Productivity in a Remote Work Environment
According to a GWL survey, 71% of Americans currently work remotely at least one day a week. Of those who are working remotely, 77% report that they are more productive when remote. Remote work is working from anywhere other than the office, so your home, a café, or even outside.
Instead of being in the office, remote workers use digital tools to communicate with their team, handle tasks, and complete projects. Remote work has become a great way of saving time and maximizing productivity. There are many benefits associated with remote work:
How to Stay Productive Working Remotely
Remote work has many benefits for the team member, organization, and the environment if you can stay connected to your work. Here are some tips on how to stay productive outside of the office:
Set your hours
When working remotely, one of the best practices to help with productivity is planning your schedule. Remote employees experience higher levels of productivity when they continue to work a set schedule. Treat your schedule as a timecard and make sure that you use that time for working. If you split your day up, make sure that the time you spend working is long enough to be productive (around 3 hours).
Designate your workspace
When you aren’t leaving your home to go to the office, it is easy for the home and work lines to become blurred. It is tempting when working remotely to work from your bed or your couch; however, this can be detrimental to your productivity. One tip for setting up an efficient workspace is to think about what made you productive in the office. Was it the lighting, the setup of your desk, or the buzz of coworkers? Whatever it was, you can try to implement it at home as well.
Similarly, keep in mind what kind of distractions made you less productive in the office. Finally, take the time to set up a designated work area that is used only for work. Establishing your remote workspace will help you separate work and home.
Distractions are an apparent objective to productivity. Distractions come in all different forms, digital distractions, people and pets, excess clutter, TV. Think of all the things you don’t have access to in the office and recreate a similar distraction-free zone for yourself. You don’t need to design a whole new office but create a space that you only use for work. If you use your phone for work, consider implementing software that limits your use of certain apps during a period or by usage, this can help reduce the temptation of distracting apps.
Don’t forget to leave the house
Many employees spend more time at the office than they do at home, but with remote work becoming more common, that’s no longer the case. When working remotely, it is easy to spend all of your time in the house, but this can quickly lead to burnout. So instead, take the time outside of work to get some fresh air and connect with those around you.
Plan your days out each morning
Figure out what form of planning works best for you. It can be anything from a to-do list to a calendar. The easiest way to keep yourself on track is to plan out each day. Start with the essential tasks that you must complete and break them down into smaller, more achievable tasks. Scheduling will keep you from veering too far off track, even when a distraction presents itself.
Taking care of yourself goes back to a schedule. It is essential to schedule time for you too, don’t let working from home turn into working constantly. Take the time to log off each evening and transition to being at home. Turning off your computer, cleaning off your desk, and even changing your clothes can help your mind transition from work to home.
Just because you’re not in the office doesn’t mean that all communication should stop. Miscommunication is a typical workplace issue, and remote work has increased its likelihood. Never assume that someone understands what you’re saying. Opt for video conferencing when possible, to make sure that you can get your point across. If possible, work with your department or organization to have a central app for communication.
Remote Work is Challenging But Rewarding
Anyone who has worked from home knows that staying productive can be a challenge. When working remotely, you must do many things yourself, and you only have yourself to rely on to keep you on track. However, if you can stay productive, remote work provides you with great opportunities to create the perfect balance of your work and personal life.