How to be productive at home with remote working
So your company has pulled the trigger and enacted a remote working policy. Great! It’s a common tactic for modern businesses to have some form of remote work infrastructure, though, obviously commonplace today as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
But as you get situated it’s very obvious how different remote working really is. While you’re held to responsibilities, personal management comes into play. You aren’t in a typical office environment. In a way, it’s an improvement. Greatly reduced stress, comfort at home, and an easier time with tasks, right?
Unfortunately, remote working presents us with plenty of unique challenges. The first is, for the most part, you’re responsible for the amount of work you get done. It sounds easy, but distractions are likelier to occur in a home environment. That isn’t to suggest your productivity will take a significant hit, but there’s less pressure to say, not check your phone, or the mail, or grab a snack, or anything. Now, far be it from us at Bytagig to lament an improved working environment – there’s nothing wrong with not stressing every half minute about a work-related task. But, we also recognize it’s very easy to get distracted, intentional or not.
Additionally, there are plenty of other responsibilities associated with remote working. In fact, even if you didn’t notice, a series of cybersecurity concerns have been frontloaded to you. And, you probably notice a host of software suites and tools you have to get familiar with. It’s a heavy set of tasks, on top of your usual workload. So how do you remain productive in a new, strange environment like this?
It’s not easy, but Bytagig has some recommended tips to help you along.
1 – Stay Secure
Passwords and good cybersecurity policies are important to follow. Keep your passphrases complex but enough that you can remember them, while an organization should have two-factor authentication or single-sign-on methods enabled.
2 – Communication is Critical
This point can’t be overstated enough. You no longer have the convenience of physical proximity to staff and management. Therefore, any question, big or small, must be directed at the relevant parties ASAP. Communication too much in fact for any uncertainty you have, because in remote working, everyone has to be on the same page.
There are, fortunately, numerous business tools for this type of thing like Slack which allow for direct communication and business management files. They should, ideally, be in place when you situate into a remote working environment. If not, that’s an important business discussion.
3 – Find Your Office
It’s not called a “home office” for no reason. Everyone has a different living situation, but, ideally, you want to locate a quiet part of your home which is perfect for performing work-related activities. Distractions are inevitable, even in the most peaceful of locations. Granted, if you can work in a noisy environment, more power to you, but it’s not recommended.
Apartment problems? That’s an understandable concern, and in those scenarios soundproofing curtains and foam can help cut down on distractions (bringing this up with management is a good idea).
4 – Remove Distractions
Obvious, right? But it’s still important to point out. Put away potential distractors like your phone or tablets. It’s easier to fall into that trap of checking a screen every few minutes. Without the concern of being “checked on” every so often, getting distracted by anything happens to the best of us.
As they say, out of sight, out of mind.
5 – Take care of yourself and practice mental health
While remote working does offer the benefit of working from the comfort of your living space, it’s still your working space.
Associating where you take time off and relax with where you work is, subconsciously, quite stressful. Separating the two environments is important so you don’t get burned out and fatigued. Therefore, take time for yourself, practice good mental health (giving yourself the necessary time and space to turn the world “off”) and speak up when you’re feeling ground down.
Remote work will take some getting used to, and given the current climate, it’s unlikely to change for a long time. You’ll learn as you go, but these five essential tips will help you remain safe and sane during the crisis.