6 Productivity tips for working remotely
The trend of the non-self employed making the home their office has been in an upswing since 2005. Over the course of the past decade, individuals incorporating remote work into their professional lives has increased by 140 percent. Remote hiring offers a slew of benefits for both the employer and employee. These include flexibility for the worker not being uprooted from their home, as well as the company’s ability to hire top talent regardless of geographical boundaries. For this reason, 40 percent more employers are offering remote work.
With this perk comes new challenges as well. Without the structure of an office, working remotely can test your motivation and bring on feelings of isolation. However, this doesn’t have to be the case! Follow these tips for working remotely to boost your productivity and reap the benefits of your company’s perk.
1. Keep Your Home Life and Work Life Separate
This can be a challenging aspect for remote employees, especially if your office is ten steps from your living room. Try not to fall into the habit of letting the line between your professional and home lives blur. Without the physical supervision of your boss, it can be tempting to stay in your pajamas all day or watch Netflix while you work. Instead, take a moment to get dressed for the “office” to change your attitude and outlook on productivity.
After all, dressing for success is psychological. Simply wearing clothes that makes you feel like a professional will alter your perception of yourself and your abilities.
Just because there isn’t someone physically managing you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening digitally. Communicating more than you have to can translate a lot about your work ethic. It shows respect for the opportunity to work remotely, your manager’s time and own responsibilities (chances are, they have to report to someone else about your work, so keeping them in the loop makes their life easier), and your willingness to be transparent.
Frequently communicating is also vital to productivity when collaborating on team projects. Without your physical presence, it’s often difficult for your colleagues to understand what work you’re tackling or ideas you’re presenting. Relying on systems of unified communication tools can help support team workflow even without having every member present.
3. Figure Out What Works for You
The beauty of working remote is, to some extent, that you can make your own schedule. If you have a video conference at noon, you shouldn’t deny attendance because you start your day at one. However, there are still plenty of opportunities for flexibility.
Perhaps you’re an early bird, finding yourself most productive in the morning. If you notice the bulk of your meetings happen between 11am and 2pm, then working 7am to 3pm might be your best fit. Conversely, maybe you work in a creative field and your innovation ramps up in the early evening. Do your smaller, more mechanical tasks (hello, emails and office calls) earlier in the day and leave heavier work to be done in the evening.
The beauty of not working in an office is that you don’t have to be confined by a structured schedule. Test out various workday structures and figure out what helps you be your most productive.
4. Once You Do…Be As Consistent As Possible
After determining what schedule fits your needs, stick to it. Keeping a consistent schedule can offer benefits that will overall increase productivity. These include improving physical wellbeing and maximizing the amount of work you complete with the time you have.
Additionally, consistency can help the greater efficiency of the company, both on a larger scale and within smaller teams. Keeping a consistent schedule will allow your teammates to rely on you throughout the day, confident in what hours you will be available to communicate.
5. Be Social Not A Shut In
Regardless of physical distance, you’re as much a part of the company as those who enter the office everyday. After you’ve gotten through basic introductions with your colleagues, utilize social media to network beyond the office. This will provide opportunities to talk about life beyond work and build relationships as you would in the break room.
If you’re itching for some in-person interaction, consider renting a co-working space to work from a few times a week. Although the environment’s typical resident is a freelancer or self-employed, a co-working space can improve your sense of community. While these aren’t your colleagues, it does expose you to new people and ideas to network and collaborate with.
6. Get Moving
According to a Harvard Business Review report, physical activity is imperative to your professional productivity. They argue that fitting it into your everyday schedule should be made a priority. Fitting physical activity into your work day will boost focus, allow for greater cognitive ability, and maximize creativity.
Taking an hour to move will also relieve any strain your eyes may experience from looking at screens all day. Being a remote employee, you are attached to your technology. This makes communication faster and easier, but can certainly take a toll on your well-being. Whether you go out for a walk or attend a yoga class for some much-needed relaxation, your body and brain will thank you.
Being a remote employee comes with a unique, new-age style of work that offers a wide variety of benefits as well as its challenges. Being mindful of these tips for enhancing productivity will help you acclimate to your new professional environment- or rather, lack thereof.
Share your thoughts in the comment below!