Amid the recent coronavirus pandemic, work-from-home initiatives have become more readily available within organizations in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. According to a recent study done by the International Workplace Group, 80% of workers in the U.S. would rather choose a job that offered remote working flexibility over jobs that do not, and it is entirely understandable why it is such a supported way of working. Less commuting (which thus saves you money on gas), no distractions from office coworkers and drama, and the ability to be comfortable from your own home.
But there is also the other side to consider; remote working could significantly drain productivity if it is not implemented correctly. For remote working to be successful, not only do employers need to have policies and platforms to continue workplace synergy, but employees also need to stay on top of their work to fully use up remote working to its benefit. Take a look at some of these productivity-boosting tips to successfully work through your new, or even existing, remote working environment.
Find your space.
The first step is to find a space that is unique to you, has little distractions, and most importantly, allows you to differentiate your work time from your comfort time. Having a home office would be ideal in this case, but many people may not have access to such luxury. Some popular places in the home to work from are the kitchen, dining room, and the front/backyard if the weather (and internet) is nice enough.
About 80% of employees have admitted to working from their bed, but psychologically, it is very difficult to remove the idea of having to sleep when lying in bed. Researchers from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard say that keeping computers, TVs, and any work material from the bedroom is valuable in strengthening the mental association between your bedroom and sleep. So, find a place within the home (or outside of it if it works with your work-from-home program) where you will be comfortable, but also ready to work. Even decorate it as you would an office desk, such as with pictures and plants.
Don’t skimp on organization.
Many people often think that working from home requires military-grade concentration. But more often than not, it all comes down to how well you are managing your time and staying organized. Working from home opens up a lot more time and freedom for many, but it is also important to stay on top of a schedule to ensure you are actually getting work done efficiently.
Working from home is supposed to offer the benefit of a more comfortable environment and less work stress, but that should not lessen work discipline. Some common ways to stay organized include having a physical agenda to write and plan on, creating lists, and working the same hours as you would in the office.
Another idea to consider is the famous Pomodoro technique. This is a time management system that motivates participants to effectively use the time they have while trying to avoid unnecessary distractions. It involves breaking your workday into “pomodoros;” 25-minute chunks, each separated by five-minute breaks. After about four pomodoros in a row, you take a longer break of 15-20 minutes. This method is meant to create a sense of urgency and allows the individualized organization of specific tasks between each pomodoro. It is also important to avoid any unnecessary distractions during the 25-minute chunks, thus boosting concentration and productivity.
Increase work productivity through other means.
Finding ways to stay more productive while working from home does not have to stop at physical lists and schedules. It is just as important to set a routine before, during breaks, and even after work in order to successfully stay on top of their work. For instance, many individuals look forward to go out for a run before starting their work to give their body and their brain a boost of productivity to get them going on their tasks. It also tricks their brain into thinking they are “commuting” to work. Some other unique methods include going on walks during breaks, holding regular video conference calls with your team to maintain active collaboration, and having a standing desk.
Carissa Scanlon, CPA
Carissa joined Cerini & Associates in March, 2007, and has since provided both tax and audit services to various business industries. Carissa’s audit background with small to mid-size organizations gives her invaluable insight to the internal workings of a business that will allow her to fully assist to all of a company’s needs and growth.