Events over the past few weeks have significantly changed people’s daily routines all over the world. As employees work from home, companies are trying their best to adapt and implement new ways of working.
Uncoupling employees from an office setting can be quite jarring for bosses accustomed to a traditional 8-to-5 setup. However, with good habits and the right tools, transitioning to remote work can be manageable—even rewarding.
Consider this: A two-year study found that people who work from home are more productive than their office-based colleagues by about a full day’s worth of work. This is because, on top of working full-shifts, remote workers do not come in late to the office or leave early several times a week. They are also able to focus better at home.
A 2019 study by Airtasker also found that telecommuters worked 16.8 more days every year than office workers. Remote workers also experienced only 27 minutes of distraction daily, compared to office workers' 37-minute average.
As with any setting, working from home has its own challenges but this can be met head-on by a willingness to change.
Below are practical tips to help you work intelligently, efficiently, and productively outside familiar settings.
Tip #1: Upgrade Your To-Do List
Ever had one of those days where you cross a task off your list only for it to be replaced by a new one? It is easy to get overwhelmed, but one way to stay productive is by prioritizing.
At the start of each workday, group your tasks into the four quadrants prescribed by the Eisenhower Matrix:
Urgent and Important
Less Urgent but Important
Urgent but Less Important
Less Urgent and Less Important
Focus on completing items in quadrant one first. You can then schedule the tasks in quadrant two, and delegate the items in quadrant three (if possible). For those non-urgent, unimportant tasks in quadrant four, there is no need to do them at all. This process will help you figure out which tasks are vital, and which ones need to be filtered out of your list.
Tip # 2: Set Up a Dedicated Workspace
It can be difficult to find a space to work in at home but to remain productive, you need to carve out a work-only area. It does not have to be a dedicated room. It can be a small space you can mentally dedicate to work.
That said, avoid working in leisure areas such as your bed, which is associated with rest so it will not help with your focus. Instead, designate a comfortable, well-lit spot to serve as your workspace.
Tip # 3: Eliminate Distractions
It may be tempting to do things that you have put off while you were at the office. However, random errands, chores, or social media can consume your day. To work efficiently, use a timer to break your workday down into smaller chunks.
A chunking technique called the Pomodoro recommends working in 25-minute intervals with each interval broken up by short breaks. You can also set your timer to remind you to take, say, a ten-minute break after every 50 minutes of work. By knowing that a break is coming up, you are less likely to casually check your phone.
By being more systematic with how you manage your time, you can minimize distractions and improve concentration.
Tip # 4: Always Communicate
Working away from the office should not isolate you from your colleagues. You still need feedback from your team to stay on track with your work.
To that end, keep communication lines open to synchronize your goals, agree on specific targets, coordinate tasks, and give regular updates.
It may also help to hold all-hands meetings regularly, for example, every Monday or Friday morning. This not only keeps everyone in the loop but also fosters a sense of community within the team. Regular alignments can preserve group cohesion, which usually suffers due to great physical distances between members.
Tip # 5: Go Digital
To really make the most of remote work, take advantage of the digital tools available. Platforms like Zoom Video Conferencing, for instance, allow users to conduct HD video conferencing at a distance, in place of physical or face-to-face meetings.
Features such as screen sharing and chat rooms allow you and your colleagues to collaborate without having to switch to another platform. It is also not just for small teams as Zoom can handle virtual meetings with up to 1,000 video participants and 49 live videos on-screen.
With the right tools, remote work does not need to be a difficult experience for companies and employees. In fact, going digital opens up ways of working together that were not initially thought of within the confines of the office.
More than ever, we need technology to help us foster a purpose-driven workforce with a culture of empowerment, collaboration, and innovation. At Globe Business, we are ready to supply you with solutions that help your team maintain peak productivity in every situation.
One such solution is Zoom, which Frost & Sullivan recently awarded Company of the Year in the Global Video Conferencing Industry category. Get your first 4 months for free* when you subscribe today. Talk to your Globe Business Account Manager to learn more about Zoom and how you can make work from home or any part of the globe easier.
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