Specialist

6 Productivity Tips for Remote WorkersRemote work is more prominent now than ever before.

For those inexperienced in working remotely, your ability to focus, communicate and maintain productivity will be challenged.

With that in mind, here’s some advice for remote workers to keep productivity levels high

1. Over-Communicate

With dispersed teams, the ability to have a conversation in the office kitchen or an impromptu in-person meeting is impossible. While they may seem insignificant, little interactions on a daily basis are important to maintain visibility and relationships throughout a team. When we work remotely, it’s easy to forget about these conversations and the value they bring.

Regular communication maintains focus and alignment and those working remotely should make a considerable effort to regularly communicate with their team members. With video-conferencing, instant messaging and other collaborative products available, there’s no excuse for a drop in communication.

2. Have a Morning Check-In

Following on from the above, having a morning check-in is one way to maintain visibility and alignment. Getting updates from each team member on what they’ve done in the past 24 hours, what they’re going to do, and allowing them to address any pressing matters allows your team to work cohesively despite the challenges

3. Use the Opportunity to Learn & Develop

Working from home provides the perfect opportunity to learn & develop. The office floor can be busy and depending on your position, several of your colleagues might want to meet with you throughout the day. While you should aim to maintain regular communication with your team, stepping into a calmer working environment affords the opportunity to focus on areas of your job you’ve previously neglected. One of these is often learning and development.

Working from the quiet of your own home can be the perfect time to pick up the slack on professional learning, be it mandatory or optional. It’s also a good opportunity to encourage other members of your organization to brush up their knowledge in certain areas.

You can use online learning tools such as webinars and learning libraries to deliver this learning virtually. Virtual learning offers unrivaled flexibility and convenience. Online courses allow learners to work at their own pace, building the skills they need on a schedule that works for them, while webinars offer engagement, allowing learners to come together in a digital space with an attractive ROI for the host organization.

4. Use Technology

The home environment is completely different to that of the office and poses challenges as a result. Technology can offer some respite for those finding the change unsettling. For example, there are applications that transform tablets into second screens for those used to working with two or more monitors. There are browser plugins that monitor and give insight on productivity. There are also productivity tools teams can use across devices and users making collaboration and project tracking easier.

5. Maintain Professionalism

Working from home means nobody can see you, how you’re working or in what way you’re acting, but, anecdotally at least, maintaining the same level of professionalism as you would in the work-environment is beneficial for your output.

Dressing as you would in the office, maintaining a similar routine and employing the same overall level of discipline to your tasks and demeanour is important and will help you perform better in the ‘work-from-home‘ environment.

6. Stick to What You Know

It is easy (and expected) for you to fall into a different routine, one that is different from your office day-to-day. Maintaining a similar schedule to what you’re used to can help keep a degree of normality when working from home. This includes waking up at a consistent time every day, regular breaks, working from a dedicated area of your home and most importantly, sticking to work hours to avoid ‘work creep’.

Staying consistent in all of these areas builds up an instinctive routine over time, one that allows you to be productive and keep a healthy work-life balance despite being in the comfort of your own home.

In conclusion, while working remotely can be challenging and it takes some time to adapt to a new routine, there’s no reason for productivity to lag nor for unhealthy routines to develop. In fact, working from home can afford the opportunity to develop professionally and make strides in areas of your position you’ve previously neglected.

Ultimately, the key is to maintain a schedule and routine you can stick to and integrates healthily into your home life.

By Ruari O'Donnellan of Intuition.