Working remotely can be a huge perk of a job or it could happen through necessity.
If you’re newly faced with it, here’s my guide of how to work remotely and be productive (and sane).
It can seem like a dream but in reality, working remotely does require some planning and discipline. It’s so easy to get caught up in other things around that house that you lose focus and track of what you’re doing.
Here are my top tips on how to work remotely and stay productive!
1. Use your most productive time wisely.
This is a huge perk if you don’t have to be online at any given time. If you have the freedom to get the jobs done at any time of the day, then you need to figure out when you’re most productive. If you get your best work done at 4-6 am (hint – this time works so well if you also have little ones at home), then get up and get it done! Prioritize your most important tasks for the day and do them during this time.
2. Plan out your day
When figuring out how to work remotely, you do have the ability to plan out your day. Write down what needs to get done, order them in their priority and then allocate time for them. If you do have the flexibility you might find that you can get a few hours done and then get some exercise in or head out for a coffee. It’s great if you can schedule some good breaks in so that you’re more productive when you’re working.
Once you have the schedule set, make sure you stick to it!
3. Get childcare
This might not be a necessity if you’re able to work around your own schedule but if you have to be available during certain times, then it’s important. Of course, there’s the childcare centre option but you could also use family daycare, have a nanny/babysitter come over or you could even swap with a friend, one day you have her kids and the other she has yours. Get creative here and see what works for your family.
4. Minimise distractions
It’s so tempting to put a load of washing on or get dinner ready but you are working and you need to make sure you’re minimising your distractions. I recommend that you keep the housework out of sight that you need to do and have periods through the day that you have no notifications on your computer or phone. The more focused you are, the more work you can get done and the earlier you can finish unless you’re working for an hourly rate for a set period of time.
5. Prepare your food
When I have a full day of work, I make sure I’ve planned what I’m having for snacks and lunch. I essentially ‘pack’ lunch in the morning and therefore don’t have to waste time preparing it during the day. On top of that, it’s a great way to make sure you have healthy food available!
6. Tell your friends and family that you are actually working
Just because you’re home, doesn’t mean you’re available to everyone else! This is a common problem for us work at home folk. Others just don’t get that you are working and just like when working in the office, you need to be focused and get work done.
The biggest hurdle I’ve had with this is actually my husband! Make sure they know that you’re working and you can’t run errands and get other jobs done as easily as you would normally be able to.
7. Create your own workspace
You might not have the luxury of a separate office (if working from home is an ongoing thing, then you need to create a space) but you need to create a space in the house where you get work done. I find that this helps me to be more productive because it’s like my brain knows it’s time to work and get sh*t done!
Make this space a place that you want to be in and one that sparks your creativity. You have the ability to set it up exactly how you want, make sure you put some thought into it. I especially love having plants in my space!
Related post: Create A More Productive Home Office
8. Stay connected with your co-workers
If you have co-workers, try and stay connected to them. This will help with the feeling of being isolated, help to retain the work culture and you also know that everyone’s doing the work they need to do. It’s even better if you can have some face-to-face on Zoom or something similar. Over-communication is better than too little here.
9. Invest in quality equipment
When you’re working remotely, you need to make sure you have reliable and secure internet and that the equipment you’re using is reliable. If you need to upgrade to make your day easier, then do it! There’s nothing worse than wasting precious time because your internet or your computer are too slow.
10. Know when to log off
The biggest struggle with working remotely is that it’s tempting to work at all hours and not really feel like you’ve finished work for the day. Schedule an end time and make sure you stick to it. There’s no faster way to burn out then working at all hours of the day!
There you have it, my top tips on how to work remotely and stay productive (and sane)!
Id’ love to hear your top tips if I’ve missed it! Pop them in the comments below.