Remote work has slowly been on the rise in the past couple of years. However, the pandemic with COVID-19 has quickened the shift. SkySilk takes these events seriously. Therefore, we want to better equip you and help find balance in your life during these hard times and transitions. Here are some tips to remain productive while working remote.
Designate An Area For Work
The first thing to consider to remain productive while working remote, is where your designated area of work will be. Your home is sacred, and while coffee shops are some of our favorite locations to work, they may not be the most ideal during this time. You may not have had your own home office prior to COVID-19. However, you can still designate a small area for productivity. Here are some steps you can take:
- Avoid working on your bed or other areas of relaxation and peace
- Organize items so you have all necessary tools close to you while you’re working
- If you don’t have an office, designate an area on the kitchen counter or a desk
It’s easy to get distracted while at home, especially if you have roommates. These steps can make a huge difference in minimizing distractions.
As you designate a place for your work, take note of all the things you need to work efficiently. Afterward, see if your job is willing to reimburse you for the things that are normally handy in the office.
Here’s a quick inspo from @ramz_digital
Create A Routine to Help You Prepare Mentally for Work
One of the greatest benefits of working remote is having the flexibility with your work schedule. The extra 2-4 hours you now have that normally would have been for commute can now be used to create a routine before starting your workday.
Here are a few ideas to start with:
- Starting your day with a hearty breakfast
- Do some meditation
- Start your day with exercise, a brisk walk, or a run
- Routinely prepare your coffee every morning followed by 30mins of reading or journaling
- Meal prep for the day first thing in the morning
Regardless of what you decide, make sure your mornings help you transition into a focused workday at home.
Read more: The Difference Between IPv4 And IPv6
Create A Routine To Help You Log Out of Work
In the same manner, creating a routine to help you shift your focus and log out of work is just as important. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, as long as it’s something you can rely on. Try the examples below or create your own.
- Have dinner with your loved ones every night
- End your shift with 3-5 minor tasks that repeat every day
- Set a reminder for the remaining 30mins of your day so you can prepare to wind down
- Once logged off, turn off all work notifications. You can tackle your tasks the next day at peak energy
These routines help guard yourself from burn out and remain productive while working remote.
Verify That Your Internet Speed Is Right For You
Most families don’t check which internet plan they have on their regular day. In fact, you may not have needed to until now. However, in order for you to remain productive while working remote, you need an internet connection that is reliable.
- Check your internet speed
- Take note of how many devices in your home will need internet connection
- Consider what types of activity you will be doing for work
- Will you be uploading or downloading files?
- How large will the files be?
- Will anyone use the internet for gaming?
- Contact your service provider now if you need to upgrade
Bonus tip: Make use of a VPN to ensure privacy and secure your connection, such as OpenVPN.
Back Up Your Work on the Cloud
Hard drives are still important, but you can no longer only rely on hard drives. The best way to back up your data is by backing it up on the cloud. Making use of the cloud ensures that if anything was to happen with your computer, you’ll still have a way to retrieve data.
Having your work on the cloud also allows you to collaborate with your team members more efficiently. This means you and your team members can easily share files.
Streamline and Maximize Productivity Tools
There are a handful of tools available and if you didn’t already have a system solidified for working remote, it can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider having systems for: day to day messaging, project management, file sharing, and more.
Read more: Top 10 Productivity Tools for 2020
Schedule Team Meetings and Calls
Every team is different. Some need a team meeting every week, while others do well with one major meeting every six weeks. Regardless, in order to stay productive while working remote, it’s important that you are intentional and proactive about your meetings.
Benefits of Team Meetings:
- Team meetings and calls allow you to reconnect as a team to further encourage collaboration, communication and team work
- These interactions can serve as fuel to those who may otherwise reach burn out
- Calls can become a platform to rejuvenate creative ideas and solutions
- Meetings are a great way to reinforce company values and remind your team that they are part of something bigger
Tips for Efficient Meetings:
- Schedule them ahead of time and make it a routine that your team members can count
- Add the event on your Google calendar and share it with your team
- Set a team agenda prior to the meeting so you know what to address
- Estimate how long each topic should take, and aim to stay within parameters unless absolutely necessary
- Have files, images, windows and presentations open and ready or share them on the cloud
- Ask your team members to send you topics they’d like to discuss prior to the meeting
Taking these steps can help you run efficient meetings while giving your team members enough time to gather their thoughts. Since this is a transition with COVID-19, kindly remind your team members that these meetings are similar to in-person meetings. Which means you will need their full attention, with them ready to chime in.
Bonus Tip: Our Nextcloud Servers is another productivity tool that allows you to communicate through secure audio and video conferencing.
Prioritize and Delegate
It’s easy to micromanage when you are physically with your co-workers. However, working remote teaches you to trust your team members, prioritize your tasks daily, and delegate. After all, your team members have been hired for a reason.
Of course, COVID-19 requires a transition and you may need to choose a new person to oversee each project. But at the end of the day, this becomes a great opportunity for your team members to rise up in leadership while allowing them to take ownership.
When employees can take ownership, they are more likely to feel a sense of purpose, accomplishment and take accountability. Which will encourage and motivate them, even if you aren’t checking up on them in their office.
Take Your Breaks, Eat Properly and Stay Hydrated
An important but easy to overlook habit in remaining productive while working remote is taking your breaks, having your meals, and staying hydrated. Since no one is watching you or requiring you to take your lunch, it’s easy to bypass it.
- Taking your 15min break is a great time to get away from the computer and rest your eyes
- Eating properly helps make sure you have nutrients and brainpower to focus and be efficient without having to work overtime
- Aside from the obvious reasons, staying hydrated is a great way to wash viruses that start in your throat, like COVID-19, down into your stomach where they can be killed
Connect and Schedule Time With Your Loved Ones
Although COVID-19 has encouraged us to practice social distancing, this doesn’t mean that we have to feel isolated. Isolation, as opposed to solitude, is a state where you feel alone. Times like these make it even more crucial to have a sense of community. What a better place to start than our loved ones.
Reconnect with your loved ones by catching up on the phone. You can also intentionally schedule meals together to help recharge your social batteries.
Remember that with remote work, notifications are ringing for attention at the palm of our hands. Therefore, make sure to set your phone aside and put it on Do Not Disturb while with your family. This properly prepares you for quality time.
Manage Your Media Consumption
Last but not least, stay informed, but monitor how much media you consume. This pandemic can be scary and an overload on media consumption can cause more panic.
- Turn off the news after a certain amount of time, or possibly even limit it to 15mins
- Turn off constant notifications from Twitter, Facebook, or other sources, especially while you’re trying to focus
- Make sure that the time frames that you receive updates are at a time frame that you can mentally and emotionally process
Overall, we are walking into unprecedented times with COVID-19 and it can feel overwhelming. The good news is that the right technology is available to help us transition. These tools and skills will help your business and team remain productive while working remote. Not all hope is lost, and we are in this together. Maximize the team around you, and ask questions if you need help.
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