How to Make Remote Working Work for You
Remote working can be great for productivity, but it can also come with a new set of challenges. Here are a few tips on how to maximise productivity while working remotely.
In the wake of Covid-19, the world has experienced an incredible remote working revolution. Many companies have shifted to a fully remote model to adapt and accommodate employee needs. These changes, allowing employees to work from anywhere, can be great for productivity – allowing increased flexibility and less time and energy to be spent commuting. That said, remote working has come with a new set of challenges, such as the inability to unplug, difficulty collaborating, and loneliness. Here are a few tips on how to maximise productivity while working remotely.
Establish a morning routine
It’s one thing to decide that you’ll arrive at your desk and begin working at a specific hour, but establishing a pattern that helps you get into the chair is another thing. A routine may be more effective than a clock in getting you out of bed every morning. What part of your morning routine lets you know that work is about to begin? Making a cup of coffee could be the thing you do before starting on your to-do list. Alternatively, it could be getting dressed. (For some people, working from home in pyjamas is a perk; for others, it’s a bad idea.) Find an established habit that works for you, like saying positive affirmations or returning from a walk, to serve as your cue.
List it. Tick it off.
At the best of times, managing your workflow can be challenging. Planning your day’s activities in advance is a great way to stay organised. Invest in a small whiteboard that can serve as your “daily tasks” board. Create a hierarchy of the tasks you want to complete during the day, starting with the most urgent and critical (or intimidating) ones at the top. Tick through each one as you complete it, then review your accomplishments at the end of the day. This not only helps you stay organised and focused, but also shows how far along you have come.
Don’t get overwhelmed
Great as they are, sometimes to-do lists can be overwhelming. Seeing a long list of tasks to be completed can make you feel ill-equipped to handle them all. Deprocastination.co recommends you limit your daily task list to 1-4 items only to help you focus on what’s necessary that day. You can also use the Eisenhower Matrix to arrange your tasks. It can help you decide which ones to attack immediately, which you can delegate, which you can possibly move to the next day or which to discard completely. And by all means, when you feel overwhelmed, communicate! Schedule a call with a superior to discuss your workload or get in touch with your entire team to discuss how to better organise the workload to relieve your stress or anxiety.
Remote working, much like working from an office, can make you sit in one position all day, especially if you’re working from home. However, this doesn’t have to be so. You can use your remote working privileges to move more. Exercise before or after work, or even during your lunch break. You can decide to switch your working location to a nearby cafe or park in the course of the day. Whatever your choice, exercise should be prioritised because sitting down for the majority of the day is bad for your physical health. Stretching and getting your heart rate up at least once a day will help you feel less anxious, help clear your mind and help you feel more at ease while working remotely.
Mingle with coworkers
For extroverts, in particular, loneliness, disconnection, and isolation are prevalent issues in remote working environments. Businesses with a remote working culture typically provide opportunities for socialising. For instance, they might use channels in a group messaging app like Slack for discussing shared interests or planning get-togethers for locals. Such avenues are great opportunities to socialise, but they can also be distracting. Determine how much engagement you require to feel included and connected. Even if you’re a little socially awkward or a highly introverted person, you can try a few low-touch interactive activities to decide if you’d like deeper engagement in the future.
Get some facetime too
No matter how hard we try, virtual connection won’t the same as the real thing. Remote working can be isolating, and face-to-face interaction is vital for all of us. Make the most of your weekends and days off by scheduling time to spend with friends or family before or after work. Go for a stroll or just get a coffee to catch up with friends. Plan some facetime with your loved ones so you can maintain a human connection while you work.
Establish an end-of-day routine
Ending your day well is key to beginning the next one on a high note. Just like in the beginning of the day, you can create a habit that marks the end of the workday. It may be a confirmation on a messaging app, a nighttime walk, or a yoga session at home. It can be as easy as turning off your computer and listening to your favourite podcast. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you stick to something that, for you, will mark the end of your day and help you wind down.
Ultimately, the best way to make remote working work for you is to determine what suits you the best. Sometimes the solution is obvious, but other times you may need some guidance from other remote workers who are in a similar situation. There is a supportive community out there, whether on social media platforms like Twitter or Reddit, or in the Slack channel for your company. Tap into as many circles of support as you need.
The future of work is now, and The ROOM is the future of talent. As a fully remote organisation and the home to a diverse community of agile digital talent, we seek to help companies thrive in the new world of work. Our highly specialised community of world-class talent have been trained to adapt to and thrive in a remote working culture.
Grow your organisation with our pool of virtual Administrators, Financial Analysts, Software Engineers and more, and future-proof your team by accessing the skills and know-how your company needs to achieve remarkable things.