The year is 2019 and we are still chained to our desks because of an old mindset that productivity can only be achieved in an office environment – not somewhere relaxing and comfortable as in the case of remote working. This concept can be true at times but not completely accurate with recent studies proving the positive impacts, a comfortable environment can have on your productivity.
Based on these studies, many big companies, such as; Google and Facebook are making their offices as comfortable and relaxing as possible. This is why people jump on the chance to work in these companies because they understand how a comfortable workspace can help boost business and gain more output from their employees.
But not every company has comfortable workspaces like these and not everyone prefers to work from their office even if it’s on a fluffy cloud because they are not comfortable in an office environment.
The fundamental remote working definition came into being from this concept of people wanting to work from their homes or somewhere they feel comfortable. This concept gave birth to the idea of freelancing which brought along a whole lot of different remote working opportunities.
Today people remotely work for their office or their freelance businesses and hey, more power to them. Working without your coworkers is not always easy and it can get troublesome after a while because being that lonely can be toxic; hence, there are remote working advantage and disadvantages.
Still, you won’t have to give up your freedom and you will flourish in your space with these simple but effective remote working tips.
Let’s get into it…
1. Make your workplace comfortable yet productive
Some people love working remotely, anywhere can be your office but still, you have to be careful because too much comfort can often lead to less productivity.
Setting up your own office space can be challenging but not impossible. For example, if you work from home, then a corner room can be ideal for an office space.
If you can’t dedicate the whole room for an office space then just choose a corner of the room and paint a mental image that this corner is for work and if you are successful in doing that by working there and not anything else, then the rest of the house is for rest and relaxation. This should be your first remote working principle which needs to be strictly followed.
2. Choose the right desk
You might have seen YouTube videos or even in person, standing desks. These desks allow you to stand up and work, rather than just sit your behind down and not get up for several hours. This allows you to have better health and also it is amazing for your back.
Standing desks are becoming cheaper by the day as more and more people are using them and the market has several different variants now.
3. Take well-deserved breaks
In remote working, there isn’t a sharp-eyed HR rep just staring at you each time you get up from your chair. Instead, you are free to move around and get a coffee whenever you like or take a walk around the house to clear your mind or whatever you do on breaks.
But while we understand that taking a break during work is a common necessity, too much of it can even reduce productivity because no one is there to stop you and you might take advantage of that freedom unconsciously.
4. Change the ambiance from time to time
The most amazing thing about remote working is that you don’t have to stick with the same place to work every day. Be creative and choose your workplace as your heart desires but do have a clear remote working policy in your mind for self-evaluation purposes.
For example, a pair of headphones and laptop in a small coffee shop can be your workplace if you want to get out of the house or even a library where you can ditch the headphones because none of the people can talk to you even if they wanted to.
Just choose the best place for you where you can enjoy the ambiance while working and enhancing your productivity.
5. Embrace the change
You are free from that office environment and you can finally do things as you want. It’s amazing how productive people can be when they are not bound by the rules made by people who were from a different time and mindset.
Embrace your newfound freedom and let it help you find peace in your work. Work in your pajamas or sit on the floor and work, no worries. Just do what makes you feel relaxed and at ease, to take on all of the challenges your work-life throws at you.
Communication is key
6. Talk to your team regularly
While typing is an easy way to communicate with a lot of people at the same time, but if you really want to push ideas through, you should really TALK. Whether Video or Audio, call your team to make a deeper connection with them.
Even a 5-minute audio communication is better than typing all the ideas followed by a never-ending QA session on Slack. If you have a main office and many of your colleagues are remote, you can set up a conference video call but just increase communication among the troops.
7. Figure out a Golden Hour
Sometimes, teams are all stationed all over the world and it’s hard to communicate with them altogether. In that case, find the golden hour in which all or most of your team is available and communicate with them; this is a really effective way of remote working as I have personally benefited from it.
8. Talk about random stuff
Your communication should also involve just talking about anything and not just work. Water Cooler talk is a serious no-no for some people and that is the reason most of them work remotely because you are in control of the amount of conversation. Still, talking about stuff other than business is a healthy human trait that should be followed by everyone but at their own pace.
9. Keep track of your productivity by keeping a “to-don’t” list
Well we all know what a to-do list is but for people working remotely, a to-don’t list can be a huge life-savor. When you are working remotely, you are constantly bombarded with thoughts of doing things other than work because there isn’t anyone to tell you otherwise.
Things like Laundry, cooking and going online to read BuzzFeed articles to name a few. These are all bad for your productivity if you don’t concentrate on working and do these things all day.
This is why to-don’t lists are absolutely necessary to keep your focus on track and to keep you in check if you are on the verge of falling off the wagon.
If you are a huge fan of reading articles or looking at web pages, then we recommend an app called Pocket that can save your articles for reading them later like DVR-ing media.
10. Work in Sprints
Working long hours can always be a huge pain in the behind even if you are into remote working. This is due to the fact that you can’t keep your focus sharpened for that long and you need to pace yourself if you want to get through it.
Working in sprints is an amazing solution for sloppy focus because it allows the worker to get rid of the distractions and work on the allotted sprint time. Make your sprints about an hour-long which will give you enough time to take a breather for a few minutes and recollect your wits before proceeding forward.
Use a timer on your phone or you can use an app called Tomato Timer on which you can set your sprint time and it’ll notify you when you have earned your break.
11. Work Openly
A drawback of remote working is that your colleagues can’t see your files and documents when they want to access them and if you are not available to provide them with the needed files at the proper time, then it is bad for the business.
To overcome this issue, you should keep your documents which you think can be beneficial for the whole team, public. This will allow them to access your files which is good teamwork on your part, and they can also comment on your work and give you positive or negative feedback.
Balance your Affairs (Work/Life)
12. Set your office hours
When you work from home, you don’t realize what time it is or when you should take a break because an office you probably notice these things when your colleagues start to move around. That’s a much-needed divide between work and life you have to set if you want to be productive in your remote working space.
Set proper hours for your work life, so that you don’t get jammed up and lose your edge when you really want your wits intact.
Plan your activities throughout the day and set specific goals for each day of the week, so that you can get a sense of achievement daily when you turn your computer off and be happy that you were productive and didn’t waste time.
If you want to be obsessed with planning your day, then try using Google Calendar which lets you plan every single instance of your time throughout the week. So, if an activity doesn’t show up in your calendar, then it’s really not worth wasting your time over.
13. Get Exercise
Keeping your body healthy is another important aspect if you want to work remotely or even in an office. You should work out if you can or go for a walk or jog. This helps you be more relaxed while working because your muscles won’t be stiff from being in the same routine every single day.
14. Go out with your team
Sometimes, working remotely should not be so isolated and you should really go out and socialize with your colleagues. This helps you have more human contact and is a great team-building exercise.
Every single remote worker has a different theory about why they want to work isolated from their team or workplace and it’s not really for us to decide but this list is a good way for a “Remoter” to be more productive, have a good time and be more relaxed while being productive and keeping in touch with their human side.
In case you want to read a bit further in-depth on working remotely; you should give a read to “The Definitive Guide to Managing a Remote Team”.