Working remotely comes with its own unique set of challenges, to include not having the structure and social aspect of going into an office. While some people thrive in a remote work environment, for others it takes some getting used to with trial and error to find what routine works best for them. If you find yourself in the latter group, here are some suggestions to help improve your productivity in a remote work environment.
Create A Routine/Schedule
One of the most important ways to stay productive while working remotely is to get into a routine. Having a schedule that includes focus time, time to complete the items on your daily to-do list, a lunch break, and a clear start and end time of your day, will all go a long way in helping you stay on task, organized, and feel like you have a good work-life balance.
Have A Designated Workspace
Having your home office set up is also essential for remote workers. In an article on Entrepreneur they recommend, “Ideally, your workstation will have a door so you can join meetings uninterrupted without worrying about people walking in and out. You’ll also want to work somewhere with limited distractions so you can be the most productive. Set it up with all the supplies you need ahead of time so you can get in the zone: paper, pens, cell phone charger, headphones, comfortable chair, extra monitor, reliable Wi-Fi, etc.” It’s worth investing in items to make your workspace easier to work in, including additional monitors, an ergonomic chair, headphones, etc. Most companies that have remote workers are willing to provide some of these items, so ask your employer what resources they have available for you.
Prep Your Meals in Advance
While it may be tempting to cook nice breakfasts and lunches from scratch when working remotely, it’s a better idea to do meal prep on the weekends or the night before so you don’t cut into too much of your workday. You’ll likely underestimate the time needed and will feel rushed trying to get everything cooked, then when it’s done, you won’t feel like you have the time to enjoy your meal since you’ll have been away from your desk too long. Treat your lunch breaks like you would when you’re in the office and spend time cooking during your non-work hours.
Depending on your role, you may end up feeling somewhat isolated working remotely, especially if your role doesn’t include a lot of Zoom meetings or chats with co-workers. If that’s the case, actively seek out other forms of social activities. This could be career networking events on the evenings and weekends, scheduling meetings over video chat vs. always emailing, or going into a coffee shop 1-2 days of the week and working from there.