Five Ways to Maintain Productivity If You’re (Still) Working Remotely
With COVID-19 cases steadily dropping across the USA and Canada, a lot of companies are bringing their employees back to the office. But that isn’t the case for all companies. Some companies, such as Microsoft, Facebook and Ford, are asking employees to continue working remotely.
At Bankert Marketing, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t have as much of an impact on us as it did on other industries. The lack of in-person client meetings was tough to get used to, but our employees have been working remotely since we started back in 2010.
We know the challenges working from home can bring quite well. Below, we’ve prepared this list of five of our favorite ways to maintain productivity while working remotely.
This one might seem a little obvious, but taking breaks is truly the best way to maintain your productivity. According to a study done by DeskTime, a productivity app designed to help employers track employee productivity, the most productive workers stay focused on job-related tasks for 52 minutes at a time before taking a 17-minute break.
If you incorporate that into an entire 8-hour workday, collectively you will be taking a break for over 2 hours of your shift. While that may seem like a lot, it proves effective because it helps you maintain absolute focus while you are working. 6 hours of high focus is typically better than 8 hours of semi-focus.
Plan Out Your Days in Advance
In an office setting, days can be highly influenced by your coworkers and what they share with you. Working remotely, you don’t have the same natural communication flow that you do in an office. That’s what makes having a plan so important.
Ensure you keep in constant communication with your team, so everyone knows what’s going on. Scheduling regular meetings helps with this. It also helps you keep tabs on different projects and understand what you need to get done. If you work with any type of direct report, it’s a good idea to touch base once a day at the absolute minimum.
Once you’re caught up on daily activity and have received progress reports from your coworkers, begin to plan your day accordingly. Make sure to schedule breaks, meetings, brainstorming and key focus times.
Create Separation Between Your Work Life And Your Home Life
Admittedly, this one sounds a little ridiculous because many remote workers are working from home. But creating this separation will not only help you focus better while working, it also helps make sure your work stress doesn’t find its way into your personal life.
If possible, try and designate a space in your home to work from. Working from your couch seems great until you find yourself sitting on that same couch after work. Having a space in your home exclusively for work helps you leave work behind when it’s time to clock out.
Switch Up Your Environment
One of the best things about working remotely is you don’t always have to do it from the same place. Coffee shops and libraries make great remote workspaces and help provide the human interaction that working from home can sometimes lack. Most cities have coworking spaces where you can rent a desk for the day, brainstorm with others and maybe even make some friends.
Something that our team enjoys doing is alternating between working from home and working in a shared public space. Doing so helps make each day a little different, and helps you further separate your work like from your home life.
Use The Right Software
Using software that helps you stay organized and on-track is crucial to the success of any remote worker. Applications such as Monday.com, Slack and Microsoft Teams are all powerful assets to help keep you focused and informed.
When it comes to working with any productivity application, the key is to stick to it. Pick the one that works best for you and your team (we use Asana) and commit to it. Not including all of your tasks or action items within the app can sometimes cause projects to be delayed or forgotten.
These are just a few of the strategies our team uses to help us stay on track. Working remotely isn’t always as glorious as you may think. It takes self-discipline and drive to ensure you remain focused and can do your job to the best of your ability. But with enough commitment, anyone can become an all-star remote worker. How do you stay focused while working remotely? Let us know in the comments below!