Tips For Your Remote Work Routine
Thanks to rapid advancements in business technology and increasing accommodations for flexible work schedules, remote work is the new thing! Freelancers, mompreneurs and regular 9-to-5ers alike all have begun to benefit from part or full-time remote work arrangements. The ability to perform your job from anywhere in the world is a valuable benefit. And for those interested in creating a balance between remote work and personal life, it can be a dream. But it’s interesting to consider if and how remote work effects personal productivity.
Although there are certainly distractions and interruptions that accompany communal office work, remote workers face challenges as well. When it comes to staying productive and on task, working off-site provides additional challenges to manage distractions and stay on task. If you find yourself easily distracted, try integrating these tips into your remote work routine:
1. Create A Dedicated Workspace
Although you may be tempted to spend your off-site days relaxing at coffee shops or sending emails between errands and doctor’s appointments, having a dedicated area for work can help you focus on the task at hand and help you switch into a more productive mindset. Especially if you work exclusively from home, making a workspace can help you separate your work and personal lives, which can be challenging to accomplish if these two spheres inhabit the same space.
Bright lighting, comfortable seating, vibrant wall colors, and adequate storage for important documents are important design features that foster a productive remote workspace. It is important that your space match your organizing personality style. The Time & Space Style Inventory can help you learn about how you’re naturally wired and create workspace strategies that work every time.
2. Use The Right Communication Tools
Often your ability to productively communicate with colleagues and clients depends upon the tools you use. To ensure sound call-quality and manage phone call interruptions throughout the day, use VoIP. VoIP takes advantage of auto-attendant functions. With it, you can selectively choose which calls will go straight to voicemail. Ultimately, using VoIP increases your productivity because it allows you to stay focused on tasks longer and avoid interruptions. This enhances the time you spend actually working.
Similarly, chat channels like Slack or Google Chat should find a place in every remote worker’s communications toolbox. As opposed to traditional, formal emailing, these tools bolster rapid responses. They help you create more direct messaging that isn’t bogged down by fluffy introductions or complex language.
3. Use Distraction Blockers
The internet is a double-edged sword when it comes to remote work productivity. While it provides nearly limitless knowledge that can help you more quickly accomplish your tasks, it is also home to limitless distractions. Working distracted can double the time it takes to get your work done. Fortunately, there are plenty of free or relatively inexpensive applications for blocking certain sites, tracking the time you spend online and blocking email or chat notifications that can prevent you from getting into a productive groove.
4. Set and Share Your Schedule Online
Many who work remotely also have the privilege of setting work hours that best suit the demands of their personal lives. Even if you have the ability to vary your hours from day-to-day, creating a consistent and public schedule can help you manage expectations. Using an online scheduler shows in-office coworkers when you are available. Adopting a shared schedule as a workgroup helps the team to stay more connected. Feeling part of the team helps to avoid feeling isolated.
If you are a remote worker and find yourself working long hours that stretch into the night, a set schedule helps improve your work/life balance. Setting your schedule is essential for long-term productivity. Sharing your “working hours” can help deter business-related calls at inappropriate times. When team members or customers know you’ve finished for the day, they can make better choices that help support remote work arrangements. A set schedule also can provide a good daily endpoint. Use your time after hours to do everything else! Remember to intentionally make time to rest, rejuvenate and prepare for tomorrow.
5. Remember To Take Breaks
Without the company of coworkers, the need to walk to your next meeting or for quick chats by the watering hole is not available. As a result, remote work offers little to no space in your schedule for rest. Since breaks are crucial for improving productivity, creativity, motivation, and general wellbeing, you need to intentionally integrate breaks into your remote workdays.
A break can include a neighborhood walk or exercise break, time to review mail or do a quick household chore. Many people make stopping by the local coffee shop a part of their work from home routine for a change of scenery.
And finally, when you’re screen-facing all day, computer exercises and stretches are a quick and effective way to restore energy. Stretches help undo repetitive motions like typing or answering the phone.
Please share your thoughts and comments
What are your tips for increasing productivity when working outside of the office? How do you overcome distractions in your remote position? Share in the comments below, and be sure to check out our other simple tips on boosting productivity.