How to stay productive while working remotely
Reduced infrastructure cost, access to best talent, responsible and productive workforce is making more and more companies adopt remote work options in recent years.
Almost all of the working Americans would like to work remotely at least part-time. Many of them expect to work remotely instead of commute to an office every day.
When you carry your work with you all the time, it’s only you who can find ways to maintain work-life balance.
As a remote worker, how'd you make sure you're being productive without burning out at work? Here are the answers -
Fixed work schedule everyday
Remote work allows you to work whenever and wherever you want. However without advance planning, working remotely can quickly become unproductive. Without a to-do list, at the end of the day, you may not achieve much.
Plan your day well in advance. Have a fixed schedule. The schedule can be like - waking up, exercise, getting ready, having breakfast and walking to your dedicated desk.
Make sure you start your work on the same time everyday, just the way you travel to office and start working at 9 am.
Make a list of everyday tasks and prioritize those. Use time tracking app to record time spent on various tasks and analyze productivity. Work on the important tasks in the morning when you are fresh and active. Less important or no-brainier tasks can be completed during less productive work hours.
A dedicated desk
Working at a dedicated desk makes you feel responsible and work effectively.
Have a dedicated desk which is clean, clutter-free, distraction-free and personalized. Some people prefer to work in noisy or crowded places but some need complete silence and isolation. You need to figure out what works best for you and set up a work environment that suits your persona.
Even then sometimes you'll need to adjust with surrounding noise / silence. If there is unwanted noise around you, use earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to help you make yourself feel isolated. If you work better with background noise, try ambient noise generators like Noisli or Coffitivity. These apps play usual ambient sounds to make you feel as if you're working in a coffee shop or co-working space
You keep re-reading the lines in a book for no reason at all. Have you ever experienced this? What do you think you'd do? Yes. Take a break!
You need a break to be back on track. Studies show that taking regular breaks increased worker productivity by almost 11%.
It is equally applicable when you're working remotely. You may get lost in your work many times. You will keep working hard but will not accomplish anything. This is an indication that you need a short break. Get up and have a coffee, take a walk around the house, have a chat with your neighbor. Just make sure it is short and you're back at your desk in scheduled time.
Communicate and collaborate
A good team member is also a good communicator & collaborator, be it in-office or working remotely.
But for successful & productive remote work, communication and collaboration is the key. It becomes hard to understand what each team member is working on and if he /she is being sincere when you don't see each other everyday. To make things clear and transparent, communicate with your team more often. Also to understand the task completely, ask as many questions as you can.
There are many remote work tools available which can help to make collaboration easier. Have a daily meeting to discuss previous and current day's tasks, if any team member has any issues or suggestions. These meetings can also include general, personal, fun discussions to build a bond between team members.
Sign-out on time
Last but not the least, make sure you sign out from work at fixed time.
It’s always tempting to work late hours when you always carry your work with you. Working more hours leads to burnout. To collect the energy for the next work day, it is essential to go away from your work and do other things that you enjoy.
Spend some time with family and friends, cultivate a hobby, visit nearby places. This will make you feel motivated and productive when you start your scheduled work at your dedicated desk the next day.
Vaishali Badgujar is a digital marketer at Time Doctor, a SaaS time tracking & productivity tool for companies & freelancers. She is an inbound marketing expert & specializes in SEO.