Remote work, with its increasing popularity, has surged in the last few years, and in the coming weeks will continue to do so. As professionals around the world adjust to an ever-changing world of work, there comes a renewed focus on optimizing remote work strategies. Here, we outline the proven strategies found to be most effective when trying to increase work-from-home productivity.
Set a Schedule
One of the most essential components of optimizing remote work productivity is setting a schedule. Just like you would in an office, set your calendar and dedicate clearly defined start and stop times for each task, project, and meeting. A focused to-do list can help shape your agenda, scheduling the appropriate time for those deliverables.
It’s important to build a block into your calendar for lunch and to give yourself the opportunity to truly step away from your computer for an hour in the middle of the day. While it’s tempting to just continue working away because the emails keep coming in, take a few minutes. This will help you to refuel and allow yourself to come back to your work with a renewed focus on the tasks at hand.
Sometimes with remote work, professionals find themselves working longer hours and getting burned out. To stay productive, building in time to recharge and refuel is essential.
Dedicate a Workspace
While it may be tempting to stay in bed and open your laptop to start your day, it’s important to instead designate a dedicated workspace. Your dedicated workspace should be a place that’s clutter-free and void of distractions and excess noise. Pick a location in your home that can provide you with the physical and mental space to work effectively.
For a remote worker to function properly, it’s imperative that strong lines – and means – of communication are established. Whether you have daily calls set up, video conferences on Google Hangouts or Webex for meetings, or third party communication platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams, being able to connect with coworkers, clients, or outside vendors should be the main priority when working from home.
Even if your tasks are more independent and require minimal collaboration, it never hurts to maintain relationships with those you work with. You can do this by sending a message of thanks via email or letting coworkers know you’re available to help. Make sure you’re included in any group chats that your relevant business function serves. Staying “in sight” in this way will help ensure that you’re not “out of mind” in the eyes of your employer and coworkers.
Give yourself a True “End of Day”
Working from home, while it sounds like it might be easier than going to an office, doesn’t come without challenges. Studies show that those who work from home report working more hours than when they did the same job in an office setting. Some blame the perception that working from home somehow signals a lack of commitment, so they feel the need to go above and beyond their regular hours and duties to prove their worth.
To combat this common problem, it’s advised to give yourself a true “end of day” that allows you to put away your computer. This will help clearly delineate between your workday and your off time, just as you would when you leave an office in the evening each day.
As professionals around the world make the shift from office work to remote work, we can act as a resource for those operating in this capacity for the first time in their careers. For more information about how we can help with the transition to working from home, contact us.