Many of us have now been working remotely in some capacity for the greater part of two years – since the 2020 pandemic pushed us (some more willing than others) into fully remote or hybrid working environments. While the concept of working from the comfort of your own home may have seemed enticing at first, many of us now know that keeping on task and engaged with your team takes extra effort. So here are a few reminders to help you stay productive (and sane!) while working remotely.
A dedicated space
Try to find yourself a dedicated and comfortable spot to work that you can associate with your job and leave when you’re off the clock — that means get off the couch! It will help you remain on task, reduce the chance for distraction and allow you to keep your balance of work versus personal time.
Schedule time to socialize
You might find it easier to be productive without chatty coworkers dropping by, but social interactions will help alleviate feelings of isolation and lack of connectedness. Many times, people underestimate the psychological effects of working remotely for extended periods of time despite it being an essential factor in our mental well-being and team bonding.
To help fill the socializing gap, find a colleague you can reach out to when you’re feeling the need to chat. Alternatively, get in touch with a friend who works elsewhere who you can connect with. Collaborate during the day using social collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams or others. Even better? Host a virtual coffee talk or happy hour to share how your day is going!
Structure out your day
When working from home, it helps to keep a more structured daily schedule than usual. Because our time and daily structure is often influenced by others while in the office, you’ll feel the lack of structure while working remotely.
Make sure you schedule time to eat lunch, stretch your legs on a walk, grab a quick workout session over lunch or even getting the mail. Studies show that even a few minutes outside can give your productivity a real boost.
Communication is key
It’s important to go beyond email and use other social tools that help to replicate the face-to-face office experience and provide clear communication. Again, social collaboration tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams allow colleagues to video conference, screen-share and give real time feedback.
Furthermore, better communication while remote can help maintain your relationship with your colleagues, managers, and direct reports while away from the office. It builds trust and confidence if you are available and sharing your results even if they can’t see you working towards those goals in person.
Whether working remotely is a part of your long-term plan, or you are waiting for your return to office plan, I hope these tips will help you to remain productive and successful while working from home.
Updated from our March 2020 post.