Enhanced connectivity and improved telephony have blurred the line between a staff working on a physical premises and one who is working remotely from home.
And it is transforming the culture, for good. As per the Small Office Home Office (SOHO) workers report 2016, a majority of 60 percent people, feel happier when working from home and 57 percent think that they manage to get much more work completed, as compared to the office environment.
Working from home has various benefits but sometimes employees lose motivation and enthusiasm. Follow these tips to make your remote working, more productive:
1. Start Early With a Detailed Routine Which Is Actually Enforceable
It is a widely advised idea to get up early in the morning. It optimizes human efficiency exponentially. But it is not always practical. Rather:
- Work relatively early as compared to what you would, in an office space. Complete the more difficult tasks in the morning because that is the time when you are at your maximum potential.
- Create a detailed work schedule a night before. Wake up and engage with consistent exercise schedule to keep yourself charged up through the day. Regular exercise is more important than a binge workout.
- Set strict but flexible time limits for each micro-task. Split your day into four or five 90-minute windows and assign planned works. Include scheduled break periods which suit your routine. Also plan recharge points of meals, snack, a quick walk and active recovery. It is one of the perks of working remotely, that you can manage your work hours in your own way.
2. Utilize Tools to Minimize Distractions, Save Time and Work Efficiently
The Internet is replete with tools to manage your working hours and resist temptations:
- IFTTT: A platform which lets you create recipes for deploying automated tasks upon trigger events, hence the acronym “If This Then That”. You can use this service for various business and professional purpose by creating a chain of events with simple conditional statements and resulting automated actions.
- Rescue Time: It runs in the background and gives you a detail of how you spend your time, online as well as offline. It generates productivity scores and blocks distracting websites including Youtube and Social Media to spot inefficiencies in your daily routine.
- Chime app: A free plugin which aggregates notifications from popular online services at one place and saves your time from checking multiple websites for updates. Click any important notification to go straight to the related page
- Clarify: Grab screenshots, markup, add text and quickly export them to PDF or cloud. It helps to create visual communications faster and better.
3. Use Keyboard Tricks for Faster Typing and Browsing
Windows and Mac computers keep infusing keyboard shortcuts in their systems. While all such tricks make working faster, here are the ones you should start using right now:
- Creating a New folder: Go to the directory where you want the new folder. Press Ctrl + Shift + N. It is also the shortcut for new tab in web browsers.
- Changing case: Shift+ F3 to instantly change capitalization.
- Deleting letter vs word: Ctrl + Backspace to delete text word by word.
- Insert link: Highlight the anchor text and press Ctrl + K, paste with Ctrl + V and hit Enter.
- Restoring closed or previous tabs: Ctrl +Shift +T opens the last closed tab. If you have multiple tabs open and you accidently close down the browser completely, this shortcut will bring back all the tabs at once.
- Press F6 to instantly select the address bar and Ctrl +tab to move between tabs.
4. Choose a Dedicated Working Area Free From Interruptions
Many of us would choose to work from home because of the level of comfort, but a mind which is too relaxed may not be the most productive one:
- Choose a place in your home which can be re-organized to create a working space. Optimize that area with proper tables and comfortable chair. Make sure to keep that zone tidy and free of clutter. You can also choose a coffee shop or a restaurant to break the monotony, once in a while.
- Inform your roommates or family members of your routine and minimize unforeseen interruptions. Turn your mobile silent and make it harder for you to waste time online.
- Create an atmosphere to get yourself in the right frame of mind. In your home, you can literally set up the area for maximum suitability. Turn on some music, according to the mood with dedicated websites like stereomood and 8tracks.
- Communicate with staff for professional conversations. Co-working spaces are a good alternative to working alone all by yourself. It helps with networking, brainstorming, time management etc.
5. Set Micro Targets Do Timeboxing and Rejuvenate With Stand-Ups and Walking Meetings
A colossal project can overwhelm even the most experienced professionals. It is a smart strategy to break it down into smaller targets and time them strictly:
- Prioritize the elements of a project and batch the tasks in order of importance. Smaller goals seem more achievable and boost the level of motivation. Unreal targets, on the other hand, drain out the energy and enthusiasm to work.
- Timeboxing is a strategy to allocate fixed times to each planned activity. Set yourself a strict time for each micro-task. It is important to quit multitasking and focus on the planned activity. Use tools to time your work and alert yourself when the time starts to run out. When the time finishes, move onto the next step even if the previous task is not completed. Doing so will help you to focus in the long run.
- When you start to feel lethargic, stand up from your workplace and roam around a bit. Do simple exercise to fill yourself with energy. Eat fresh foods and engage in walking meeting to keep your body and mind moving and working.
Working from home is the new trend amongst businesses. It helps in trimming down traveling time and other expenses but many employees struggle to keep their heads above the rising tide of targets. It can act as a test to check self-discipline, focus and productivity. While many may argue that a strong resolve is the key, but the above mentioned simple tips can substitute it with ease, for a better work output.