You probably already know that remote work isn’t a new concept. Professionals in all kinds of fields have been enjoying the perks of working remotely for years. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 3.6 percent of the employee workforce in the United States has been working from home at least half the time before the COVID-19 outbreak.
The COVID-19 pandemic has normalized remote work. Working remotely has become the new norm as Millions of employees around the world work from home to protect themselves from the coronavirus. Businesses had no option than to move 100 percent remote work even as they strategize on how to keep their operations running during the pandemic. Many companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google resorted to having a portion of their employees work remotely.
The reality of working remotely is here. A large portion of the workforce is required to stay productive even as they work from home. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25 to 30 percent of the U.S workforce will be working remotely by the end of 2021, following the work disruption COVID-19 has caused.
Chances are you’re among the millions of people starting to work from home for the first time. Truth is, staying productive without colleagues or a supervisor looking over your shoulder can be a challenge. There are no schedules to adhere to and disruptions abound. To make sure you stay focused and are maximally productive when working remotely, follow these handy tips.
Create and Stick to a Schedule
Your friends and family may assume that you have much more free time than you actually have. First, it’s important that you designate some sort of work area for yourself. If possible, have a home office with a comfortable chair and desk. Without a workspace, it becomes harder to separate your personal and work life.
Creating your own schedule will help you establish a daily routine. Sticking to a routine makes it easier to stay motivated and productive. Your schedule doesn’t have to follow the traditional working hours. Make sure you set it around your most productive hours.
Set Your Priorities
One of the challenges you’re going to face when working remotely is attending to the demands competing for your attention. Remember you’re no longer working within the hierarchical framework of an office setting. You, therefore, need to prioritize tasks around your objectives and organize your workflow. How to develop self-discipline working remotely
Developing self-discipline will set you up for success. Have a to-do list and structure your day to suit your living and working needs. Make sure your schedule doesn’t conflict with the needs of your team or supervisor. Treat your working hours as a time card and focus on squeezing all the productivity you can within those hours.
Stay Connected to Your Team
Working remotely can make you feel cut off from the rest of the team working in the office. Why not make video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Asana, and Skype your allies?
Keeping your communication channels open allows you to know what other employees on your team are up to. You also get valuable opportunities to share your experiences and provide feedback. As a result, you’ll see how your work is adding value to the team and contributing to the big picture. This will help you stay focused and productive.
Don’t Forget to Stay Inspired
Isn’t it obvious that a beautiful and inviting workspace will motivate you to stay productive when working? Don’t even worry about getting expensive design updates for your home office. You want to create a work area that you enjoy working in.
Do you love plants? Incorporate some greenery. Are you on your way towards completing a college degree? Inspire yourself with a fake diploma from Diploma Makers. Are you an art lover? Add some of your favorite art pieces. These are the simple things that will make the office inspiring. You could include a reading nook for your quiet time as well.
The idea is to make your home workspace fit your personality. You’ll be amazed at how this will improve your productivity.
Curb Your Social Media Addiction
You know how easy it is for you to open your favorite social media site and stay on it for hours. When working remotely, social media can be detrimental to your productivity if you’re not careful.
How do you go about this problem then? Well, start by removing all your social network sites from your browser shortcuts. You could as well log out of all your social accounts during your working hours. Another option is to work primarily in an incognito or private window. The idea is to avoid any temptation to take social breaks during your working hours. A social break of five minutes can easily become a two-hour break.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s not uncommon for remote workers to find themselves working long hours and not getting enough rest. This often results in employee burn-out and affects the quality of work. Regular physical activity and getting enough sleep can help improve your work quality and productivity. You should, therefore, incorporate these two in your daily routine. It’s also important that you go out and walk in the sunshine and eat healthy meals throughout the day.