Remote Work is Here to Stay – 5 Tips to Ensure Top Notch Productivity
14 January, 2022
It's no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic, for better or worse, has redefined our personal and professional lives. With a multitude of restrictions in place including social distancing, both employers and employees have been forced to adopt innovative methods to create a safe and healthy work environment.
This unfortunate situation has compelled us to fully embrace remote work to ensure operational flexibility and business continuity. The majority of organizations are now allowing their teams to work from home and communicate and collaborate using digital solutions.
While this recent shift towards remote work has been welcomed by employees, they’ve also found themselves facing a number of challenges including inefficiency, a decline in productivity, and constant distractions. The following tips will help you stay motivated and productive while working from the comfort of your home.
1. Have a Dedicated Home Office
One of the reasons why many people struggle to meet their productivity goals is because there's no marked separation between their personal and work lives. This leads to an inefficient work environment where you struggle to focus. Your personal matters continue to get in the way affecting your overall performance.
This particular issue can be solved by creating a dedicated home office. You don’t necessarily need a separate room as you can just allocate some space that’s strictly work-related. Once you’ve entered that space, make sure you’re totally focused on your work and nothing else. Similarly, don't engage in any professional activity outside of that space. This will allow you to draw a line between your personal and professional spheres resulting in enhanced productivity.
2. Eliminate As Many Distractions As Possible
Despite having a dedicated space, you'll soon discover that there are still many distractions that make it difficult for you to concentrate on your work. That's why it’s crucial to remove as many distractions as possible to streamline your work and maintain your performance. Some of the things you can do include:
- When you're working, let people know that you don't want to be disturbed unless there’s a pressing matter that requires your immediate attention
- Remove all the gadgets and devices from your work area that can possibly interrupt your flow. Only keep your cellphone with you.
- Put your phone on silent and only respond to important calls and emails. Anything that can wait should be postponed. If there's a door, keep it closed.
- If the environment around you is too loud or there's too much ambient noise, it's recommended that you use noise-canceling headphones. This will enable you to fully focus on the task at hand.
3. Use Productivity Enhancement Techniques
When you are working in a flexible environment, sometimes it can be a bit difficult to keep up your motivation. This problem can be addressed by creating a sense of emergency so you can meet your deadlines and deliver results on time. Some of the popular productivity improvement methods are as follows:
- Divide Your Work into Micro Goals
This technique involves breaking down large projects and complicated tasks into smaller achievable objectives. When the volume of work is intimidating, dividing your primary objectives into doable steps can rekindle your motivation.
- Create Time Blocks
According to Parkinson’s Law, we tend to expand work to fill the time we've instead of getting it done in the time actually needed to complete it. This is especially true in a remote working environment. You can overcome this challenge by creating blocks of time for each task. For instance, allocating 15 minutes for responding to emails.
- Engage in Deep Work
Deep work is a state of absolute concentration for longer periods of time so you can meet deadlines and be exceptionally productive. This can be achieved by eliminating distractions, defining your priorities, and practicing to work with elevated focus.
- Productivity-Focused Exercises
There are many methods and exercises that enable you to be more productive including the Pomodoro Technique, Two-Minute Rule, The Rule of Three, and more. Find out which method works for you and deploy it on a regular basis.
4. Focus On Your Health & Mental Well-Being
Since the pandemic has forced us to limit ourselves to our homes, maintain social distancing, and restrict face-to-face interactions, many people find it quite challenging to cope with these emotionally draining circumstances. This is exactly why it's critical for you to pay special attention to your physical as well as mental health.
Due to limited communication and the stress of dealing with the pandemic, generalized anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues have witnessed a substantial spike. Make sure that you talk to your loved ones on a regular basis, collaborate with your work peers, and engage in relaxing hobbies and activities. If you think your situation is getting worse, don’t hesitate to reach out and seek medical help
5. Identify a Routine that Works for You
As in-house working demands us to have a fixed routine, we're more likely to be disciplined. However, the flexibility of working from home can turn into a struggle as you lose the sense of time. This issue can be resolved by forming a routine that suits your personal and professional lives. Instead of working when you feel like it, allocate a time slot and make sure you get your work done within that time frame.
This will not only help you to become more productive, efficient, and reliable, you will be less likely to develop mental health problems and face other issues. A routine gives you a sense of familiarity and consistency which has a calming effect on you.
Even before the pandemic happened, remote work was seeing a steady surge. The COVID-19 pandemic has only sped up the process with most of the workforce now working from home or relying on a hybrid model. This has also led to new issues, challenges, and disadvantages which can be counter-productive.
That being said, there is a number of steps you can take to ensure your productivity and performance remain top-notch.
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