Working from a remote location allows you the freedom to work from wherever you want, as long as you have a wifi connection. Whether you perform remote work as a freelance digital marketer or in customer service, discipline is a necessity to maintain productivity. Distractions or obstacles can hinder work performance when you have the freedom to work from anywhere. Here you will find 15 tips to help overcome these obstacles and be successful in your transition.
Set up a distraction-free work area
If you decide to work from home, you want to have a separate area to work for privacy — preferably a room with a door, permitting you to have the ability to do so. However, even if you don’t have that luxury, an area where you can set up a work desk works just the same.
Commit to a schedule or routine
Although working remote provides you with the ability to have a flexible schedule, you still need a defined work schedule. Having a set routine helps give a sense of structure. If you work from home, a schedule can help separate work from home life and give you an overall better work/life balance.
Use a planner or calendar app
It is important to stay on top of deadlines, meetings, and appointments. Utilize your computer’s calendar or planner applications and sync it with other devices, such as your cell phone. A calendar is a handy tool if you have a lot going on. You can set up notifications and alerts to remind you of the upcoming event and deadlines.
Make a to-do list
Have you ever walked into an office and seen yellow sticky notes all over their desk, and wonder if that person ever lost that sticky note? Instead of putting sticky notes all over the place, create a to-do list on your computer, and yes- sync it with your mobile devices. Create your list at the end of your workday so that you have it prepared for the next day.
Avoid watching TV
This is for the work from home people. Avoiding the television has to be said, since you may be tempted to turn it on while working. Fight the temptation, the tv will only slow down your productivity, and you will find yourself scrambling to complete your tasks.
Perform check-ins with co-workers or boss
Just because you are working remote does not mean you have to work alone. Perform regular check-ins with your boss or fellow remote teammates. Obtain status updates or give them by doing regular check-ins. Getting status updates also helps you to keep up with any last-minute meetings or deadlines, and lets others know you are working.
Have a separate chatting app for work
You need to keep your personal and work communication separate; having separate work emails applies here as well. This will prevent overlooking important work items. Google Hangouts or Skype, are excellent tools to use for work. These messenger apps also allow you to be more accessible to co-workers or clients and vice versa.
If you are one of those individuals that think working nonstop to complete a task is beneficial, that’s where you are wrong. It is essential to break your day up and step away from your work. Even if you take a few micro-breaks throughout the day, it will help prevent burnout and reduce work stress.
Refrain from using social media or cellphones
One of the biggest work distractions is social media, even when you are working remote. Scrolling through news feeds or also opening your notifications, can eat at your production time. If your cell phone must be near you for emergency purposes, be sure to silence your social media notifications. This will prevent the urge to comment or like a post.
Invest in technology for your profession
This is a big must. It doesn’t mean go out and buy the most expensive equipment for your home office. Make sure you have the necessary equipment to aid with being productive. For example, if you make calls or perform work on the phone, or even have meetings remotely through an app, such as Go to Meetings, make sure that you have a noise-canceling headset that allows you to mute conversations and a working webcam for video chats.
Take a shower and get out of your pajamas
Working from home attracts the temptation to roll out of bed and begin working. However, it is hard to remain “in work mode” when you do this. A simple routine, such as showering and having breakfast or coffee before you begin your work for the day, will help keep you in a productive frame of mind.
Avoid personal visits and calls while working
Think of it this way- If you had to go to a work location each day, you wouldn’t be able to have people drop by or call you on the phone to chat- this same applies if you are working remote. Trying to socialize and work at the same time is counterproductive because you’re not focused on the task at hand.
Keep your work area organized
Just because you don’t have anyone looking over shoulder or looking at your desk each day, doesn’t mean to have things all over the place. You will find that you can accomplish more in a short time period if your work area is neat and organized. It helps clear your head and makes it easy to locate things when needed. If you have to, invest in folders and organizing bins for your desk. This will allow you to create a spot for all your materials or paperwork that you may need.
Leave the house
When you are working from home, you need to interact with the outside world. Get away from your work station for some time to help refresh your mind and body. I typically enjoy working from various locations throughout the week. It doesn’t matter if it is the library, park, or even a coffee shop; the change of scenery gives you that much-needed boost. It has been found to keep some people energized and creative.
Manage your time wisely
Having effective time management skills will allow you to make the most out of your workday. For example, refrain from setting appointments during your scheduled work hours. Try using lunch breaks or non-working hours to attend conferences or go to the doctors. Keep these things in mind when scheduling work hours; this will help with staying on task.