Working remotely comes with a lot of benefits, making it a popular choice among workers and employers alike. While you get to create your own schedule, you also don’t lose time commuting and get to spend more time with your family. However, there is a common downside of remote work.
A lot of remote workers struggle with productivity. Since it’s such a common problem, here are some tried and tested tips that will help you solve them and get your employees’ creative juices flowing in no time.
1. Maintain regular hours
We know how exciting it can be to create your own schedule, oversleep without dire consequences or work from a park on a sunny day. However, it may get the best of you very quickly.
If you don’t set a specific time to start and finish your work, you’ll soon start working throughout the whole day. In order to keep a healthy work-life balance, try and start your workday at the same time every day.
This routine is great for your body because it will start to associate a certain time of day with work, therefore making it easier for you to focus. The same goes for the end of your workday. Over time, your body will know when it’s time to relax and you’ll have an easy transition into your private life without feeling stressed out.
2. If you’re living with people, create rules
Family members and roommates that don’t work remotely can present issues for any remote worker. That’s why you need to present a specific set of rules and explain your needs to them.
You should have an undisrupted place from which you can work, host meetings, and store your work-related documents. Besides your place of work, there should also be an understanding of managing your time and availability.
Let your household members know your schedule and when not to disturb you.
3. Be upfront about your needs
Your employers should be the ones preparing you for the trials and tribulations of working from home. The treatment you get in an office setting should translate to your home office as well.
That means that your employers should ensure that you get access to your equipment and access to all the data and tools you need. If your employers were storing data on physical hard drives and had to digitize everything when shifting to a remote work system, make sure you have access to everything you need.
The same goes for any hard drive you may need. Be upfront about your needs and ask for a bigger monitor or a company phone, before the one you’re currently using starts interfering with your productivity.
If you don’t have an office chair at home or need some furniture, try reaching a compromise with your employer. The length of your stay at home may be a deciding factor in their decision so think about taking a chair from the office if it’s empty. If you’re buying a new one, and think you’ll get resistance from the company, offer to pay for half of the chair and have them pay the rest.
That way you can keep it in your house even if you return to the office.
4. Build relationships with your colleagues
The best way to feel connected to your remote team members is to communicate with them regularly about things other than work. It’s important to build relationships with the people you work with.
Shifting to a remote way of working removes the opportunities to run into a coworker and have a chat by the water cooler. In that sense, all communication must be intentional and some people may find it difficult to reach out.
Our best tip for these situations is to follow people on social media and take the conversations there. Removing the work portion of your interaction might be the thing that kicks off a fun conversation between two colleagues.
5. Create a morning and after-work routine
Some people just have a harder time waking up in the morning, and some winding down at night. While you can’t change the nature of your character, you can start implementing a daily routine that helps you be more productive.
Create a to-do list for every morning that will over time indicate to your body that it’s time to start working. We suggest that you dress like you’re going to work, instead of staying in your pajamas and track time to understand how long it takes you to complete a task without distraction.
Once you’re done with work, give yourself a period of time to spend in nature, without any screen time. That will let your body relax and wind down.
6. Take breaks
Breaks are an essential part of your workday. Repeat that as many times as you need to hear. When working from home, breaks can consist of doing the laundry, going for a walk, or even preparing a quick meal.
Find what works best for you as an employee and remember to step away from the monitor once in a while.
7. Let’s talk about self-care
Your mental state is very important and shouldn’t be swept under the rug. Practicing self-care is important because it helps you deal with stress and in turn, makes you more productive and a more involved partner, parent, etc.
Self-care is not a one-size-fits-all type of thing and the definition may vary from person to person. That’s why it’s important to try out different diets, exercises, spend time with family, friends, and pets, and regularly check in with yourself.
That’s the only way you’ll know that you’re on the right track. Now that you know all of our tips, you’re ready to create a winning strategy for working from home.
This is a guest blog from Petra Odak, Chief Marketing Officer, Better Proposals.