Millions of global workers pivoted almost overnight to remote work strategies. The coronavirus has scattered your teams, and many of us spent the last several months adjusting to a new working-from-home lifestyle. Some things are working, some things aren’t. It happens – we can’t all be 100% productive and engaged every moment of our workday. But we can implement some effective remote working tips to help you stay focused, productive, and confident throughout your day.
Remote Working Tips for Maintaining Productivity
Your office is gone, and after months of trial and error concerning how and where to set up your workspace at home, when to work, you’ve got a workable system in place. Now that you’re used to this new normal, are there ways you can organize or optimize your space or process?
Recognize and Limit Distractions
One of the biggest pitfalls of working from home is that you don’t have to wait to get off work and go home to start doing those chores and other tasks that need to be done because they’re already in front of you.
There are ways to work around these distractions, though. Firstly, if you have a quick project that can be done during a quick break from work, you should do it. But be careful not to start a bigger project if you won’t have time to finish it during your break. Switch over that load of laundry, load the dishwasher, vacuum the hallway, let the dog out. But save the closet reorganization and leaf-raking for after work.
Refine Communication Parameters
Hopefully, you and your coworkers, employees, and supervisors have a system already in place for how often everyone should be checking in and reporting progress or issues. Take some time now to reevaluate these systems – do they still make sense? Is 8 a.m. still the best time for that team meeting? Would your team benefit from implementing a chat-based system for quick or urgent issues, rather than sending these updates through email? Refine and refresh those communication channels to work better for you.
Don’t Forget about the Home Team
When you are working in a physical office location, it’s easy to tune into the workday, as everyone is on the same page. But when your office is inside the family home? Not everyone is on the same wavelength.
It’s important to talk to your family or roommates and set ground rules for what is and isn’t ok. Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you will automatically be doing your domestic duties (making lunch or dinner, cleaning, watching/playing with the kids). It’s also a good idea to set boundaries regarding noise and room use so your board meeting isn’t interrupted by something like this, or worse.
Remote Working Tips for Avoiding Burnout
The other side of the productivity coin is burnout. When working from home, many people often find they work more – checking emails after hours or responding to requests and emails when technically off-the-clock. Let’s talk about a few ways to help maintain work-life harmony and avoid burnout.
Maintain Boundaries to Separate Work and Home
Typically, the boundaries between work and home are clear. You put on your work clothes, and walk, drive, or take the train to the office. With these physical barriers gone, it’s easy for your work and home roles to start bleeding together.
One easy and effective way to separate them in a remote work environment is to ditch those work PJs for a more professional outfit. As simple as it sounds, this exercise keeps your brain keyed into the differences between on-the-clock and off-the-clock time.
Another good way to start your day is by turning your “commute” into a short walk. You can walk up and down your street, around the block, to a nearby park, or even just around your apartment or building.
Budget Your Time Wisely
Don’t forget about budgeting your time and maintaining boundaries in your work blocks as well. For many, the traditional 9-5 workday may not be realistic right now, especially with many employees taking care of children or elderly family members, and running errands for those who are more vulnerable to illness.
Make sure you have open lines of communication that clearly describe your team members’ work schedules and upcoming changes to them. (Did your child’s school recently shift to online? Do you have a doctor’s appointment or other personal meeting coming up?)
Recognize and Accommodate Your Natural Work Rhythms
Many sources advocate for working in a top-down fashion when it comes to project priority, that you should do the most important task first, and leave the busy work for later.
However, if you are fresher and more focused after a few cups of coffee, try starting your morning with a less-involved task and then saving your big-brain projects for late morning or early afternoon.
This can help you maintain momentum throughout your day rather than being overcome by an ebb in your workday energy and spending minutes or hours trying to refocus and get back on track.
Let Us Lead You to Remote Work Success
Need help organizing or educating your global team? Switching to a better collaboration tool? Meet Me In The Cloud is your go-to resource for white-glove support and training of collaboration services and tools.
Whether you need training and education, event assistance, or other collaboration-based support and service, contact us today.