Last Updated on September 13, 2023
I love working from home – my own virtual office space. It’s a luxury that many of us don’t get to enjoy. However, it does come with its own challenges. For example: how do you stay productive when you’re not surrounded by coworkers at all times? How do you keep track of everything that needs to be done when there are no deadlines hanging over your head? How do you deal with missing out on some aspects of workplace culture − like lunch in the cafeteria or company parties − and still maintain an enjoyable work life? These are all questions I’ve asked myself as a remote worker, and they’re also questions I’m sure many others have faced.
Many of us are working remotely these days − and it can be harder than you’d think
Remote work has become more common, not just for freelancers but also for virtual assistants. Many people are finding that they can take on remote roles as a way of balancing work and life and gaining some flexibility in their lives. But when you’re working remotely, there are many challenges to bear in mind:
Communication is key
When your whole team is working from different locations, communication becomes all the more important. You’ll need to rely on email, phone calls, or video chats with face to face communication (or at least to appear face to face).
A routine is essential!
You might be tempted to use this time as an opportunity of becoming creative − however, having no schedule can lead to procrastination and stress when deadlines come up unexpectedly.
Create a dedicated workspace
One of the first things you can do to make your remote office experience more productive is to set up a dedicated workspace. It’s important that you create a comfortable, ergonomic space for yourself where you have plenty of room for your computer and other equipment. You may also want to invest in some noise-canceling headphones, which allow you to focus on work without distractions from the rest of your home or office.
If possible, try finding somewhere quiet − away from TVs, children playing video games, and other loud noises − to put on your desk. You can then be free from distractions as well as interruptions by others who come in contact with you through technology (such as email notifications). You would also not like accidentally to knock something over while walking around inside your own home/office space.
Develop a routine
To stay productive, you’ll need to develop a routine. A routine is simply a series of habits that you follow at certain times on a daily basis. For example, if you’re going to work from home, it can be helpful to have a morning routine that involves waking at 6 a.m., getting ready for the day, and then heading into your office by 7 a.m. You could also do this with an afternoon or evening routine. Perhaps you can come home at 5 p.m. and take care of business until around 8 p.m. before going to bed.
The main point here is that having your own particular set of habits will help keep everything in order throughout your day. A routine will provide structure when working remotely from another location other than the office itself (your house).
Use apps to keep in touch with coworkers and friends
Use apps that are free and easy to use.
- Use apps that are compatible with your phone or tablet.
- Deploy apps that are simple and quick to use, especially if you’re in a remote office where there’s no one else around to help you out!
- Apps help you stay in touch with your friends and family at all times, even when they’re not physically close by!
Be kind to yourself if you have bad days
It’s normal for your productivity to take a hit when you’re working from home. If you have a bad day, don’t beat yourself up about it! The key to staying productive in the long run is learning how to deal with the ups and downs of remote work life.
Take a break if you need one
When I’m having an off day, I like to turn on some music and watch something funny on TV or YouTube—it makes me feel rejuvenated so that I can tackle whatever tasks are left on my plate after that brief respite. It’s okay if this strategy doesn’t work for everyone; there are tons of other ways that people relax when they’re feeling overwhelmed by their workloads: walking outside, building something (if possible), doing yoga or meditation…the possibilities are endless!
Talk to someone
Talk to someone who understands what’s going on inside your head (and heart). If none of these strategies help to ease your stress levels sufficiently for you to focus again, some additional support might be needed. There is sure to be another person or people in your life who understand the problems of a remote worker. Whether it’s talking through issues with friends over lunch, or calling family members back home every night before bedtime − having someone else listen while we process our feelings helps us get through hard times much more quickly than going it alone ever could!
Make sure that you also have time for things that don’t work
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to work all the time. You can take breaks, and your boss won’t think any the less of you if you say no to extra work. It’s also okay to say no if someone asks to come over and hang out with you − you’re not obligated to entertain anyone who comes by your desk. And when it comes time for a vacation or a day off, make sure your company knows what you are planning, so that there is enough coverage in your absence.
If you feel as though your productivity is dropping, reach out to someone for help
Sometimes you just need to talk to someone. You can reach out to anyone you trust for advice or insight into how to stay productive in a remote office. If your problem is that you don’t know where to start, having someone point you in the right direction will be invaluable.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your workload and not sure who else could help ease the pressure, reach out to your mentor or boss (if applicable). If both of these people are unavailable, try talking with a coworker. You might not even realize how much wisdom is out there until someone offers it!
How to stay productive in a remote office
In order to stay productive when working remotely, you need to create a dedicated workspace. This should be free of clutter and distractions, and allow sufficient room for you to lay out your work materials in an organized fashion. It’s also important to make sure that the space is comfortable and conducive to productivity; if you’re feeling uncomfortable or unsafe in any way, this will have negative consequences on your ability to concentrate on the task at hand.
Make sure that you develop a routine for yourself, so that each day has an established start time and end time, with breaks in between (if possible). You’ll find it much easier to keep track of tasks if they’re broken down into smaller chunks, rather than having one long list of tasks to be done right now. Having clear prompts at regular intervals throughout the day helps ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.
When it comes time for meetings or calls with coworkers or clients, use apps such as Skype so they can see what’s going on while still being able to see themselves from multiple angles (such as from above). This makes it easier for everyone involved. There will not be any delays caused by buffering issues—and because most people tend not to want others looking over their shoulder while working on something important!
It’s okay if some days aren’t great days…but don’t let those days derail progress! Just remember: every day counts towards success!
Working remotely is difficult but it can be done with the help of technology and a planned routine
Working from home can be a challenge. Without coworkers, you may feel isolated and alone. The temptation to procrastinate is real—but don’t fret! There are ways of staying productive in your remote office, even if you have no one else around to hang out with.
First, use technology to stay connected with your coworkers and friends. You can use video chat apps like Skype or Zoom when you’re on the same floor as them but just can’t get away from your desk. You might need some quick advice on something related to work (but not necessarily urgent). You can also make sure that two-way communication between all your colleagues is open at all times by using an app like Slack. This is basically a message board for everyone in the company, making it easy for anyone to use who has questions about their projects or wants some feedback.
Second, create a routine for yourself so that staying productive doesn’t seem like such an uphill battle! For example, every day before your 9 p.m. bedtime, you could take 10 minutes off from checking emails or working on your laptop. Try going for a walk around the block using headphones (while listening to music). This could feel more like ‘me time’ instead of work time (and thus easier).
Thirdly, keep track of how many hours each day have gone by since the last check-in; since then when it reaches 15+ hours without interruption this is just not healthy.
I hope these tips will help you stay productive in your remote office. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out!