Remote working doesn’t suit everybody. It takes self discipline, motivation and focus, but if you can get to grips with that you can find you can be more productive than you would be working in a 9-5 office.
The freedom to create your own schedule, fit in other tasks around your working hours and save time and money on travelling are all huge benefits of remote working. However, with all the distractions that come with working from home, it can be helpful to set some rules around your work. Here are ten tips from us to help you stay productive when working from home.
- Take regular breaks. It is a well-known fact that humans have very short attention spans. Your breaks don’t have to be long. Five minutes every hour or two will do as long as you give yourself enough time to switch off for a short while.
- Work the way that works for you. Some people are great first thing in the morning but a lot of people struggle. If you’re not a morning person, then accept it and start work a little later if you can. Of course, if you have a client that wants an 8am call you need to adhere to that but perhaps make up for it by starting a little later the following day. Working 9-5 daily doesn’t suit everyone.
- Give yourself five minutes to scour the net, check your social media accounts and do anything else that may stop you getting on with your work before you start. We all procrastinate but this habit can get out of hand and damage productivity. By identifying a fixed amount of time to designate to what you want you don’t deny yourself that time but you keep it in check so it doesn’t reduce the amount you are actually working.
- Get some fresh air. When you take your breaks try and get outside to soak up some vitamin D. As well as being good for your bones, Vitamin D can also counteract depression.
- Streamline your technology. Do you really need Zoom, Skype, Slack, Trello, and Google Drives? Some of us can get bogged down in productivity tools and actually end up less productive. Get rid of those tools that you don’t need and only use the ones that actually help.
- Unless it’s your job, log off social media. Social media can be a fantastic business tool but are you really using it for your business or are you looking at your personal account every now and then and quickly answering messages from friends? If you are, it’s time to stop. Those quick messages can build up and eat into your work time, making you less productive.
- Be disciplined. When you say you’re going to work 12-5 schedule it in your diary and stick to it. Schedule in your breaks and those home tasks you need to get done too.
- Identify your workspaces at home. Designate areas that suit you and make you more productive. It may be that being near an open window or door helps you concentrate. By identifying work spaces you’ll find yourself in work mode whenever you enter that space. The beauty of agile/remote working is that you can switch up your surroundings more easily which can make it easier to maintain concentration.
- Identify your most challenging tasks and get them done first. It can be tempting to put off the major tasks we are worried about but doing that can lead to you thinking about them for the rest of the day. This can get in the way of your productivity on other tasks and lead to stress and anxiety. Write a to-do list with the most important tasks at the top.
- Communicate first. If you know you’ll be relying on someone else getting back to you to finish a task get in touch with them as soon as you start working.