5 Ways To Increase Your Productivity When Working Remotely
26 March 2022
If you’re currently looking high and low for a new job, remote work is probably pretty high on your list.
Because of the unexpected times we live in and the evolution of our tools and technologies, more and more businesses around the world are strengthening their remote policies or hybrid options to be able to adapt effortlessly to this new way of working and living.
The reason employers are doing everything they can to shift to remote work-from-home jobs is that the demand is extremely high right now. Remote jobs in Europe and all around the world are skyrocketing. In fact, most employees want to work from the comforts of their home 3 to 5 times a week.
Now, you might already know every fact about working remotely that has been shared everywhere from news sites to Twitter threads. So you’re probably aware that one of the most universal facts that every employee keeps in their minds and hearts is remote work productivity.
There’s no denying that you’re more likely to have increased productivity when you’re in an environment where you’re completely comfortable. That said, it’s not always easy to stay focused on the tasks you have at hand. Especially when there are a ton of distractions everywhere around you.
If you’re struggling to keep your remote work productivity up, below are five tips we hope will help you.
1. Upgrade Your Space
Never, ever work from your bed or on a couch! Trust us, you will only get, distracted or worse, end up falling asleep. If you’re serious about working from home but haven’t set up your home office yet, now’s the best time to do so. Try updating your programs and devices if you find the hardware or software you use at home to be sluggish and burdensome.
Ask your manager if the company can provide a budget for upgrading your home office setup. While this will cost a bit of money, a decline in your productivity may be more costly to your manager and company. It may be well worth the expense to upgrade your technology and equipment so that you have the tools you need to execute your best work and be the best professional you can be.
Aside from dedicating a spot in your house for your setup and investing in better equipment and technology, you can also add a specific scent that you can associate with work. Whether that’s from a candle or incense, it might help you focus due to the link between smell, memory, and mood.
2. Keep Your Working Hours Consistent
Know the operating hours of your company and use that as a guide for your work hours at home. Outside of work hours, dedicate yourself to your personal duties, errands, or projects that you should complete.
Multitasking and juggling your work and personal lives will hurt your productivity. If you switch a lot during the day, you can lose up to 40% of your productivity. Attempting to accomplish two things at once might cause each action to take longer to complete, adding unnecessary hours and fatigue to your workday.
Another important aspect of this tip is that you have to communicate these hours. While you might know what your working hours and off-hours are, your coworkers and the people who live with you might not. Talk with them about this so that they’ll respect your time.
Set A Routine You Can Follow
Whether you have a remote job in Europe or anywhere else in the world, you know that there’s no need to worry about someone checking in on you. And while this is often a good thing, there are always those days when you just lose track of time while working. The result of this is that either you overwork yourself or you don’t have enough time to finish any of your tasks—personal and professional.
This is perfectly normal, but there’s a way around it: productivity routines. Establish a routine for working, sleeping, exercising, taking breaks, doing housework, and spending time with your family or partner. Then honor the time you've set out for each task. If you tend to forget these important little details, use alarms or calendar reminders.
Get up in the morning, shower, dress, and eat breakfast as you normally would before heading to the office. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, especially if you have to wake up early for work. Do not ever work in your pajamas.
Don't do tasks when you're "at work." It’s so easy to get sidetracked by "home" tasks when you’re working.
4. Be Sensible About Meetings
When working from home, online meetings are some of the most important parts of your day. Meetings are the only way you can communicate and collaborate with your coworkers. Zoom fatigue is imminent with the number of meetings you will have to attend.
In most cases, these meetings won’t all be video meetings, so simply pick up the phone and speak to someone. Keep video meetings only for weekly check-ins with your manager, team, or important clients.
You can even propose ways to make meetings a little more bearable with walking meetings or ask your teammates to keep every meeting short and sweet. If you can, it’s best to cancel meetings altogether, especially if they’re not critical to the business.
5. You Need To Take Breaks
Working from home can give you the impression that you need to be online all of the time. You have to understand that there should be boundaries between your life and your work.
Allow yourself to unplug from your work and take a few short breaks throughout the day. Get up from your desk, move around, prepare your lunch, stretch, and maybe even do a little dance. Disconnecting from the internet now and then is a terrific way to clear your mind.
The best excuse for taking breaks? They improve your concentration! When you are tired, it’s unlikely that you will achieve the best results. It's tough to devote enough enthusiasm to a task when you just don’t have the energy to do so. You're even more likely to make mistakes. You don't want to go into your job unprepared to give it your all.
Always listen to what your body is telling you by observing your behavior. Do you find it exhausting to stare at a computer screen? Do you have muscle aches and pains? Are you revisiting a document and still having trouble understanding it? If you said yes to all of this, stop and unplug.
Work Remotely, Work Productively
Whether you’re looking for remote jobs in Europe or any part of the world, there will always be certain expectations in terms of your productivity when working virtually. Don’t let anyone down, but most importantly, don’t let yourself down by applying the tips above.
Distractions will always lurk around every corner of your home or wherever you decide to work, making it all too easy to lose focus and motivation to do your tasks. However, with a little self-discipline and organization, you can overcome any interruption and become your most productive self.
Kat writes articles with the hopes of reaching out to more people. Her writing is focused on lifestyle, science, and smart hacks, that will definitely (well, hopefully) be useful to her readers.