Working remotely has increased enormously due to Covid19. But I really think, working remotely is not a trend or something short-term; it is here to stay. We must learn how to be more productive (and happier) working remotely. It provides great advantages both for the company and for the worker. It allows greater levels of freedom but… all that freedom comes with additional responsibility. Some even struggle to remain productive.
So here is the challenge, how can we, as professionals improve our productivity while working remotely? The writer Laura Vanderkam has been researching professional success and has developed many interviews with managers, employees, and freelancers around the world in order to discover what is required to be productive (and happy) while working remotely. In her wonderful book “The New Corner Office”, Laura explains 5 powerful ideas that will improve your productivity when working remotely.
- Think in terms of tasks, not time. When working from home or remotely it’s better to think about the tasks you have to do, not in the time you have to work. Focus on the tasks and how you can accomplish them. A good way to reorient your work on productivity is to draw up a list of tasks for each week. Every Friday, take a moment to write down what you would like to get done the following week. If you manage employees, you can create accountability by having your workers submit their lists to you each week as well. Then forget about hours. Each day, just focus on crossing items off the list. When working from home, knowing when to stop is just as important as knowing when to start. At the end of the day compare the “to-do” list with the list of the things done.
- Find a daily schedule that resonates with your work. It’s very useful to keep your schedule stable and predictable. While remote work lets us abandon the rigid schedule of the office, it’s still smart to structure your day with the right rhythm. Having flexibility is nice, but without some form of organization, it can lead to stress and distraction. You’ll end up wasting time and energy deciding what to do and when to do it. Laura recommends creating a ritual to replace your commute and also dividing your working hours into a rough schedule. It is also important to schedule some breaks during the day.
- Foster close relationships while working remotely. Working from home can seem isolating, it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of effort and planning, even a remote workforce can remain a close and collaborative community. It’s true that working remotely makes socializing more difficult than working face to face. But fortunately today there are many tools that can make working remotely more social. And using these tools with an open and warm attitude can help you foster close relationships despite working from home.
- Achieve your potential by always seeking new challenges. While the remote work lifestyle doesn’t require that you abandon your aspirations. It’s particularly important to check in regularly with your goals and desires. And always be open to unexpected opportunities.
- Optimize your working experience by creating a comfortable environment. Having the right furniture and amenities can do a lot to boost your productivity. Investing in having an appropriate workspace. A solid desk, ergonomic office chair, and proper lighting will help you remain comfortable. Take the time to make your workspace appealing with personal touches like decorations and plenty of plants. A nice view always helps, too. So, if you can, try setting up near a window.
Working remotely is here to stay and the Covid19 crisis has boosted it. As we mentioned in my post a few months ago, “Working remotely“, it offers great advantages both for the professionals and the organizations. Following Laura’s ideas about will help you improve your productivity (and happiness) working from home.
And just to finish this post, a piece of wonderful advice by Laura Vanderkam “Time is a choice, you are always choosing how to spend your time”.