Remote working productivity tips for working anywhere
There’s a popular myth when it comes to remote working productivity. Many of us have been on the receiving end of a comment, meant as a joke that working remotely isn’t working at all.
The stereotype is of someone sitting on their couch wearing pyjamas, watching a Netflix boxset. The reality is somewhat different.
Remote working can seem daunting – so we’ve compiled seven top tips to maximise your remote working productivity, wherever you are.
Remote Working Productivity: 7 Top Tips
1 – Establish boundaries
When you’re working, work. When you’re relaxing, relax. Set limits for both yourself and others, especially if you work at home when other people are around. Let them know that you’re working and can respond to them later, but right now, you’re busy, and the work you are doing is just as important as any done in an office.
2 – Tasks not hours
Commit to doing a set number of tasks rather than hours. Tell yourself that when those tasks are done, you are done. As soon as have ticked the last one off, you can switch off for the day. Completion can be a great motivator. It’s all too easy to think that you have to work a certain number of hours, but if those hours aren’t productive, it’s a waste of time. The culture of presenteeism is one of the reasons you choose to work remotely, remember?
3 – Pick your time
Work when suits you. Unless you have to be online to connect with other people, take advantage of the fact that you are able to choose your working hours, and pick times when you are at your best. If your brain is racing at 7 am, get up and start work then. There’s no point waiting until 9 am just because that’s what everyone in an office does. Tuesday afternoons always a slump time for you? Go for a walk instead of hunching over your laptop. But don’t be so flexible that it veers into being flakey. Once you’ve picked your hours for the day or week, stick to them.
4 – Take a break
With no separate canteen space and no colleagues to share lunch with, it’s easy to power on through and munch while you work. You’ll get more done, right? But taking a break is a great way to boost productivity. The human brain can only focus for a limited amount of time, so taking the opportunity to refresh and revive will let you get back to your work with renewed vigour.
5 – Deadlines
Give yourself deadlines, and stick to them. If you can create a deadline with a co-worker (wherever they are), even better, as this gives you extra accountability. It’s amazing what can happen when you’ve got a hard line drawn and need to meet it.
6 – Focus
Despite numerous studies[iii] showing that multitasking results in poor results we still try to do it. There are multiple benefits of working from home, primarily that you don’t have people asking you to read an email, or stopping by for a chat, or asking for some help. When you’re on your own, with a task to do, it’s the perfect opportunity to be focused and single-minded. Keep your remote working productivity goals at the front of your mind. If you’re struggling with internet distractions, try websites like StayFocused to help you do just that. So close down your tabs, switch off your phone, put the dog in the garden, and get the job done.
7 – Invest
Set yourself up with goods and products that are a joy to use (see remote working productivity products here). There’s no point going for the cheapest laptop that always breaks down, the pen that only writes three pages before it needs replacing, the stand that needs rejigging every four minutes. These things all eat into your time and stop you using it in the most productive way.