Whether you’re completely new to working remotely or an old hand at it, there are always ways to improve. While the remote worker has fewer time-drains like in-person meetings, verbose colleagues and frequent interruptions, they do have a set of unique challenges that are different from office working.
To improve your focus and productivity, here are 7 tips for working better outside of the office environment.
1. Block Distractions in the Web Browser
To get the best out of the day, it’s necessary to do things differently. While your company probably has some degree of web filtering in place to block sensitive sites and those that often lead to time-wasting during the day, your laptop probably won’t.
Use this link to stay productive from home. It will help remove distractions right in your browser as you’re trying to keep busy. You’ll wonder how you got things done before.
2. Give Yourself Set Hours
While it’s difficult to be that insistent with yourself, the reality is that working from home is genuinely difficult to pull off. Many people fail to do it successfully and find they get much more achieved in an office environment. Therefore, you must be tougher.
Give yourself set hours. These can easily be similar hours that you would have worked previously in an office-based job. So, 9 am to 12 pm is fine before taking a break. Then factor in some hours for the afternoon too.
Of course, you should also take regular breaks within a ‘shift’ for a bathroom break, to get refreshments, and to rest your eyes from the computer or laptop screen.
3. Avoid People Thinking You’re Taking Time Off
There is a tendency by some well-meaning friends to think that if you’re not at a huge office, you’re not busy at all.
It may be necessary to speak to them so that they understand that the work is the same wherever you’re located, and you must complete it on time just like them.
It isn’t always an easy conversation to have, but for people who think you’re free to run errands or help in some way, they need to know when is a good time for such requests.
4. Reduce Notifications on Your Mobile Devices
Whether you have a smartphone and/or a tablet, they’re probably set to ping you with every notification that pops up. This includes reminders for coming diary appointments, Facebook friend recommendations, and notifications for YouTube live performances or new videos on channels you’re subscribed too. And, of course, the email monster!
Take a look at what notifications are meaningful for your work and those that are personal. Which ones are critical to know about immediately, and which can be turned off (or ignored) during working time? Also, avoid receiving the same notifications on multiple devices too.
5. Create a Work Area
You must be comfortable while remote working, so create a separate space for work. Think about what you’ll be sitting on and the table or desk for your computer. Is the chair comfortable and at the right height, and does it offer enough support for your back?
Also, stay hydrated with a bottle of water nearby so you don’t need to take refreshment breaks and interrupt your productivity each time.
6. Wear Different Clothing
Two of the advantages of working remotely are not needing to dress up for work, and the absence of a commute.
Sure, you can wear different clothing that’s looser, as it’s relaxing when sitting for extended periods. However, also consider whether you’ll need to make a video call from a supervisor or client and whether the clothing you plan to wear is appropriate. Good impressions need to be made on video conferencing too!
7. Be Goal-Oriented
It’s even more important when working remotely to set goals and plan for their achievement. Breaking them down into projects and actions to take to complete them is very important.
Only by being driven and focused around what needs to get done will you be purposeful enough to make positive strides. Otherwise, you risk doing ‘busy work’ and not being useful in your role.
When setting yourself up correctly, working remotely can be extremely productive. Adjusting doesn’t take very long either.