Working remotely has become inevitable during the last year and it seems like everyone has done it at some point or is still doing it. There are many perks to remote work like flexible working hours, setting your schedule and breaks, and working at your own pace but one of the biggest challenges that we can all agree on is staying productive.
Even though studies have shown that working remotely can in fact maximize productivity, it is difficult not to get distracted by our daily chores, family members, or just procrastinate until the end of the day.
We’ve put together a list of tips that you can use to stay productive while working remotely and still maintain a healthy work-life balance.
How can working remotely be beneficial?
By working remotely you can control your own work environment, allowing you to set your own workspace and hours. Whether you want to work from your kitchen counter today or head to your favorite café, you can do that.
You’re no longer obligated to the 9 to 5 shift, glued to your desk. When you have more control, you can concentrate better, organize your tasks, and will no longer experience office distractions.
This gives flexibility to employers as well, as they can save money on office electricity and utility bills with employees working from home and so they can redirect part of that budget to other aspects of their business.
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How to stay productive while working remotely?
Keep track of your working hours
It is important to know how long you’re spending on a certain task and to track the amount of work you’ve got done per day. If you don’t track your working hours and set clear goals of what you need to get done per day, you’ll eventually waste hours, even days, without accomplishing much.
Some people are night owls and are energetic at night and so can get work done better than or maybe you have kids and want to schedule your working hours before schools out.
Having a routine that you stick to, won’t just help you get more work done but it’ll also give your colleagues and boss an idea of your schedule – and so collaborating and scheduling meetings would be easier.
Using a time tracker to track your working hours will help you understand how long certain tasks take and encourage you to organize tasks or make needed changes in your schedule.
There are many tools you can check out like Toggl, ClockIn Portal, or WebWork Tracker. Toggl offers you a more visually-pleasing organizer to track tasks while WebWork takes screenshots every few minutes that you can go through later to track what consumed the most time of your day.
Create your own workspace
It is very tempting to just work from your bed, without needing to go anywhere – but that’s the worst decision you can make. Your bedroom and bed are associated with sleeping in your mind so you’ll never get any work done being too comfy.
Designate a corner in your home to be your workspace, whether it is the garage, kitchen counter, or living room. Having a go-to space for work will result in you concentrating better and lesser distractions as you work.
It’ll also be a plus if you have a lock on the door and inform your family you’re working to avoid any interruptions. Let your friends know you’re working too so you don’t get distracted by texting or phone calls.
And don’t fall into the mistake of working in your Pj’s! Even if you don’t have a zoom meeting that day, changing into a casual outfit would tell your body you’re ready to work and boost your energy.
You can also personalize your workspace to feel more relaxed, which would help you focus better – whether it’s through classical music, a scented candle, or a plant, it’ll give you positive emotions and motivate you to work.
Take regular short breaks
Working for long consecutive hours without taking a break won’t make you finish work faster, rather the opposite. You’ll lose momentum, space out between hours, and won’t get as much work done.
Instead of taking a long lunch break, try taking short breaks every few hours instead. Getting some fresh air by walking your dog or heading out for a cup of coffee can make all the difference with you.
Don’t coop yourself at home, hoping to finish work soon – because the day will end and you wouldn’t have done half of what you intended.
Taking regular breaks and going outside will reenergize you and offer clarity to your mental state. You can even just make yourself a cup of tea, sit outside and do nothing, just break out from the work mindset.
Use online tools to automate & ease tasks
Needing to discuss a project with a colleague, share a folder, or set a meeting is not something that requires you to be at the office anymore. In this digital era, through automation, you can save time and money on tasks.
Many e-commerce tasks like inventory management, sales tracking, and customer support are now automated by using online tools like a CRM or a sales tool like SalesForce or Facebook Lead Ads.
There are other collaboration tools like Google Drive and DropBox, where you can share files and folders, edit docs, and more. Other Google tools to check out; are Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets – these are all free tools that’ll help you work on tasks easier.
Marketing automation also helps increase productivity with remote workers and since it’s all online-based, you can automate social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing.
As for content marketing, there are many SEO tools like Google Ads and Mangools that can help you optimize your blog posts and marketing campaigns as well as using editing tools for content checks.
Over 49% of companies worldwide use automation in their daily tasks; don’t waste your time on the small things and focus on getting core tasks done.
Don’t stop socializing
When you work remotely, it is very easy to feel isolated and disconnected from the outside world. Spending long hours at your computer and by yourself isn’t good for your mental health or productivity.
Socializing will encourage collaboration which will help you get things done faster as well as ease decision-making for you, as you can get help from others when needed. You don’t need to waste time unsure and forcibly get a task done – reach out, ask for help, and communicate with your team.
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Working remotely isn’t easy and it isn’t something you’d master overnight. Think of this opportunity as a learning curve to strengthen your focus and discover new tools that will expand your knowledge of the latest technologies.
By following these few tips and embracing this new work style, you’ll be even more productive than you ever were at the office.
Image Credit: By Kite rin