The current situation the world is facing has led to a huge surge in people forced to work from home. While this is not a new concept for some, for others that are used to the daily commute to the workplace, remote working can feel a little bit alien.
And although the thought of kicking back in pyjamas and working from your sofa was appealing to begin with, its novelty is wearing off as remote working becomes a long-term reality. It can be hard to stay on track, avoid distractions and get things done when spending long periods of remote working.
Don’t stress – here’s some top tips to stay productive (and sane) during a remote working lockdown …
1. GET DRESSED
As simple as it sounds, getting dressed in the morning is a great way of getting you in the right frame of mind for a productive day’s work.
Ditch the jim-jams for office attire and you will be surprised how different it feels when you open your laptop.
Not only will you be mentally prepared, you’ll also be physically prepared – and get so much more done as a result.
2. DEFINE YOUR WORKSPACE
And we don’t mean section off an area of the sofa under a cosy blanket. Find a place in your home, and mark this as your area dedicated work zone.
Regardless of space or location, find an area where you will work, and commit to working in this space every day.
Make sure this is quiet so you can focus on the task at hand and avoid spaces you would normally use to relax.
3. DEVELOP A MORNING ROUTINE
People are creatures of habit and we can’t help it. We rely on routines and structure to make our lives feel normal – remote working disrupts this.
Develop a morning routine. Set an alarm, wake up and complete your average morning as you would if you were heading in to work.
Use the time you’d normally be commuting as a way of preparing yourself for the workday ahead. Whatever your routine is, define it and stick to it.
4. CREATE & USE TO-DO LISTS
It’s easy to lose sight of priorities, tasks, and deadlines while remote working so if you don’t already, start the day with a to-do list of things you want to accomplish.
Make sure these are clear, actionable and achievable so you get that feel-good feeling when you mark it as done. It’s a simple, but very effective way of prioritising work and making sure you stay on track.
5. FIND YOUR PRODUCTIVITY PEAK
Research suggests that the human body goes through cycles of between 90 and 120 minutes. Through each of these cycles we are taken from an unproductive trough to a productive peak, and then back again.
Make note of the periods in the day when you feel more energised and motivated compared to the times when you feel lethargic.
Once you figure out your most productive time of day, rearrange your to-do list and put your important tasks in periods where you’re alert and your less important, easier tasks in periods where your attention span is low.
6. TAKE REGULAR MOVEMENT BREAKS
Most of us can get fidgety while remote working, causing us to physically switch-off. And when that happens, you mentally begin to switch-off too.
Boost productivity by stepping outside a few times throughout the day. Even if it’s just for a few minutes – it will help.
The fresh air will wake up the body, mind and encourage new ideas.
7. AVOID FAMILY & FURRY FRIENDS
This can be difficult, especially if you have young children or fur-babies, all of whom want your undivided attention.
It’s best to set some clear boundaries with your family while you work. It’s not being mean – it’s removing notable distractions and frees you up to get more done.
So as much as it pains you, resist the urge and set your eyes back on the screen.
8. SAY NO TO DISTRACTIONS
We are all guilty of a little procrastination at times, but distractions threaten to kill our workflow if we aren’t mindful of them.
So put the phone out of sight, don’t open social media and de-clutter your immediate area. Instead, save these distractions as small treats you reward yourself during breaks.
Not only will you get more done, but you’ll also have loads to catch-up on. Win-win.
9. COLLABORATE VIA VIDEO CHAT
Remote working can get lonely, especially if you’re used to working in a team. Rather than back and forth emailing about projects and documents, why not video conference instead?
Make a point to chat with colleagues, team members, or clients each day and you’ll find there’s less ambiguity than over email, you’ll regain some humanity that’s lost when working at home and you’ll get more done in less time.
Just because you have access to work while remote working, it doesn’t mean you should work as and when. Get in the habit of logging off and winding down at the end of the workday.
Don’t let work creep into your personal life just because you’re already at home. The risk is real, but only if you let it. By setting specific work hours and sticking to them, you will increase your performance during these hours and develop a healthy schedule that works for you.
Start putting these tips into practice to streamline your routine and increase your productivity.
Need help with remote working?
We are currently running offers on remote working services to help businesses looking to implement a robust & easy to manage working from home solution.
This includes FREE softphone & mobile app licences as part of our hosted telephony solution & free video-conferencing for up to 10 devices. For more information, call 0333 150 6780, email or fill in the contact form below.