How to stay productive when working remotely
How to stay productive when working remotely
Task management software GetBusy takes a look at the best ways to keep yourself focused and increase your productivity when working remotely.
Working remotely can offer a lot more flexibility than going into an office every day, and for many people, it’s been the only way they can continue to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. But there are still plenty of challenges, with many people struggling to stay motivated and productive at home. Here are our top tips for keeping on top of things.
Set up a home office
Working at the kitchen table or from your sofa might be okay for a while, but isn’t a good long-term solution and it’s definitely going to impact your productivity. As one in four people in Germany are now working from home full-time, many of us need to start thinking about a more permanent setup. To stay focused and work effectively, you need a proper home office.
Try to find an area in your home that can become a dedicated workspace. Preferably a spare room, but even a corner of your living room or dining room will do. If you can add a room divider to make it a separate space, even better. It just needs to be somewhere that’s exclusively for work. Creating a clear physical separation between your own time and work time, even when it’s all within your home, is important for staying productive.
Invest in a desk and a comfortable office chair that’s designed to support your back. And get a second screen and full-sized keyboard so that you’re not hunched over a laptop for long hours. Having a proper office set up will help you to switch into work mode and stay focused.
Stick to a good routine
Without the clear boundary of getting up and leaving the house to go to an office, it can be easy to let your normal workday routine get a bit blurred. When your new remote work office is just a few steps away from your bed, it’s all too tempting to lie in until five minutes before you start. And many remote workers feel pressure to work longer hours to prove their productivity, meaning they don’t switch off until late into the evening.
However, sticking to a clear routine is actually really important for maintaining your productivity when working remotely. Working for more hours won’t necessarily mean you get more done, and you’ll be at risk of burnout.
Set yourself up with a good morning routine - wake up, shower, get dressed properly, and give yourself five minutes to just prepare for the day before signing in. Perhaps you could go for a walk around the block. This will help you to feel more switched on and engaged when you start work
Make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day, just to get away from the screen and stretch. Take a lunch break as well, away from your desk. And try to finish at a reasonable time each day - set a strict cut-off point where you leave your work until the next day and turn everything off. Having some time in the evenings to relax and stop thinking about work is important for staying productive during the day.
Manage your workload
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed as your work piles up and you don’t seem to be making any headway with it. You need to learn how to manage your workload and your time to ensure you’re getting everything done when it needs to be.
Break the projects assigned to you down into smaller goals and tasks, identifying chunks of work that you can do so you can work towards completing the overall project. If you’re not sure where to start with task management then GetBusy’s guide covers everything from how to tackle multiple projects and deadlines to prioritising your to-do list so that you never miss a deadline.
If you’re finding there are just as many distractions working remotely as there are in the office then you need to minimise these. Whether it’s the people you live with or your pets interrupting you regularly, you need to find a way to set up some boundaries - keep your pets in another room, and set up specific times when you’re not to be disturbed. For noisy neighbours or building work, invest in some noise-cancelling headphones so you can listen to music that helps you focus.
And if you find yourself wasting time scrolling through social media or responding to messages, then limit your access. Put your phone in a different room, block social media sites on your computer at certain times, and mute notifications or set up a do not disturb.
Keep in touch with colleagues
Working remotely can be isolating, and this will also have a negative effect on your productivity levels. So make sure you keep in regular contact with your colleagues. Check in with the rest of your team in the mornings and catch up on what you’ve been doing. This will give you the opportunity to get different opinions and perspectives on your work, especially if you’re stuck on something.
And if there are any informal or social video calls, then don’t skip them. Feeling engaged with your colleagues and part of a team can really motivate you and boost your productivity.
Working remotely can be just as productive as office work; you just need to set yourself up with the right tools, stick to a routine, and stay connected with your colleagues. GetBusy is a new task management tool that integrates with multiple project management tools to ensure its users get their tasks done without needing to follow up manually, allowing you to organise your team with unmissable tasks. Test it out with a free demo!