Does working from home resemble flexibility for you? Or does it scream ‘disorganization’ and/or ‘stress’?
Whether your cup of tea or not, remote work revolves around a set of challenges that may affect your work one way or another. These challenges may even remain off the top of your head whenever you think of remote work. Good news is, there is a solution for each of them.
1. Define a work schedule
When working from home, it’s easy to become carried away with workload beyond your official schedule. And yes, this also includes checking emails. Without the need to move from your couch and leave a facility at a set time, working beyond schedule is becoming a remote work norm. A report by Buffer shows that unplugging after work has been rated among the top issues remote workers struggle with.
Whereas staying on top of your ‘to do list’ all the time can be tempting, it will simply kill your productivity in the long run. Therefore, defining a work schedule and learning to draw the line between work and leisure is essential in keeping you unplugged. We’ve chosen three tried-and-true tips in this regard:
Stop checking emails- That is, if an email is not sent as an emergency, or coming from your boss directly, you may not be in a huge rush to check it—and it directly keeps you from unplugging.
Turn notifications off- Whatever tool your team uses, turning notifications off after your work schedule is a simple method to block all that new information you might be able to access.
Commit to a short physical exercise- An exercise break is often encouraged to refresh your energy throughout the workday. However, it can also be an effective transition to leisure after a workday, thereby helping you to unplug better and continue the rest of the day free of work tasks.
2. Manage time by prioritizing
“Where does all the time go?” “Why am I all over the place?” Indeed, organizing your time during remote work to complete all the tasks of the day can be overwhelming. It worth noting, however, that the flexibility of remote work can get you to great productivity lengths if properly managed. At the end of the day, 76% of people tend to avoid their office altogether when they need to complete something of high importance. But, what is the secret to unleashing more productivity?
Staying afloat on your tasks and optimizing your work schedule can actually be achieved by a simple formula that starts with an important element: Prioritizing.
Sarah Knight, author of the best seller Get Your Sh*t Together!, mentions a great three step ‘formula’ for successfully getting things done: prioritize, strategize, and commit. She encourages that your tasks should first be listed based on priority. For each prioritized task, there needs to be a broken down strategy, to which you should commit, until the strategy is fully ‘implemented’.
3. Utilize tech for communication and bonding
Let’s get real, remote work does get lonely. And you are not alone in this; various studies have shown that workers feel particularly lonely when working remotely, coupled with a sense of isolation due to lack of bonding with a work team. What we must remember, though, is to utilize today’s information tech resources, which very effectively serve to a digitalized age that allows easy connectivity.
We have picked two main resources:
Productivity tools- Apart from their function in expediting work processes and keeping everyone in the loop, different teams have resorted to productivity apps such as Slack to communicate internally with the team as well as to connect more.
Virtual offices- Whereas a number of solutions do a great job in ensuring communication and virtual meetings within teams, they are simply not enough. A virtual co-working space is the ultimate office a team can use remotely. There are different virtual office software options (See Todayly’s blog post on Must-try Software Tools for Staying Organized during Remote Work), with features that allow employee presence, spontaneous collaboration, and ultimately, team bonding.
4. Organize tasks with software tools
Prioritizing your tasks and managing time properly are often portrayed as the roadmap to achieving highest remote work productivity. However, when wishing to convert that roadmap to practical terms, we have to move one step ahead. This means, we have to employ solutions that have revolutionized the ‘keeping track’ of activities.
Whereas there are increasing software options to use in keeping track and managing work processes, we have chosen two particular tried-and-true winners in this regard:
Trello- Good for smaller-scale tasks as well as for keeping track of personal milestones and to-do lists.
Jira- Good for tracking tech projects. An absolute must for any agile management process.
5. Spare your productivity from distractions
Loud backgrounds, social media alerts, and chatty co-working areas. Yes, we all are well-acquainted with these tried-and-true distractions. However, you need to have a clear plan for blocking out distractions that affect your remote work. And yes, we have even laid out the guide in doing so:
Identify your main distractions- What is actually distracting you? The first step to blocking your distractions is to consider all the possibilities, and then list them one by one.
Set a time- Whereas each remote worker may have different distractions, a common distraction that translates to a many remote routines is privacy. Privacy issues usually arise from having to share your working space with other members, or working in a place where other people can approach you easily. Teaching people to only contact you at a certain time only can spare you from getting distracted.
Get third party help-As determined as we may be to stay focused, we are aware that it cannot always work. This is especially relevant for parents, caretakers, or pet-owners. Thing is, you do not have to take care of everything alone. There are various great options in this regard, such as nannies, caretakers, or different caretaking facilities.
Filter social media notifications-To establish an ideal level of mindfulness when working remotely, it is important to fully disconnect from certain notifications, especially on social media. Sources show that remote work poses an increased risk to getting distracted from social media. Our main tip? Turn your notifications off! In order to keep your curiosity and approachability at a minimum when working, this is a tried-and-true one!
We admit, working from home can be challenging. But, as we like to say in Todayly, remote work is here to stay. As such, it’s important to really apply practical solutions and make the process more productive than physical work has ever been.
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