Remote work has become the norm in recent years. Many first-time job-seekers are actively looking for remote positions, keen to capitalize on flexible working hours, generous salaries, and a healthier work-life balance.
While remote work has many benefits for the employee, maintaining high levels of output and consistent productivity levels takes considerable effort. However, first-time remote workers often struggle to remain productive, especially when employers fail to establish clear guidelines and work-from-home policies. If you’re feeling adrift in the world of online employment, you can make life easier by following a few remote work productivity tips.
How Remote Work Impacts Culture
A remote team model can yield positive results for any business. However, you need to be cautious if you’re integrating remote employees into an existing operation. With a hybrid model, remote teams can lead to massive gains in productivity. What’s more, they can lead to enhanced retention rates if you’re properly managing your remote teams and providing remote workers with career development pathways.
Ultimately, you need to be placing strict policies in place the moment you introduce remote workers to your business. Without these, you can easily cause conflict between in-house and remote employees and fracture an established company culture.
15 Tips for Improving Work From Home Productivity
If you want to work remotely well, you need to focus on increasing and maintaining productivity levels. If you’ve never worked in a virtual space before, this can be challenging. Thankfully, we’ve got plenty of productivity tips to help you on your way.
1. Set Clear Boundaries if You’re Sharing Your Space
Distractions are a fact of daily life, even if you work in a traditional office-based work environment. However, they tend to be more numerous when you work remotely. If you’ll be sharing your space with other people during your working day, you need to set clear boundaries about what you need to concentrate on the tasks in front of you.
If you have a young family and they’re currently enjoying a break in between semesters, kickstart the day by letting them know what times you’ll be available and what times you need to be left alone to concentrate on your assignments. Do you share a home with a roommate? If you’re using a communal space like a dining area, a polite notice that you’ll need some quiet will make your life much easier.
2. Don’t Let Notifications Distract You
You’ll be relying on tech when working remotely, but don’t let your smartphone, tablet, and laptop overwhelm you with a constant stream of notifications. While some updates are essential to keep you in the loop about email chains with colleagues and managers, you only really need to be alerted about the most urgent discussions.
Play around with notification schedules so you’re not bombarded with minor updates throughout the day. Alternatively, commit to a habit of only checking your email inbox or other updates once every few hours.
3. When Are You Most Productive?
Some people work productively throughout the day. Others tend to be more fruitful during the late morning or early afternoon. Remote employees rarely have an identical schedule, so don’t be afraid of taking the time to establish which hours work best for you. If you realize you tend to be more productive during the mid-morning, focus on eliminating distractions during these hours and concentrating on the most demanding tasks then.
4. Get the Hard Work Out of the Way First
Are you someone who has a habit of leaving the most demanding tasks until the last minute? While it’s tempting to cut through those easy jobs first, the low-level anxiety that a challenging task presents can wreak havoc on your productivity. The ‘Eat the Frog’ method is a technique that involves getting the dirty work done and dusted as soon as possible. Even if that seemingly impossible task takes hours to complete, everything else on the agenda will seem like a breeze once it’s seen to.
5. Welcome Feedback and Constructive Criticism
Remote teams tend to suffer in silence when faced with a new way of working. This can derail project progress and make it difficult for new hires to excel in their roles. Rather than idle away without clear direction, bite the bullet and reach out to more experienced colleagues and managers for insights. Every piece of feedback is valuable and you should reframe responses and constructive criticism, rather than a damning review of the way you work.
6. Don’t Procrastinate
Are you constantly checking your social media accounts? Do you find it impossible to resist the urge to check the latest headlines? Even a few stolen minutes can lead to significant dips in productivity. If you’re feeling like your working day is a non-starter, don’t give in to these urges to procrastinate. Instead, focus on completing any task, however minor, to grease the wheels and get you going.
7. Stay Connected with Video Chats
Working remotely has its perks, but it’s easy to feel isolated and cut off from the rest of the world. Engaging with colleagues via video chats is an easy way to bring the personal touch to remote working. What’s more, it allows you to put faces to names and share insights about working styles.
Looking for a video conferencing solution so you can remain connected with colleagues? With Gloww, you have an all-in-one video meeting platform that can be used for everything from daily huddles to team-building sessions. You can also have a fun virtual happy hour meeting, or a virtual holiday party.
