Life and work has shifted significantly over the past years. The most advantageous to many of us (and many companies) is remote work. Many companies, that just three years ago, believed it to be ineffective are now allowing it for nearly all their employees.
Of course there are pros and cons. Much of the success of remote work depends on the personality of the employee and what their remote work environment looks like.
For those who are new to remote work or maybe finding some aspects a struggle, here are a few insights to help improve your satisfaction and productivity.
• Have a dedicated space for work.
Having a space just for your work is beneficial to help you avoid distractions, be focused, be mentally ready, and create a balance between work and personal life.
It may be difficult to separate work and home life if your PC and papers are just in your range of vision 24/7. Having a space dedicated to work can help take your mind off unfinished tasks. Avoid setting up a desk in your bedroom, use a different room or space only for work and nothing else, so you can put stuff away, go out and leave when you are no longer working. Being able to remove yourself from your work setting will help you detach from work and give a signal to your brain that you are no longer working.
• Create a daily routine.
Having a routine gives structure and consistency to your workdays. A good daily routine will help you to the right path and maintain a healthy relationship with coworkers and employers.
It can be enticing not to have your alarm clock blaring on your ears every morning, but sticking to a wake-up schedule is important to get on track for the day ahead. Start by thinking of your priorities so that you can tell when you can start and end your workday. Eat your breakfast, drink your coffee, take a shower (or not), get dressed, and start working--just like a normal workday routine before going to your executive office space. Having these daily activities can bring stability to your life, helping you stay productive and focused.
• Set up proper equipment for work.
Back in early 2020, many onsite employees unexpectedly started working remotely. With no time to set up proper office equipment, many started working at home or in offices for rent with just a laptop, cellphone, and home WiFi.
But for a long-term and sustainable work environment, you should set up a space with appropriate equipment. Excellent work outcome needs the right tools, and if you aim for increased productivity, invest in a reliable computer, modem with a stable internet connection, and comfortable furniture.
• Take regular breaks.
Breaks are a significant part of every employee’s day. It may sound absurd, but part of working hard is taking time to relax and briefly stepping back from your tasks.
Taking breaks while working remotely should be part of your schedule. It can help relieve work-related stress and avoid burnout. Many studies have also concluded that employees who take regular breaks are happier with their jobs and will less likely quit. Activities like taking a short walk or meditation will help you be mentally and physically refreshed to continue working.
• Communicate with the team regularly.
If you can, schedule regular virtual meetings with your team to sync priorities and resolve issues that could affect overall productivity. Communication is necessary to form strong bonds with your coworkers.
Apart from emails, there are also many innovative messaging platforms to easily and immediately communicate for better collaboration.
• Set boundaries
To stay happy with the remote work setup, you will need to set some rules and boundaries to balance work/personal life.
Flexibility is a major perk, but you need to set personal boundaries on what time you can start and finish your work. It is easy to set aside your urgent tasks to take a break, but it is not wise to rush everything and work even on your day off to make up for the loss of work hours. Make a habit of having a schedule for everything to avoid deadlines and cut-offs. Take the weekends off, if you can, to de-stress and spend time with family and friends.
• Avoid distractions and procrastination habits
Working remotely is very distracting, that can make you procrastinate and not get your work done. Many remote workers struggle to stay motivated to work on some days and would prefer to watch TV or sleep.
Social media is the greatest distraction when working remotely. Even uninteresting news can suck your attention away from your task at hand. There are many ways to avoid social media distraction, like logging out of your social media sites, turning off your phone, or installing a mobile app usage tracker to control screen time.
Avoid procrastination by sticking to your schedules and goals. Many experts explained that one of the reasons employees procrastinate is because they don’t have concrete goals in mind. Set realistic targets to inspire and motivate yourself to continue working.
• Eliminate all multitasking possible.
Studies suggest that multitasking is not an effective way to get the tasks done faster. It divides your full attention, and that makes it harder to focus, which leads to poor performance. If you want to flourish and produce excellent output, you need to focus on one task at a time and avoid distractions. So, to gather all agenda on your weekly team calls, stop snacking during Zoom meetings!
Many businesses are also transitioning to remote employees, and it certainly has its advantages. However, working remotely requires self-discipline and focus to succeed. Keeping these tips in mind can set you up for success and help you juggle the challenges of working remotely, allowing you to work more efficiently and be more productive.