Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of employees have had to work from home, including those that had never done so before. Some of these remote-work approaches were executed abruptly, leaving managers and employees to navigate a new work reality besides concerns and personal anxieties about the health crisis. Although unintentional, remote work can leave staff stressed, unmotivated, and distracted. This will decrease your productivity if you do not do something about the issue. Let us look at seven practical tips to boost your productivity when working remotely.
1. Find a Dedicated and Comfortable Working Space
You should not work from your couch to encounter all kinds of distractions. Instead, find a secluded place to set up your workstation. You can use your bedroom if you have no extra unused room in your house, but do not work from your bed. Get an office desk and chair similar or almost similar to what you have in the office. The desk should be comfortable enough for you to work for several hours without disturbance.
2. Maintain a Regular Schedule
Set a work schedule and commit to it. It helps to have clear guidelines for when to start work and end the day as it helps you maintain a balance. One advantage of working remotely is the flexibility it provides. On some days, you’ll need to work late or start early to accommodate something else. When this happens, you can finish work earlier than usual or sleep in the next day to make it for it.
You can use automatic time-tracking apps to enable you to check in and establish if you are maintaining your schedule. The tracking apps can also help you identify when you are most productive during the day. This will enable you to protect the hours when you’re most productive by doing as much work as you can.
3. Set Boundaries with your Family Members
The people living in your space should know and respect your remote working schedule. For example, let your children know that they cannot access your workspace when working unless it is an emergency. If you share the space with another adult, negotiate shared equipment, meeting times, and quiet times.
4. Install Proper Software for Video Conferencing Purposes
On scheduled days, your manager or departmental head will hold a virtual meeting with all staff. Therefore, you will need to obtain suitable video conferencing solutions to participate in the meetings as you should. With video conferencing, you need to have a reliable internet connection that does not experience downtime.
5. Prepare a Planner
Create a to-do list to allow you to track your progress efficiently. You can create the list in a way that suits you best. Give priority to the most critical tasks and allocate the highest amount of time to complex tasks. When developing your list, consider long-term goals that will help you finish a big project. Also, consider short-term goals and the tasks to help you achieve the big goal. Creating a to-do list maintains your focus, improving your knowledge and making the work seem possible.
6. Exercise Regularly
One way to boost your productivity is to be proactive and regular exercise can help you be proactive. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine is beneficial for your professional and personal life. When you work out, you increase blood flow to your brain, which keeps you alert and sharpens your mind.
One of the downsides of working from home is a rise in social isolation, which has dramatically impacted employees’ mental health to some extent. This is why you should rejuvenate your mind by staying fit. Exercise increases your endorphin levels, which increase your interest levels, enjoyment, and happiness, which are all essential in producing good results either in life or at work.
7. Leverage Social Media
Many people have social media as their guilty pleasure, where most of us log onto social media accounts immediately after waking up. Whether reading news and articles, commenting, or interacting with friends, social media can be time-consuming and highly addictive if not appropriately handled. Social media is considered one of the top-level work distractions, as people spend more time on social media than on anything else.
There has been an introduction of mobile apps in recent times to eliminate such distractions. The applications show you how much time you spend on each social media application. Furthermore, some of the applications help you set a fixed time for each of the social media apps, and once you’ve exhausted your allocated time, you are locked out from the app for 24 hours.
8. Final Thoughts
When working remotely, you may sometimes find yourself overworking. Therefore, it is essential to take care of yourself by being aware of your energy levels. Telecommuters take fewer sick days, sometimes choosing to work even when not feeling well. Always listen to your body and rest when you feel that your energy levels are decreasing.