8. Don’t Be a Wallflower During Virtual Meetings
Virtual meetings are a staple of remote working. However, just like in-person meetings, it’s easy for shy and retiring employees to be lost in the crowd during corporate get-togethers. If you’ve been asked to participate in a virtual meeting, make a conscious effort to engage with the event.
9. Make a Schedule and Stick To It
If you want to stay productive while working from home, you need to be regimented when it comes to scheduling. Your schedule should be in line with project deadlines and the specifics of your remote working policy, but you’ll also need to think about your individual work style. Once you’ve ironed out a schedule, make sure you’re sticking to it religiously. We have an article on how to plan your meeting agenda to help you with staying organized, as well as a task-tracking template.
10. Allow Yourself Regular Breaks
Remote workers are prone to burnout. However, you don’t need to work beyond your allotted work hours. If you work smart, you’ll find plenty of time for breaks to keep your energy levels in check and your output high.
11. Save Time with Meal Prep
One of the great things about working from home is that your kitchen is just a few steps away from your desk. However, you’ll want to avoid the urge to whip up gourmet dishes for your lunch break. Rather than spend an hour preparing ingredients and cleaning up after your culinary adventure, set aside some time during the weekend or an evening to prep your meals in advance. You can even have a fun virtual lunch with your coworkers.
12. Don’t Neglect Your Health
When you work from home, it’s easy to forget about your well-being. To keep your physical and mental health in check, make sure you’re taking the time to shower and dress for the workday. What’s more, avoid the urge to snack and create bad habits that can be detrimental to your health.
13. Focus on Time Management
If this is your first time as a remote worker, you may find yourself overwhelmed by time management. You won’t be able to pace yourself against the output of colleagues or turn to a line manager to see if you’re performing as you should.
The good news is you can track your time relatively easily. Experimenting with time management techniques like the Pomodoro method is something to consider. This approach involves setting aside chunks of time to concentrate on actual work, with each segment broken up by shorter breaks. Most people who use the Pomodoro method set aside 25 minutes for work, and then allow themselves a five-minute break.
14. Destress with a Walk
Being able to complete your assignments from home might seem like a major win, but there are other things you’ll need to do to achieve that work-life balance you’ve always pined for. Completing your to-do list and slamming shut your laptop isn’t really putting a full stop at the end of the working day, especially if you immediately throw yourself into the school run or preparing dinner.
Once you’ve completed your work for the day, think about taking yourself out of the home and unwinding with a long walk instead. Not only will you put some mental distance between work and home life, but you’ll be able to get in some much-needed steps as well.
15. Establish Boundaries
Have you taken on a remote position to allow yourself more time at home to take care of your children or attend to domestic duties? If so, remember that these obligations shouldn’t interfere with your actual working life. If you know that family members are going to be sharing your space with you during working hours, ensure they’re properly accommodated with a clear schedule of things to do so you won’t be distracted from your to-do list.
Furthermore, try and remove any unwanted distractions from your schedule. This means avoiding the urge to schedule deliveries that will take you away from your computer or agreeing to impromptu visits from friends for midday coffee breaks.
Pros and Cons of Working Remotely
Remote work has countless perks for employees. Flexible hours make it an obvious choice for those tired of hectic schedules. What’s more, while there’s less face-to-face interaction when working remotely, a good employer will provide plenty of ways to engage with colleagues via virtual team-building sessions. Ultimately, remote work is what you make it.
That being said, working remotely presents many challenges. Those with poor time management skills can struggle to strike the right balance. When you’re not making effective use of your time, burnout becomes a real possibility, while evenings and weekends become dominated by missed deadlines.
Productivity Benefits of Working From Home
Employers have many reasons to promote working from home. For starters, remote employees tend to be more productive and prepared to work longer hours, with workers tending to report a better work-life balance, even when they’re working longer.
Even though burnout is a possibility, the majority of remote workers tend to encounter lower levels of stress. This has a positive impact on productivity but also benefits employee retention rates.
Make the Most of Remote Working with Gloww
First time working remotely? While it’s easy enough to integrate everyday tips to bolster productivity, you’ll need the right tools at your disposal to stay connected. With Gloww, you have a full-featured conferencing platform and interactive presentation tool that can be used for everyday catch-ups, weekly meetings, and more. Create bespoke sessions in moments or take things to the next level with interactive elements and online collaboration tools.
Get started with Gloww today to revolutionize the way you work from home. Want to unlock more advanced features? Check out our pricing tiers. Still have questions about Gloww and what it can do for you? Speak to the team today.