Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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Working Remotely or Remotely Working? 3 Tips for Increasing Productivity When No One’s Looking Over Your Shoulder

Thanks to modern technology, more people are working remotely than ever. In a 2016 Gallup survey, 43 percent of the 15,000 American employees polled reported that they work from home at least some of the time. And that number is increasing – both in the U.S. and abroad. In fact, UK-based OddsMonkey predicts that half of the UK workforce will be working remotely by the year 2020.

However, while people are embracing remote work, some find it hard to make the transition from in-office employee to at-home worker. Without proper discipline, productivity may suffer. Here are some tips to ensure that doesn’t happen:

1. Schedule Time

Don’t toss the alarm clock just yet. Sticking to a set schedule will helps us stay organized. Wake up, get dressed, and start work on time. Just as importantly, knock off at the predesignated hour. This helps maintain a healthy work/life balance.

2. Avoid Distractions

There are countless distractions that can compromise productivity. Here are a few of the most common:

Chores: Though you might want to multitask between work and personal tasks, it’s not a good idea. Something as simple throwing in a load of laundry can break your concentration and weigh down productivity. Do your chores outside of the working hours you’ve set for yourself.

Contact with family: if you’re working in a home where family members are present, make it clear that barring an emergency, you are not to be disturbed during working hours. The same goes for neighbors and friends.

Social media: It is tempting to check Facebook and other social media sites for just for a sec, but it’s far too easy to lose track of time on social media. Check your account after-hours.

Other distractions to avoid:

  • Television
  • Video games
  • Getting caught in internet searches that turn into rabbit holes
  • Clutter (keep a neat workspace)

3. Plan The Day in Advance

Planning is an integral component of success. Spend some time at the end of each workday to plan for the next one, and jot down the tasks you need to accomplish while they’re fresh in your mind. Prep your meals and snacks for the day the night before, as though you were going to the office, and figure out what you’re going to wear. Treating the remote workplace like any other job help us accomplish more.

Transitioning from an office job to a remote one gets easier with time. Eventually, you’ll even be able to bend a routine every now and then without productivity loss. After all, what good is it to work remotely if there are never any perks?


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