Remote work continues for a significant part of the American workforce, with no clear end in sight. Plenty of employees are fine with this and enjoy the continued freedom of working from home. Others may be tiring of this approach and struggling to continue being productive outside of a more conventional work environment. Even the most enthusiastic remote workers may find themselves getting distracted. How productive have you been during your work-from-home time?
Adjusting to Long-Term Remote Work
Most people have had at least a few work-from-home days before, but this long-term experiment is an entirely different beast. Plenty of us stuck to tried-and-true productivity techniques early on, but as time passed, maybe we slacked and focused less on truly getting work done. These same strategies hold just as true now as they did earlier this year. To keep your remote work time productive:
- Set a schedule & stick to it
- Create a dedicated workspace
- Be proactive about communicating
- Enjoy your flexibility in moderation
1) Set a Schedule & Stick to It
One significant advantage of working from home is the ability to set your own schedule, as well as the ability to change that schedule when needed to accommodate unexpected incidents. However, if your schedule is too flexible, you may be tempted to put certain tasks off until late in the day and your work is likely to suffer. Draw up a schedule for your day that allows you to finish everything in a timely fashion while also allowing for periodic breaks: bathroom visits, lunchtime, a quick walk down the street, etc. Follow your self-made rules and show that you can be just as productive, if not more, working from home as at the office.
2) Create a Dedicated Workspace
You have a desk or perhaps entire office room to yourself at your job’s physical location. Sitting down at your workstation puts you in “productivity mode”. Why not replicate that at home? If possible, dedicate a certain space for work and work alone. Whether you set up shop at the kitchen table, on the living room couch, or at an actual home desk, keep that area as a work-only zone and leave work there at the end of the day.
3) Be Proactive About Communicating
Your supervisor may want more frequent check-ins from you to ensure you’re still being productive. Likewise, your coworkers may take some time to adjust to having to send you an email or call you rather than just walking up to your desk with questions. In either case, don’t wait for a breakdown in communication. Don’t wait for others to get in contact with you. Take the initiative to let them know you’re working and thinking of them during your workday.
Pro Tip: You’ll likely find yourself on the phone or in Zoom meetings with coworkers frequently during your work-from-home period. These moments may seem disruptive, but they’re the best way to stay connected with your team outside the office.
4) Enjoy Your Flexibility in Moderation
Finally, remember that you are still working. If you happen to finish work early, it’s likely fine to do something else rather than waiting out the clock–just make sure to respond to any communications from coworkers quickly. However, don’t break up your workday with procrastination or constant long breaks. No one will stop you from pausing your work to make yourself a cup of coffee. However, pausing your work to go take a long nap or run errands is less excusable. Keep your flexibility within reasonable boundaries.
Staying Productive While Working from Home
Maybe you adjusted perfectly to working from home. Alternatively, maybe you’re struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance or to get any work done while sitting in your house all day. Whatever the case, these strategies can help you boost your remote work productivity. Continue being an exemplary employee no matter your circumstances.
Contact us for more remote work productivity tips and tricks.