5 tips to stay productive while working remotely

This enticing situation can in reality be quite difficult. Here’s how to not let your performance drop. By Satyaki Sarkar

Working remotely is getting more popular with companies, giving employees additional flexibility. With a number of co-working spaces popping up all over major metros, there’s an added appeal of working outside restrictive office environments. While it might sound like fun, the lack of structure and distance from teammates can have an adverse effect leading to a fall in productivity. Working remotely takes as much, if not more, discipline, effort and commitment as working from the office. Here’s how you can get in the right mindset.

1. Decide your work hours
With the freedom to work remotely, without set rules and regulations, we all get tempted to sleep in sometimes or close up shop early. However, not only does it lead to a problem in interacting with your team, it can also give the impression that you are misusing that freedom. Instead, to be professional and productive you should maintain regular work hours, similar to your colleagues and team, and finish the work assigned for that time. Treat that time just as you would if you were physically in office. Pushing things off to finish them later, in your own time, never works, and without putting that pressure on yourself, you’ll find yourself missing deadlines, and your performance suffering drastically.

2. Stay connected during your work hours
One of the biggest benefits of working on site is that you are actually able to be there in person to interact with your team, manage any emergency, and work without the barrier of connectivity or distance. So while working remotely you need to focus on staying connected and available so that your team or colleagues can always reach you easily when needed, ask for advice, bounce off ideas, discuss solutions to problems, etc. In this hyper digital age, this isn’t too difficult to do as there are a number of team/group messaging and connectivity softwares that you can easily used to co-ordinate and interact with your team and be virtually present and available during work hours.

3. Keep an open, interactive to-do list
While working remotely, discipline is very important, especially to keep track of tasks that need to be accomplished teach day, as well as spread over a period of time. A great practice is to create an interactive to-do list, prioritise the items according to levels of importance and urgency, so that you know which tasks are time sensitive and hence, need to finish first. Encourage your team members to do the same and share them internally. This improves transparency and inter-team motivation.

4. Create a designated workstation
The need for order/a system is all the more important when working remotely. It’s what will keep you on track and help you accomplish set goals. If you’re working from home or a hotel room, don’t give into the temptation to work from the bed, couch, or a comfortable bean bag. It will harm your productivity beyond measure. Setting up a proper workstation and using it as your personal office helps you subconsciously get into our work zone, and your brain becomes conditioned to perform at full capacity, the way you would have needed to perform in a high-stress, high-pressure situation, at your office.

5. Don’t give in to distractions
This is one of the most important factors of all, as being in a non-office environment means the distractions can be endless. It is very easy to lose track with a phone call, personal email, Facebook, a visit from a friend, etc, and the next thing you know hours have gone by. Remember to leave personal/household chores for after work hours. If you feel like taking a break, do what you would have if you had been at work, instead of giving in to temptation and switching on the TV or surfing the next. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do if you were in office.

Photograph: Nensuria/ 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


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