In the past year, working schedules have shifted drastically. As a result of safety protocols enacted during the pandemic, many people currently work primarily from home.
Most employees can set up functional home offices with only the requisite hardware and reliable wifi connectivity. Still, this new working style brings unique trials. It can be difficult to meet your responsibilities without the support of and physical proximity to colleagues and co-workers.
Although many find remote work preferable to the inherent hassles of in-office business, it poses its own challenges. For example, maintaining efficiency and performance in a remote working environment can be very difficult. That is especially true if you are the type who is easily distracted.
But the good news is that there are ways to increase the effectiveness of your remote work. In the following post, we will offer several tips on how to improve your efficiency while working remotely.
By executing these strategies, you can make your remote work as effective and productive as your days in the office.
Focus on Communication
In any professional setting, communication is critical, especially when you are working remotely.
It’s tempting to conduct most of your day-to-day business by emailing or dashing off short text or Slack messages. But during a busy workday, these too often get lost in the shuffle.
What’s more, it’s often challenging to interpret these written communications. When we speak in person, we not only communicate with our words, but also with our facial expressions and voice tones.
Without these queues, misunderstandings can arise. While working remotely, it’s vital to communicate as clearly and thoroughly as you can.
One way to resolve issues efficiently is through phone calls. Unlike text-based conversations, speaking on the phone provides the possibility of rapid responses. Communicating over the phone can also help your whole team learn to work better together and become more efficient.
In-depth and explicit conversations make for better workflow and productivity. When everyone is in the loop, fewer mistakes will happen.
Stay Engaged with Company Culture
Working from home changes the experience of your day-to-day routine drastically. Rather than scrambling to get out the door to beat rush-hour traffic, you simply walk into your kitchen, living room, or home office space.
While this certainly simplifies much of your daily routine, some people find it challenging to maintain a work mindset. For instance, you’ll no longer have ample opportunities to chat casually with co-workers.
Be sure to keep in touch with your company’s work culture by maintaining your regular social interactions. If you are used to talking with a peer before regular team meetings, do so with a phone call.
Using informal lines of communication with co-workers is an excellent way to keep team morale high. Some examples of less formal communication services include:
- Personal texts
- And more
Sending friendly, funny, and work-appropriate messages helps to keep you engaged with your colleagues.
Working is not only about fulfilling your job function; it is also about building professional connections and relationships with others. That being the case, even when working remotely, stay engaged with your professional community.
Decrease Distractions and Interruptions
The most common difficulty in remote work is possessing all the distractions of your home right at your fingertips. It can be tempting to work with your television or radio on, for example.
There is also a wide range of potential interruptions when you are working from home. You may have children or pets that are distracting you during the workday. While parenting responsibilities will sometimes require your immediate attention, do your best to minimize these.
If you are on a teleconference meeting or business call, background noises and distractions can seem unprofessional.
Try white noise machines and quiet background music to help keep you focused. You should also speak with family members and roommates about respecting your working hours.
Everyone you live with must help you to maintain the distinction between your working and personal time.
Practice Work-Life Separation
One potential pitfall of working from home is the lack of separation between your workspace and your living space. Some people find that their working hours flow into their private time.
If you’re operating under a deadline, it can be tempting to continue working after hours. After all, your office is just around the hallway corner.
While this might be appropriate on occasion, don’t let this become a habit. Build small ways to separate mentally from work and divide your work time from your private time.
For example, designate one area of your home to be used during working hours. Do not use your workspace for leisure activities. When it is time to clock out, go elsewhere.
Another healthy work habit is to dress the same way you did when you worked in the office. Wearing professionally appropriate attire can help to cultivate a work mindset.
Similarly, put on your regular clothes after the workday has finished. Ultimately, treating your work hours differently from your time off will help you to nurture a healthy work-life separation.
These tactics will ensure that your work time does not overlap with personal time and vice versa.
Be Kind to Yourself
While it might sound counterintuitive, self-care is crucial for maintaining efficiency during work hours. After all, working from home continues to be a significant life-altering transition for many of us.
If you’re experiencing difficulty making this major transition, be kind to yourself. Some people feel isolated, anxious, and lonely when they lose the human contact of in-office work. These feelings are perfectly normal.
Try incorporating video calls and phone conversations throughout the day to maintain a healthy amount of social engagement.
Being productive in a brand new working routine is difficult. Distractions happen. Do your best to maintain a growth mindset regarding your productivity and efficiency.
Transitioning to remote work requires you to solve efficiency problems in real-time. Different strategies work for different people.
Do not be afraid to innovate and adjust your productivity strategies to work better for you.
Remote Work as the New Normal
For some, remote work is a dream come true. For others, it is a necessity that brings many difficulties and disadvantages.
Many companies and organizations are choosing to make their remote work models permanent. With the availability of digital connectivity, permanent remote work is a viable option.
While working remotely, use the previous strategies to increase your efficiency and build a healthy work-life balance so that you can stay happy and productive.