Working remotely is increasingly becoming the norm. This is supported by improved technology enabling people to work from anywhere, anytime. On the other hand, millennials are redefining work and how the workplace ought to look like. Gone are the days of clocking in and out. Nowadays, the focus is on what a person can deliver and in some cases, this means that employees are allowed to work from wherever they choose, as long as they are productive.
While working remotely is now a well-accepted way of working, the rules and guidelines on how this kind of work can function are largely unknown. Everyone who works remotely is just winging it and trying to find their rhythm. There are few guidelines out there to help you get started and so many people working remotely simply make the rules as they go. While those working remotely report that they enjoy this arrangement and more people report that they would like to work remotely, finding the right way to do it can be a challenge.
Here is how to find the right way to work remotely and remain super productive.
Have a Schedule
Well, one thing about working from an office is that you have your time defined. You have reporting time, tea and lunch breaks, and time to leave for the day. This structure helps you organise your day and activities, which then leads to productivity.
If you are working remotely, you also need a schedule to help you get things done. First, do not wake up or start working if and when you feel like it because that is how you will find yourself slouching on the couch, catching up on your favourite series. So, get yourself on a regular schedule like any person going to the office if you want to get things done. One of the key challenges that people working remotely face is the inability to get off work at the end of the day. Unlike working from the office where there is time to clock out, working from home blurs the line between work and personal life. Therefore, many people find themselves working for longer hours. If this is the case for you, a schedule will be handy in helping you get on and off work when you need to.
Develop Work-Like Habits
On a normal day, people wake up, dress up, take breakfast and then head out to work. This sets your mind into work-mode and helps you get ready for the day. However, this is often not the case for remote workers, who usually get out of bed and onto their computers, sometimes without getting out of bed.
Without clear habits that tell your brain it is time to work, it is hard to get things done, and you might start the day grudgingly, which leads to time wastage. If you want to be more productive, cultivate habits that tune your brain to work mode. You could take a shower before starting work or take a cup of tea, and in some cases, people actually dress up despite the fact that they are working from the comfort of their homes and are not meeting any clients. The secret is to simply find work-like habits which activate your brain for work so that you do not waste time trying to get started for the day.
Have a Designated Sitting Area
It sounds good to work from the comfort of your bed or couch but in reality, this does more harm than good. Soon, you will find yourself dozing off or having a hard time keeping up with work due to distractions. You are likely to feel like you are just chilling and doing fun things on your laptop instead of actually working towards deadlines.
If you want to be productive, it is best to have a designated sitting area. If possible, have an office set up complete with a chair and a desk, from where you can be ‘reporting’ to work every day. Basically, if you have a designated working area, you give your brain signals that it is time to get work done once you sit there, which helps you concentrate and knock off your checklist.
Create Habits to Get Out of the House
One common complaint from people who work remotely is that they experience a lot of boredom. This is due to the fact that you are likely to be all alone in the house all day and not talking or interacting with anyone, apart from those you are interacting with online. This can be boring, as good old banter has been proven to be a good way to help you take short breaks in the course of a busy day.
On the other hand, interactions with others stimulate your brain, which is good for creativity. Therefore, make a habit of leaving the house for short breaks in the course of the day to hit refresh. It could be stepping out for lunch or tea break, which will help you rejuvenate your mind. For some people, habits such as jogging and going to the gym fill up the time needed to get out of the house and rejuvenate, helping them stay productive. It is advisable that you do this at least once a day to help your mind stay active and creative, which is exactly what you need for productivity.
Working remotely can be fun, mainly because you do not have to deal with the hustle of traffic or even having to get up earlier so that you can prepare for the day. It also gives you the flexibility to work from wherever you please, which has been proven to be a strong motivational factor for many people. However, it has its own challenges, related to the fact that there is no designated schedule or way of working, which can seriously affect your productivity. Therefore, work with the above tips to develop a customised way of working if you want to remain productive.
Do you work remotely? Share your tips of remaining productive in the comments section.