The office structure is becoming far more fluid in ways of working. Remote working is one way that is challenging the traditional 9-5 model, with the opportunity to work when and where you are most productive. We explore the top ten tips to maximise effectiveness and increase productivity when working from home.
1. Location, location
Allocating a workspace means you are still physically going to work. By having a work location you create a separation between work and home, which will alleviate that feeling of ‘always at work’. It is also a good idea to have your working area away from your bedroom. This can encourage your brain to create a mental association with bed and work, rather than bed and sleep.
2. Time management
Time management is key to working remotely. Create your goals or to-do list for the day and work through them, but not through the night. A good app for individual time management is Wunderlist. This will help you de-clutter, create multiple lists, set reminders and prioritise.
3. Do Not Disturb
‘Do not disturb’ should be enforced when working from home. Whether it be a post-it note on the door to say ‘no interruptions’, or you have a house diary that highlights when you are at work. Noise cancelling headphones may also be a good purchase to mute background sounds, or moving your work area altogether to a quieter area could minimise this. Interruptions will happen at the most inconvenient times although pre-planning may reduce the risk…
4. Personal social media
There are two camps for the use of social media; those who embrace the business agility and networking opportunities, and those who accept it although worry it may impact productivity. Ultimately social media is a great way to grow your network and can be a regular form of communication with colleagues. Trust is a big part of social media usage so monitoring engagement can help to ensure it isn’t a distraction.
It should be quick and easy to get in touch with you when working remotely, so make sure you are accessible via email, phone and other communication channels that your company use. Video calls and virtual face-to-face methods are a fluid way to keep communication going and to become more involved in the dynamics of a meeting.
6. Invest in your space
Create a workspace that makes you feel equipped and ready for the day. It sounds simple, but set up a desk with no clutter, have a good internet connection, invest in a comfortable chair and double-check that there is signal to receive and make phone calls. Ensure that you also have your shared access to the company common drive installed and that the Virtual Privacy Network (VPN) is connected. Besides this, we consider a Caffia coffee machine as an essential item to keeping the flow of work (and coffee) going…
7. Enjoy the flexibility
Flexibility is one advantage of working from home. If you find your normal commute time is when you are most productive you should start at 7am and have a break at 9am, on approval of your employer. Use your location to your advantage.
8. Get out of the workspace
Outside inspiration can refresh your creative juices and refresh your mind. Start the day with an intake of fresh air, make sure you move regularly to break up the sitting time, take a walk at lunch, and schedule social meetings outside of work hours that will open your mind to new ideas.
9. Take a break
Don’t forget to step away from the screen and take some time out. A break is just as important when working from home as it is in the office. Give yourself time to pause and you will come back refreshed and recharged ready for the task ahead.
10. Review your remote working productivity
Are you achieving your goals and keeping yourself motivated? Take a look at your results and see if you are actually producing quality work compared to being in an office environment. Remote working can be dependent on the individual and what working environment is best for them.