Remote employees are critical for fully digital or online businesses. There are virtual assistants who provide a wide range of online support and services, online executive assistants who offer help to business leaders, and freelancers who supply technical skills. Remote employees find clients and work for people from all over the globe.
Considering this, remote work has been a staple in today’s highly digital world. Although the pandemic was a primary catalyst for employees to start working from home, remote jobs have been a part of the online industry for quite some time.
Unfortunately, the idea of remote work is often plagued by constant questions regarding employee productivity. Some believe that flexibility encourages productivity while others think that the lack of supervision encourages procrastination.
While there is no right or wrong answer to this situation, the best thing that remote employees can do is to maintain their productivity in whatever way possible. To help you with this, here are some of the best and most effective productivity hacks perfect for WFH employees.
Challenges of Remote Work Setups
Working from home provides employees with flexibility and autonomy. There’s no constant supervision from the team leader or manager and there’s also no need to worry about the long commute to and from the office.
However, remote work also has its fair share of disadvantages and challenges. To give you a better idea, here are some of the most common issues remote employees deal with when working from home.
One of the most glaring issues that surface when it comes to remote work or work-from-home setups is the lack of personal interaction and the risks of isolation.
A part of the precautions taken during the Covid-19 pandemic is to limit any face-to-face interaction. That is the primary reason why businesses and organizations shifted from on-site work to remote work setups.
Although remote work setups adapted with the use of digital communication tools such as Zoom and Skype, there is still a lack of personal and physical interaction that can negatively impact one’s mental well-being.
According to reports, isolation can lead to concerning physical and mental effects. This includes stress, social withdrawal, loneliness, and difficulty sleeping.
Traditional offices are designed to limit distractions and allow deep focus. That is why employees have their designated cubicles or quiet spaces to work on what needs to be done.
Unfortunately, work-from-home setups typically don’t feature the same level of privacy to get rid of distractions as effectively.
There’s a wide range of things that can distract you when you’re working from home. You could have housemates, numerous chores, or even an undeniably loud neighbor.
Adding to that, the lack of constant surveillance or supervision from a team leader or manager also contributes to the higher possibility of distraction. You can check social media on your phone without worrying. You can also endlessly browse the internet while on your computer.
Believe it or not, overworking is actually a persistent problem for remote employees. While many believe that flexibility and lack of supervision would push people to just slack and procrastinate, that is often not the case.
Instead, remote employees are prone to overworking themselves because of the thin and diminishing line between work and life in remote work setups.
Knowing that work is constantly within arm’s reach can push employees to continue even past office hours. Some also find it difficult to ignore work-related emails and messages since they can access their tasks wherever or whenever they have to.
Effective Productivity Hacks For Remote Employees
Working from home comes with a bunch of challenges, especially when it comes to maintaining work productivity. To help you with that, here are some proven productivity hacks that can not only maintain but also boost your motivation and productivity at work.
Set a space for work
Much like traditional office setups, your immediate surroundings affect your productivity at work. Did you notice how offices are generally bright and extremely organized? Well, that is because it’s designed to boost productivity and efficiency. Therefore, the same concept applies when you’re working from home.
The first thing is that you should have a dedicated spot in your home that would serve as your workspace. Ideally, it should be a separate room that is away from the busiest areas in your home such as the living room or kitchen.
Once you have your space, the next step is to equip it with essential work supplies. This includes devices, materials, as well as furniture. Invest in an ergonomic office setup and good lighting. Also, consider buying as many desk and file organizers to keep your workspace clean and comfortable.
Make a daily to-do list
One of the factors that affect work-from-home productivity is the lack of structure for your day-to-day activities. Since you don’t have anyone constantly monitoring you, it is easy to get distracted and lose track of what you need to do and accomplish for the day.
To avoid this, make a daily to-do list. You can do this the night before or at the start of each day. The idea is to plan ahead and determine all the tasks that you need to tend to, whether big or small.
Doing this allows you to keep track of your goals and encourage you to stay focused to achieve them on time. Studies also support that ticking goals from a list boosts motivation, which can help increase your productivity.
Build your momentum
Some people find it difficult to find their groove when working. While it’s not uncommon to spend time warming up, taking significantly too long can affect your overall productivity. Taking this into consideration, it is important that you know how to effectively build your momentum.
Generally, there are two ways to do this. You can warm up by starting on the smaller tasks first before moving on to larger ones later on. On the other hand, you can also start your day by facing the biggest, most important task on your list and breeze through the smaller tasks after.
Determine which method suits you and spend less and less time building your momentum to work.
Don’t forget to take breaks
Some people may not believe it, but working continuously for hours can do more harm than good. Not only do you risk burning out but working for hours straight can also affect your physical well-being.
To avoid this, it is important that you take regular breaks. Even quick five to ten-minute breaks between tasks can give your body enough time and energy to recover from a long stretch of deep focus. Take a few steps away from your computer to stretch your legs or grab a cup of coffee. Research even supports that active breaks lead to a 45% increase in productivity.
Learn to manage your time
Time management strategies are designed to effectively utilize your time while maintaining a healthy balance between work and life. Adopting them as part of your work-from-home routine not only helps you keep track of your time but can also help improve your productivity and efficiency.
Time management strategies like the Pomodoro technique and the Time Block method encourage deep focus for set periods of time. All you need to do is set a timer and stay focused on the important tasks at hand. Both strategies are designed to avoid distractions to meet set goals but also encourage regular breaks that are easy to forget for busy people.
Maintaining your productivity when working remotely is all about managing your time and staying focused during work hours. It is important that you know how you spend your time in order to find the balance between work and home life.
Learning how to care for yourself is also crucial when working remotely. Maintaining your physical, emotional, and mental well-being will keep you in tip-top condition to work productively, effectively, and efficiently.
Want to know more about the ways to increase your productivity? Sidekicks is an on-demand virtual company, and we’re eager to help visionaries and entrepreneurs like you. Get a free ebook and learn more about how we can help you by signing up for our newsletter. We also offer a free 30-minute consultation if you prefer something more personal.