Just a couple of years ago “Working from home” was a novelty. Then only few of us could enjoy it. These were mainly freelancers, virtual assistants and some of the IT developers. This has changed drastically. The COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021 gave remote work a tremendous boost. Employers started to seek out ways in which their organizations could continue operations, even if their employees were locked down at home. The IT sector was more than ready to accommodate the process. Suddenly almost all industries shifted partially or fully to remote work.
Today in mid-2021 we can easily say that remote work is here to stay. Even though most of the COVID lockdown restrictions are already lifted, many of the remote workers refuse to go back to the offices.
The debate whether remote work is more productive or not is still going on. The truth is that in can be way more productive and provide a better work-life balance, if we just follow a few simple rules:
10. Establish Your Remote-work Space
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Initially, when it all started, we used to work remotely from bed, or from the living room or even from the kitchen. However it is important to establish your dedicated remote-work space. Select an adequate part of your home and build your remote-work office there. Get a desk/table, a comfy chair, the necessary hardware, a fast WiFi, adequate lighting and all which you will need to do your remote job.
What is important is that your family, or the people whom you live with, recognize your remote-work space.
9. Get the right software
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Your employer may have some suggestions. If he does not – then DIY. Software is vital for you to do your remote work easily and efficiently. Make sure you have the latest version of most communication platforms and open an account with each. Get the right VPN software and link with the office securely. Make your cloud storage. Chose a good collaboration software. Learn how to use them (should some be novel to you) and use them. Software will increase your productivity greatly.
8. Start Early
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Previously we used get up early and travel to work. Working remotely, we need not travel. This however does not mean that we have to start our remote job late. Early in the morning we think fast, work better and are generally more productive. Be an early bird. You can start early and also finish early. So do it.
7. Dress For the Occasion
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True. Initially we started doing our remote jobs in our PJs. However, PJs are the adequate attire for sleeping. Our productivity will suffer. Dress as you would for your office job. The proper clothing will give a jolt to your motivation and put you in the working-mood, and yes … if you incidentally turn the camera of your video-call on, you will not be embarrassed. Dress sloppily and perform sloppily. Dress sharply, feel better and be productive.
6. Make a Schedule
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In the office, normally the pulse of our organization will guide us along our daily job. When we are alone in our remote office, we need some preps to follow and stay organized. This will be our schedule. Each evening draft your schedule for the next day. Write down all the tasks, the required results and fix the time necessary for each. Then follow closely your schedule. This will keep, and may actually increase, your productive while doing your remote job.
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Celebrate each accomplished task. The “celebration” needs not be lavish. It could be just getting a glass of orange juice. Mark the finalization of the task, smile, rest a while and then return to your schedule.
4. Evade distractions
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Distractions in the office are few. Distractions in our home are many. Be it the TV, our hobby collection, random home chores … The list is long. In order to stay productive, while doing your remote work, keep distractions low or evade them altogether. Focus on your schedule and tick off the tasks.
3. Ask for help
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Even though you are sitting alone in front of your PC, you are not alone in your organization. Should you ran into some difficulty or have a question – ask for help. You can start with help on getting the appropriate software and grow to asking for help, when you feel down or sad. Your company may have dedicated staff to handle just your issue, or it may be a colleague-friend who you find in need.
2. Collaborate and Communicate
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Humans are social animals. We need to communicate with our colleagues, even if we are not in the same room. We need to communicate with our boss, so that we are on the same page. Usually, we will also need to collaborate with our team while doing our remote job. Never hesitate to communicate and collaborate. The IT sector has provided us with all the tools necessary to stay in touch with our working community. Be human, stay social. This will not only boost your productivity, it will boost your morale.
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You are not traveling to work when working remotely. You already know the main rules for being more productive in your remote job. Hence you will have more time on your hands. Use this time correctly. Do not waste it. Learn something new. It could be as easy as learning how to use a new collaboration software, or as complex as learning a new programing language. Just like remote work, remote learning is easily available, and often even free. Learning will increase your productivity yet further, and … yes, may lead to a job promotion.
Enjoy the new trend of remote work. Reap all the benefits. Stay focused and optimistic. Remote work will actually improve your work-life balance.
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