Productivity tips for remote workers
While some employers are calling employees back into the office this fall following the COVID pandemic, many will let employees continue working remotely indefinitely. Others are enacting flexible schedules, where you split your time between the office and remote work.
Because of the changes in how we work, productivity has become a top priority. Many people found out over the past year that working from home perhaps isn’t as alluring as they once thought it was. Remaining productive but also maintaining your work-life balance is increasingly challenging in a remote work setting.
With that in mind, the following are productivity tips when you work remotely.
Organizing your digital space
Organizing your digital life for remote work is something you should do if you haven’t already.
You should do an audit of all the files, apps, and digital platforms you’re using.
You may be a victim of digital clutter, which happens when your files, documents, and applications all start to pile up with no apparent sense of organization. Other signs of a chaotic digital life include no backup and syncing of files, too many tabs being open in your browser at all times and forgotten passwords.
If you can start to organize and streamline what you use, you’re going to be more productive, and you’re also probably going to feel less stress.
When you get your digital setup the way that you want it, you’ll know how to find what you need at any given moment so you can focus on the tasks at hand.
Have regular hours
Your employer may require that you’re online, available, and working at certain hours, but if not you could be taking advantage a little too much of the flexibility. Yes, flexibility is a benefit of remote work, but you still need to have a schedule.
Give yourself time in the morning to prepare for the day, rather than rolling out of bed and heading straight to your computer.
You can center your schedule around the times that you’re most productive.
If you aren’t sure, a good way to figure it out is to use a time-tracking app. You can see how well you follow a schedule and start to gauge those blocks of time when you should do your most challenging work.
Develop a morning routine
As was mentioned above, you’re not going to start a productive day by rolling out of bed and heading straight to work. Think about your routine when you go into the office.
That routine might include a cup of coffee, some things around the house, or a workout.
Whatever it is that you enjoy in the morning and you feel like helps you get your head right, try to translate that into your remote work routine.
Have cues in your morning that let you know that you’re about to start work.
If you feel like you’re more productive when you’re in the office than when working from home, start to consider why that might be. One reason could be that you take more frequent breaks at the office.
You’re not as intensely focused for such long periods.
Think about how you interact with your coworkers, perhaps walk around your office, and take snack or lunch breaks.
Schedule similar breaks into your day when you work remotely.
Give yourself intervals where you physically get up and leave your workspace for a few minutes.
You should also dedicate lunchtime for yourself, instead of sitting at your desk to work.
Taking breaks might seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to increase your productivity, but it’s not.
When you work remotely, and especially if you’re doing so from home, many different things might be competing for your attention. When you go into the office, you’re just focused on work.
When you’re at home, the laundry might be summoning you, your children could be in the other room, or you might feel like you have errands to run.
You have to prioritize and focus on what’s most important. At the same time, be realistic with yourself about what you can and can’t do.
Have the right tools
Finally, if you’re going to be working at home for the long haul, invest in the right tools.
For example, buy a desk and chair that are ergonomically designed. Splurge to create an office space that keeps you comfortable and productive during long workdays. When you’re comfortable and you have everything you need in a condensed workspace, it’s going to help you focus on what you need to be doing.