Today’s work environments have changed drastically in the last decade, which is why people can work remote more frequently, or they are able to work exclusively from home or while traveling. While this is an ideal situation for most people who work remotely, it can also pose a unique set of problems you wouldn't experience in the office.
Use these 5 tips to help maximize your productivity and stay on track while creating an ideal work/life balance remote.
1. Invest In A Traditional Or Standing Desk To Boost Productivity
Purchasing a desk for work use only, whether it be a traditional sitting desk or a modern standing desk, will help you create order and promote focus on the tasks at hand.
If possible, purchasing a standing desk is a great solution for maintaining focus and preventing fatigue. According to the Washington Post, standing desks have been shown to increase overall productivity both at the office and in home, while also improving cognitive function.
"…employees who worked at stand-capable desks sat on average for nearly 1.6 hours less per day than their seated co-workers. Prolonged sitting has been linked with many health risks, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes” (Washington Post).
If you are serious about maximizing your potential while working remotely, then investing in a dedicated work desk will pay off in the long run. Creating an office space will help you create a clear separation between work and home, making it easier to clock out and separate yourself at the end of the day.
As for the standing desks, there are many styles and sizes on the market to fit most needs. If you are limited on space, the standing desk may be the perfect option because there is no need for a chair and file storage can be stacked vertically rather than horizontally.
Standing Desks on Amazon:
Whether you are remote or in the office, I would recommend standing more so over sitting to increase your productivity and maintain your health.
“There’s way more evidence, and I would say stronger evidence, that suggests when someone sits for eight hours a day, it’s not good for you,” he says. “It’s not good for the metabolic health, it’s not good for longevity” says Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Remember, when using a stand/sit desk, listen to your body. It might be healthier to stand, but your body will need a break and it’s okay to break up your workday with sitting and standing to balance it out.
2. Create A Work Schedule
Creating and sticking to a schedule will help you get the most out of the day and prevent burnouts from working around the clock. The benefit of having a schedule for remote work is to make sure you stay on task and don‘t get off track by distractions around you.
The more organized your daily schedule is, the more time you have to fit all of the tasks, chores, and leisure you require into your day. According to many studies, it has been shown that remote employees work harder than in-house employees because they feel like they have more to prove. Working remotely, you may be tempted to question your work ethics even if you are getting the same amount of work done you would in the office.
To keep you sane, and prove to you or your boss you are completing all your work, creating a schedule or task list will come in hand. As you work, fill in the time it took you to complete each thing on your list so you can see how productive you were that day (we will extend on this point below).
While creating a schedule of your tasks, upcoming meetings and projects there are a few ways you can go about it so the entire team can keep up with your timelines.
- Try turning to automation. For example, Asana is an online work place that a lot of remote teams use for communication, setting deadlines, assigning tasks, projects, etc.
That way everyone can see what is going on with their team, what’s coming up and get digital reminders sent to them through email so they never miss a deadline.
- Sync your schedule. Because of today's amazing technology, you can create a schedule online using automation and sync up your devices. I’m talking your laptops, smartphones, smartwatches! yes, how could you ever miss anything again with all these alert reminders coming your way?
- Go traditional. If you are disciplined and know you will check your calendar everyday first thing, you can stick to the traditional calendar to keep near your desk.
3. Keep Your Home And Workspace Separate
One key to remaining productive when working remotely is to ensure you have a dedicated work space and here is why.
The Gusto blog is just one of the thousands of sources that discuss the benefits of creating your own work environment, separate from your home when working remote.
“I cannot focus on work in the same place I eat my meals and watch television,” says one personal finance blogger. “Putting a dedicated work station (meaning, for me, simply a desk in the guest bedroom) boosted my productivity. I don’t do anything at my desk that’s not work related — and I never work from the couch. That’s just a nap waiting to happen!”
Some remote workers resort to working from the dining room or couch which is a big mistake. Not having that separation and balance can make life miserable and depressing. Soon you’ll feel like you never get out of the house, can never shut off work, or start seeing your home as a place of stress rather than rest.
People who work in a designated area only and avoid working in other home spaces will maintain productivity and will be able to concentrate and focus on the work at hand; feeling like they are actually at work and not home. When you work in other areas of the home, you can become distracted and even interrupt your daily routine.
For instance, you can interrupt your sleep schedule if you attempt to work while laying in bed and you may unknowingly associate the bed with work rather than sleep, leading to insomnia. Even if you don’t have a separate room to create your own office, you can still dedicate a corner of a room to work and add a small desk and all of your work equipment in one place.
4. Avoid Your Phone
Looking at your phone is distracting and should be avoided in order to make the progress you desire with your work; a very obvious concept and rule when working remote.
Hide your phone from yourself in an area away from your workspace or mute your notifications for a select period.
The temptation to check for messages and look at social media will be removed and you will be able to stay on task. You can check your phone during designated breaks so you don’t miss important phone calls and emails you may need access to during your work time.
Forbes magazine says that 83% of millennials open text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. That’s more than half!! “When actively avoiding texting and driving, we have to intentionally put our phone somewhere out of reach or turn it off. The same could apply in the office. If we can’t completely remove it from temptation, scheduling periods where we put our phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode could reduce distractions” (Forbes).
5. Track Your Progress
A great way to determine how productive you have become and learn how to continuously make progress is to track your work-related activities through the day; similar to what we talked about above. Time how long it takes to accomplish tasks and that will show you how effective your routine and daily strategies have become, which, in turn, will allow you to fine tune your approach to get the most out of your workweek. In addition, keeping track of your progress regularly will allow you to improve over time and help you develop the routine combination that works best for your situation.
This can also show you how often you are distracted, how many breaks you take or if you are taking too little. Remember work is work, and your health is always number one priority. So make sure you are taking the appropriate amount of breaks allowed, using that time to walk around and get in a few steps, verse searching social media. A productive break makes for a more productive day!
Staying efficient while working remotely will allow you to harness the benefits of this increasingly popular work scenario. Try incorporating these ideas into your workday and notice the results of your diligence pay off in a big way. If you want weekly event tips, marketing and lifestyle hacks, you can subscribe to our blog below.