Working from home is a daily reality for many, and it’s a reality that has ups and downs. While working from home sounds like a dream, it can also present a challenge. Remote work presents workers with additional freedom, and that freedom must be matched by the worker’s own discipline in order to continue to be productive. With the current state of affairs, some jobs have shifted to this remote work model, which means this problem is entirely new to some workers, and even seasoned remote workers may need a refresher. Here are a few ways you can improve workflow in your remote job.
There’s an App for That
Step one for preparing yourself to work from home is to enlist the help of technology. Technological advancements have made working remotely a possibility, and so it makes sense that technology can also facilitate this unconventional work environment. There are a number of remote working tools that can improve workflow, the common theme of which is collaboration at a distance. For example, cloud storage is a must, as it allows multiple users to access the same pool of resources, regardless of their respective locations. There are a number of apps focused on video and voice calls, as well.
Time Management is Key
Speaking of apps, consider the use of reminders and alarms on your phone to keep yourself to a schedule, because time management is perhaps the biggest struggle for remote workers. Without the office atmosphere and the presence of supervision, you’ll need to police yourself, which can be more difficult than it sounds. Apps can help you to a degree, but another key factor of time management is your sleeping schedule. Getting enough sleep every night at a consistent time is crucial for a few reasons, but keeping to your work schedule is the primary focus here. Even if, like many remote workers, you make your own schedule, setting a consistent schedule is a crucial part of maximizing productivity.
Working from home offers some enticing prospects, and one of those is being able to work without getting out of bed or getting dressed. This can work for some, but the average person may need more structure. Therefore, it’s advised that a remote worker continue to work in an office environment, or some facsimile thereof, and dress as if they’re leaving the house. The unconscious associations people have with their environment and clothing may surprise you, but it stands to reason that the sweats you wear around the house will lower your guard and make you much more relaxed than the business casual look you wear around the office.
Another potential pitfall of working from home is the myriad distractions at your fingertips. Your home is likely chock full of means of recreation, so the temptation may be lurking in the back of your mind at any time. Therefore, you’ll want to take certain steps to avoid succumbing to temptation. One thing to keep in mind for workers with no set schedule is to not only set a schedule, but to schedule a break for yourself. That way, you can look forward to recreational activities, and even a meal, before getting back to work. If you like to listen to music while you work, avoid music with lyrics in favor of instrumental pieces, like classical music, for example. Think of someone trying to talk to you while you’re concentrating on something, and you’ll understand why lyrics in songs can be an unnecessary distraction. If you’re having trouble avoiding things like the TV, consider unplugging them and/or keeping the remote out of reach. While this may feel excessive, the human brain is very prone to distraction, and such measures are key to developing the extra willpower to work in a freer environment.
One of the more covert ways that you can make working from home more manageable is by getting more exercise. Restlessness can be a major problem when it comes to concentration, and exercise can burn off some of the excess energy that makes you feel too wired to work. Simultaneously and counter intuitively, using up some of your energy will make you feel more energized, making fatigue less of a problem as a result.
The Overall Takeaway
As a result of the current atmosphere, many more people have found themselves working from home. These newcomers to the arena of remote work may have trouble staying on task and reaching quotas, and even old hats can find this a difficult prospect from time to time. However, with these tips at your disposal, you will be better prepared to make the most of working from home by maximizing your productivity and avoiding temptation.