Working remote is becoming popular in the US, a trend that grows daily. Approximately 4 million US employees (about 3%) work from home at least half of the week. With an estimated 168% increase of remote employees within the next 10 years, companies everywhere will need to prepare. Although convenient for many, working remotely can come with many distractions for employees. Employers may also find it harder than expected to manage their remote employees. Remote workers must be able to organize and discipline themselves when outside the office. Those unable to adjust can miss deadlines, stress themselves out, and provide poor quality of work. Here are some tips to share with your employees about working remotely to help them stay on task and get the most out of their work day:
Find the right place to work remotely
Before starting any work, you must find a place that is relaxing and drives your focus in the right direction. Some people prefer to work from home and some people prefer to work in a public environment. Whatever the case may be, make sure that you can get your work done. When you find a working space, you just have to remember to separate that space from where you go to relax. The Harvard Business Review Guide to Being More Productive mentions how important it is to keep your home life separated from your work life. It’s easy to let the two meld together, but you have to find separation. If your home and work life collide, you may end up getting distracted, or even worse, you’ll feel as though you can never escape work. Create an office away from your bedroom or find a closet that can be converted into a mini office. Wherever you end up, find the best place to work for your own needs. Try to find separation from your professional life to ensure that you always have an oasis to return to at the end of the day.
Tips to rid yourself of distraction
Distractions can be the downfall of any remote employee. Distractions can cost you valuable time throughout the day, which will leave you obliged to make up hours. The best thing to do for yourself is identify the things that distract you the most, and separate yourself from them while you’re trying to complete your tasks. If social media is your Achilles’ heel, maybe putting your phone in another room is the best solution? Or maybe you can plan on a certain time each day to check all social media? Putting yourself on a routine can help control these outside distractions.
Organize your space
Organizing your space is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. You will not stay productive if you have an unorganized or disruptive space. Of course there are some people who find that a messy desk may actually lead them to productivity, but for most people, a cluttered work area isn’t the best place to get things done. Instead of working, you may find yourself being distracted or you may spend too much time looking for important documents. Instead, consider going paperless, getting desk organizers like binders– try anything to help you with your process. Continuously organize your space at the end of every week to ensure that you will always have a clean, tidy, and productive space.
Set up goals and track your time
Set up your goals to stay organized each day. Ask yourself these questions: What do I want to get done today? What time does a certain task needs to be done? Which tasks are the most urgent? Categorize your day and make yourself a task list. Most office software, like Microsoft Office, has “to do” list features that you can use to plan. Write down a few tasks that need to get done and give yourself a time limit so you don’t end up getting behind. Managing your projects through the day will help you stay up to date with your work.
If you’re working on many projects throughout the day, you might consider a time tracking system like Timesheets.com to help you track what you’re working on and how long those things take you. Knowing where you spend you time is a great way to improve your productivity.
Take Breaks When Working Remotely
Give yourself breaks throughout the day. If you work non-stop, you won’t perform at your best. Take a lunch and take your regular scheduled paid breaks. When you’re not working, get some fresh air or do something to help you decompress and relax. According to a Tork survey, nearly 90% of North American employees claim that taking a lunch breaks helps them feel refreshed. They also felt more inclined to get back to work after a break. Taking breaks is not a bad thing, and you should never feel guilty for stepping away from your desk to stretch or get a cup of coffee. Lower your stress levels and forget about work for a few minutes to rest your mind.
Working remote can be done successfully by anyone but it takes self-discipline and organization. Once you’re in a rhythm, you’ll succeed. Stay organized, find the right space, and keep track of your productivity. If you follow the tips, you’ll do just fine.