As of 2021, nearly 55% of global businesses allow work from home in some capacity. This goes a long way in suggesting that remote working is now a norm in most industries across the globe.
Even then, the relatively new work model does have its share of challenges. While employers feel that employees tend to be less productive while working remotely, employees feel that they end up working more than they would if they were working from the office. This gap is a big one, but can easily be bridged with the help of the right approach to remote working.
While employees need to take proactive steps towards maintaining their productivity, employers need to provide tools that are required by employees to perform better. Regardless, if you are looking for effective ways to increase productivity while working from home, here are a few ways to go about it.
#1 Adhere to a Fixed Schedule
One of the first steps towards having a more organized workday when you are working remotely is to set a schedule that works for you — professionally and personally.
Let us be clear: this has a lot to do with what you need to do, rather than what you want to do. One of the biggest challenges that remote workers face is a lack of time for almost everything. For instance, you have a birthday party to organize so you do not have time to finish your deliverables or vice versa. It just does not work that way.
Treat your remote work schedule just like you would deal with your in-office schedule. Assign fixed hours for work, schedule your deliverables accordingly and try to be productive within those hours. Working remotely does give you the additional benefit of moving things around a little bit, but you should ensure to not allow yourself too much flexibility.
If you have assigned your work timings as 9 AM to 5 PM, then leave all the other personal things for before or after this time slot. At the same time, do not allow your work to go beyond this time slot and compromise on your personal priorities.
#2 Set up a Home Office
When you are working from home, it is easy to become a homebody. You could end up feeling like you do not need to dress up or even get out of bed to get work done. Our advice is: do not give in to this temptation.
Set up a work desk and ensure that you are at your work desk every day to start working at a designated time. Your work desk should be uncluttered and have all the stationery and gadgets that you need to get your work done. Keep your phone and laptop charged, your earphones/headphones should be accessible in case of a meeting. In fact, feel free to go a step further and decorate your desk the way you find inspiring. For instance, if you think greenery inspires and energizes you, find small succulent plants to keep at your desk.
Keep your home office away from distractions so that you are not tempted to indulge in other activities when you are working. And yes, dress up as you would for a casual day at work and adopt a posture that would help you focus.
#3 Request Tools That Can Help You Perform Better
A major mistake that people often make is feeling like just because you are working from home, your company does not need to take care of your needs as an employee.
Employee satisfaction and welfare are at the top of any company’s priority list. So if you let your management know that you need something to be more productive, chances are that your company will be happy to facilitate it. It could be anything right from a better workstation to tools that you think will make your work easier and more efficient.
For instance, if your employee training program does not work that effectively in facilitating training and skill upgrades of remote employees, you can ask your management to complement it with more effective task management, communication, and product walkthrough tools. Such solutions can help you learn a new enterprise solution more effectively and help you perform better.
#4 Remember to Reward Yourself
In the pursuit of achieving bigger and better achievements, we end up overlooking the esteem needs that we have from time to time, as an individual. It is important to never take your small accomplishments for granted.
Finished your entire day’s work within the first five hours? Reward yourself with a nice snack in the evening. Achieved your monthly target with a week to spare? Take yourself and your loved ones out for dinner. The rewards that your company could offer you for great work are secondary.
This might sound like something you can easily let go of, but doing so will help you get rejuvenated for the tasks to come. It will also help you practice self-care and ensure that you instantly feel better about your achievements.
#5 Pay Attention to Your Health and Wellbeing
One of the most common challenges faced by employees who are working remotely is that they do not know where the work ends, and life begins. In fact, nearly 53% of employees believe that work-life balance is crucial for their well-being.
Overworking, stress and burnout are common side effects of employees who are working remotely and not getting their emotional needs met. You should inculcate at least one habit that you practice every day for your mental well-being. Needless to say, emotional or mental distress can impact your physical health as well.
A report published by Oracle in 2020, suggested that nearly 76% of employees felt that their organization should do more about ensuring the mental health of their workforce. Regardless, you can take proactive steps to make your own physical and mental health a priority and promote it among your team.
Remember: better health and well-being directly translates to improved productivity and performance.
Remote working is now more prevalent than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this trend is only likely to grow as time passes. Lack of productivity and work-life balance are some of the most prevalent issues plaguing remote teams. Taking proactive steps to mitigate these issues, and scheduling these effectively can help you perform better and boost productivity.
Tim Ferguson is a writer and editor of Marketing Digest. He enjoys writing about SEO, content marketing, online reputation management, social media, AI, and Big Data. When he is not writing and editing for Marketing Digest, he spends time on learning more about content marketing and getting better at it.