Working remotely can be both a blessing and a challenge. On one hand, you have the flexibility to work from anywhere with an internet connection. On the other hand, it’s easy to get distracted or disheartened, and lose focus. In fact, it’s one of the biggest complaints of those new to this method of working. It is also one of the strongest drivers motivating business owners and employees, back into the office.
But fear not! With a few simple tips, you can ensure you meet scheduled outcomes and flourish in a remote working environment. Here are five tips to help you stay on track:
Firstly, set Up a Dedicated Workspace.
According to Michelle from virtual assistants Virtual Hand “Working from your couch might seem cozy, but it’s not the most conducive environment for productivity. Create a designated workspace where you can focus and separate your work from your personal life..” Whether it’s a spare room, a corner in your bedroom, or a home office, having a dedicated space will help you get into the right mindset for work.
Secondly, stick to a Routine.
Just because you’re not commuting to the office, doesn’t mean you should skip the morning routine altogether. In fact, it’s vital but can include all of the aspects that make your day enjoyable. Establish a daily routine that includes waking up at a consistent time, getting dressed – no, pyjamas – and setting clear boundaries between work and personal time. You could start the day with a favourite breakfast or coffee, but keep it to the allotted time and both your business and body will benefit. A routine helps signal to your brain that it’s time to be productive and can boost your overall efficiency. Have you heard of the Pomodoro Method? This is an option on how to segregate time out for all that’s important.
Importantly, minimize distractions.
If you are the type of person that works in silence and is easily frustrated by household activity, you have likely invested in a lock on the door, or soundproof headphones (*Remember not to use these for extended periods without a break!) Household chores are also an easy procrastination outlet! Minimise distractions by turning off notifications on your phone or computer and setting specific times for checking emails and social media, creating a quiet and organised workspace.
Oddly, our fourth tip is to take regular breaks.
It may sound counterintuitive, but taking regular breaks can actually boost your productivity. Sitting at your desk for hours has a proven detrimental effect on your mental state and disengages your body. Instead, schedule short breaks throughout the day. Use this time to stretch, grab a healthy snack, or go for a short walk. The Pomodoro Method includes break times to maximise periods of concentrated work.
An absolute necessity is incorporating communication and collaboration into every day.
Working remotely doesn’t mean you have to work in isolation. Stay connected with your team or associates and communicate regularly. Take advantage of video conferencing tools, instant messaging platforms, and project management software to collaborate effectively. Clear communication helps maintain a sense of teamwork and accountability. It also reminds you that you are not an island and that your daily frustrations are common to many!
If you are struggling with working remotely – be it communication with other humans, or staying on top of your workload, it may be worth considering working ‘alongside’ a virtual team in the form of highly competent virtual assistants.