isn’t for everyone.
The environment you work in will affect how you feel, and as a result, how well you produce. It may feel hard at first, but you have to remember that remote working isn’t changing your life in a significant way if it doesn’t help your productivity in the long run.
To be productive in a remote environment, you have to make sure your local work fits your free time.
4More substantial or more productive than others
If you’re open to making these changes and commit to them at all times, you will be successful in no time. Besides, you may not even realize that you’re productive at all. You may find it hard to get started because you don’t have too much time to spare. But don’t give up if you don’t have the same results you used to have. Take it day by day, and keep those habits intact. You will achieve more if you start committing to those small changes.
Even if you have to adjust your day to fit working remotely into your work schedule, it doesn’t mean you can’t have as much fun at work as you did before. You’re not replacing everything in your life, meaning that you have other things going on in your life too. Please don’t ignore them! When you’re working remotely, you can have career nights, spend some time with friends and family and still be productive.
To keep things exciting, make sure that you do something you love that you always wanted to do. You can work on a side-hustle or a regular side business. Think outside the box, even if it sounds crazy.
5Create a workspace that inspires you to do best
Your workspace can have a significant effect on your productivity and creativity.
Here are some tips for creating a workspace that inspires you to do your best work:
- Your home office is crucial to your productivity. For most, it’s also where you do the lion’s share of your work, including writing, researching, and presenting. And if you don’t already possess an office, one of the benefits of remote working is that you can build one yourself.
- It would be best if you had no extra equipment or space. All you need is a quiet space, an open-door policy, and a task or project you’re interested in working on.
- Setting a few rules (like double-sided sticky notes) helps you stay organized, and the added personal touch can help you maintain clarity in your work. And if you’re outsourcing your writing (which is a good idea if you’re looking for a more significant pay raise), having a permanent, well-lit desk setup can make your work feel more productive.
Working from home gives you a certain freedom to pursue fun projects — or side projects — without distractions or consequences. Working in a location with low light can also lighten your load. But a perfectly dark room isn’t up to par with the peaceful state of mind you get from working in a cozy, well-lit space. A dimmer can be costly, so consider getting a portable one if you work from home.