During this uncertain and troubling time, most people have stayed indoors and tried to work from home. Where remote work has been effortless and rewarding for some, others have found themselves struggling with the work from home routine.
As lockdowns ease out and workplaces open, we can divide the workforce into two main segments. The first one includes professionals who are absolutely delighted to see the sight of their offices. For these workers, their office environment was all the white noise they needed to prevent getting distracted. Their office space did not only help them with staying focused but also played an integral role in boosting their individual productivity.
The second type of worker is those who would miss their work from home life and would dread the thought of going back to their workplaces. The individual productivity of these workers was greatly enhanced with remote work. Flexible work hours reduced work boundaries and limitations — and proved to be of great benefit to them.
Having said that, no matter what the case is, we need to understand that changing work environments takes its toll on the personal productivity of many people. Where we might be transitioning back towards working at our offices, remote work jobs are here to stay.
Thus, below are five easy-to-follow tips that can improve the productivity of people who have remote work jobs. These five strategies will help make the concept of work from home not only more effective but also more fruitful.
- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:
Remote work means no more quick breakfasts to avoid getting stuck in traffic jams. Where there is no going to the office, there obviously is no coming back. Thus, both these morning and evening slots which were earlier spent traveling can now be used for other beneficial activities. Talking about beneficial activities, there is nothing better than some physical exercise. It can be in the form of taking a walk in the morning or going to the nearby grocery store on foot to run some errands in the evening.
Where these morning and evening walks would boost physical health, connecting with nature on the way would also enhance mental health.
- FOCUS BLOCK:
It is always a good idea to set up some certain working hours for yourself to focus only on getting things done. These few hours or focused blocks of time should be uninterrupted. However, in an office environment, staying free of distraction and disturbance is almost impossible. Every now and then there is the possibility of a coworker slicing through your focus block to discuss how the boss was being unfair.
However, remote work greatly improves the efficiency of your time slot that you kept for focused work only. Work from home gives you the liberty to shut your door and make sure your work block stays unbroken. Another good thing about remote work jobs is the flexibility with which you can set these focused work slots. You can either take out two hours in the morning or at any other time during the day without having to worry about a colleague barging in for advice or help.
This one to two hours of uninterrupted work would make sure you are able to meet work timelines, finish tasks in a better manner, and get the most significant activities done.
- SETTING UP MEETINGS:
Remote work and remote work jobs require you to plan your time in a way that makes sure you get everything done without being all over the place. Thus, it is very important that meetings are scheduled. Setting up a time to talk to somebody, instead of just talking right away helps boost productivity in a lot of ways. Firstly, it makes sure that you are mentally prepared for that particular conversation, especially if it requires critical thinking and careful consideration. Secondly, scheduling important meetings with coworkers also makes sure that nobody’s work from home routine is disturbed and no other important work gets compromised.
You can easily plan activities of the entire day without getting overwhelmed or worried by the sheer volume of tasks that need to be performed. However, you also need to keep in mind that these meetings can be short and crisp, instead of long and unyielding. It is also advised that you divide discussions into parts, thus a number of meetings can be scheduled over a number of days. This gives both parties to lock their calendars beforehand and gives them a chance to be in the correct states of mind when in the meeting.
- STATUS UPDATES
Work from home might save you from coworker rants and chitchat stopovers by your desk at the office. However, you can still fall prey to disturbance via social media or other online communication platforms.
Therefore, people in remote work jobs need to continuously update their online statuses. If you use Slack for work, you may update your Slack status to ‘away’. If your remote work requires you to use WhatsApp to communicate, you may keep changing the status from ‘available’ to ‘away’ as per your status at a certain time during the day.
This ensures that you can fully engage with your work without having to worry about somebody messaging you or contacting you. This also gives other people an idea of your work status, making it easy for them to reach out to you when you are available and not disturbing when you are not there.
This might not sound like much of a strategy at first — but keeping yourself sorted out this way actually keeps your mind anxiety-free.
- NO DISTRACTION:
Remote work can be especially challenging if you are easily distracted. Thus, it is important that you eliminate all sorts of external disruptions that might cause you to lose focus. From family to pets to the bugs in the room, nothing should have the power to make you lose focus. Choosing a peaceful and comfortable space at home should top your list in avoiding distractions.
On the same token, people with a personality more on the extroverted side tend to look for excitement if their environments are peaceful and calm. Where there is nothing wrong with this, it may come in the way of their productivity. Thus, in this scenario, you can either listen to music that does not negatively impact your productivity, or you may take help from white noise. Chewing some gum has also proved to keep many people focused, along with giving them the needed stimulus to keep working. For some people, a few short breaks in between work also help them in staying distraction-free.
Regardless of personality type, it is very important that you do what you think works best for you and your individual productivity. If it is music that keeps you going or food that keeps you energized, do not shy away from taking help from anything and everything that aids you in staying productive at home.