At the dawn of remote work during the pandemic, I remember work from home being vicious for my productivity. There’s no way I could be on top of my performance with all the distractions at home and the lack of motivation to work. It was too comfortable, yet too frustrating.
After a while though, a more flexible working arrangement proved to be the missing puzzle I never thought I needed for my productivity. And it’s not just me. The majority of remote workers increasingly report higher productivity.
Apart from the time and expenses on commute, there are some specific reasons and tips of how remote workers stay more productive than their office-counterparts.
1. Creating a workspace
Working from home will allow you to snuggle up in pajamas and lay in bed with your laptop widespread on your sheets. Quick tip? Don’t do it.
Apart from keeping you organized and in-tact, evidence suggests that designating a room or space to carry out your job duties will make you less prone to others distractions.
When selecting a workspace to utilize the productivity potential that remote work provides, Buffer gives some relevant tips:
-Choosing your chair wisely, since committing to a special workspace for your workday will require long hours of sitting.
-Decorating your workspace for to unleash creativity and motivation.
-Adding colors and textures that make you feel more motivated and comfortable.
-Simply creating your own office with a door you can close.
2. Simply doing more
When working remotely you have the flexibility to start the work earlier. Or even later. Your call. A study conducted by International Workplace Group summarizes that 85% of businesses believe that flexible policies have improved their productivity.
At the end of the day, wouldn’t it be much more organic to start working without having to concern of any morning commute and the getting ready to look presentable for the public? Here’s some further perspective:
-Every hour not spent in commuting to work, could be used for actually working. This sums up to an average of 408 hours a worker spends commuting to work, based on a study by Airtasker.
-Every dollar not spent on fuel, which is estimated to be $4,523 annually, means sparing the frustration and extra money an employee uses just to get to work.
Taking more breaks
“Less to achieve more”—Kevin Kruse, CEO and author, shares insights in a Forbes article on how taking more breaks actually leads to more productivity. Indeed, 65% of workers do claim to be more productive when they are not working from office, and many critics have attributed this increased productivity to the ability of remote workers to take more breaks. Not surprisingly, another study shows that 37% of workers believe that the key to more productivity for them are small breaks throughout the day.
Kruse gives a specific technique which all of us could use in order to maximize productivity in our routines: The Pulse and Pause technique. According to the research based on which the technique arose, people can only focus 90 minutes before getting physiological needs to avoid fatigue. The evidence related to the technique indicates that in order to be more productive, the body needs to go through short breaks or refreshments periodically.
Go ahead and pulse a 90 minute of focused work—only to reward yourself with a short break and snacks afterwards—and see where that takes your productivity!
Engaging online with coworkers
Many remote work concerns revolve around team isolation or disconnection. These views, however, are challenged by notable research. An MIT study shows that 93% of workers believed that collaboration was improved after remote work, while 80% reported improved morale and engagement.
On-site cubicles and office noise do not seem to necessarily engage coworkers, at least not as effectively and collaboratively as remote work does. Scott Edinger in Harvard Business Review shares some views on why remote teams are more engaged, three of are particularly crucial:
Proximity does not necessarily create meaningful connections- Because many leaders have their separate space even in offices full of people, meaningful and substantial communications isn’t all that common.
Remote leaders make a better use of tools- Piggybacking to the Edinger’s view that absence breeds more effort to connect, remote leaders are usually on top of their tools’ options. This means, they will typically make sure to use the most efficient video-conferencing and communications tools compared to office-counterparts. Better connectivity and collaboration is the result.
Our game-changer pick on necessary tools for remote work are virtual co-working spaces or offices. The spontaneous team meetings and access to your team—without the intrusiveness of a physical office—will bring an optimal level of connectivity.
With great flexibility, comes great potential to be healthier! A Forbes article reopens our eyes on some of the health hazards that revolve around on-set work. For instance, did you know that there is correlation between commuting length and higher blood pressure at work?
Two points are particularly beneficial on remote workers’ health and your business:
-Remote workers take less sick leaves. This might not necessarily prove that they are healthier, but fewer sick days definitely means more working days and thus more productivity.
-Remote workers have better mental health. Based on the aforementioned MIT study, 85 percent agreed that their stress was reduced. In effect, this stress reduction can easily translate to higher productivity and better engagement in work activities.