We’re coming up on two years since the COVID-19 pandemic changed many workplaces’ operational strategies from in-person work to remote work. In that time, many businesses who hadn’t initially considered remote working to be a viable option have now made it a core part of their onboarding process. This means there are plenty of workers who are now beginning remote work who haven’t really experienced it before. Today, we thought we’d go through a couple of strategies that will help remote employees be as productive as possible as they work from home.
One thing is for sure, it is extremely hard to focus on anything when there is constant noise. One of the first things a new remote worker should consider is where they are going to work. The people that have previously worked remote jobs probably have a dedicated desk situated in a remote corner away from the hustle and bustle of the house but it isn’t always easy to set yourself away from it, especially if your space is limited. Regardless of what goes on in the common areas of your home during the workday, setting your workspace up as far away from noise and distractions as possible will inarguably help your productivity.
Another issue for people that work from home is that their desk is often “the desk” for all of the people in the house. The more people that use it, the more clutter you may see. This could just be paper and notebooks and other work-related items, or it could be old plates and silverware and beverage cans. We all have that person in our office who is able to do work with a desk that is constantly spilling over onto the floor. Most of us wonder how he/she gets anything done. The less clutter your desk has, the more at ease you will be and the more productive you can be.
Being in the same space all the time can get pretty claustrophobic and can produce some unhealthy habits. One way to improve your outlook as you work from home is to set your desk up near some natural light. If you have a window in a remote corner of your house, it is the perfect place to get work done. Another tip is to add some vegetation to your workspace. A simple plant or a bouquet of fresh flowers can make a lot of difference to someone that spends a lot of time in their workspace. Working from home is often more difficult on a person’s mental health, so being comfortable in your surroundings is important.
Anyone that works from home will run into periods of time when there is just so much to do at work--and at home--that it can be distracting and overwhelming. This is when having a hierarchy of priority is important. It’s also important to take periodic breaks so that you can deal with your growing to-do list. When you work from home, you are constantly multitasking, but if you can truly learn to focus on one thing at a time, your productivity is sure to increase. Taking meaningful breaks, where you step away from work for 10-15 minutes can make a big difference and can keep your to-do lists from growing out of control.
One of the biggest challenges about working remotely is handling everything at work and at home. We recommend setting up a daily task list and sticking to it. Start with the most time-intensive things first and work your way toward the things that can be pushed to tomorrow if need be. Meeting your own expectations may be the hardest part of effectively managing your day-to-day responsibilities, but managing priority tasks can keep you from feeling the pressure that comes from having an endless list of things to do.
Need help establishing the technology for your remote workforce? Give Virtual Business Solutions a call at (504) 840-9800 ext. 105 today.