Working remotely increases productivity, two-thirds of managers agree. Reducing distractions, working at optimal times and feeling happier about the working day are all contributing factors to the justification for working away from the office environment.
There are, however, some guidelines that should be kept in mind to ensure that you make the most of your time spent working remotely.
Do remember to stay contactable
In today’s connected world there’s almost no excuse to not be contactable.
Your availability to colleagues should be no different when working remotely than it would be if you were in the office. Meetings, discussions and collaboration are all entirely possible from virtually anywhere in the world.
Don’t snack all day
Just because you’re away from the office you don’t need to snack all day. One of the downsides of working anywhere is that we usually find ourselves either at home (with our fridge and food cupboards within easy reach) or, even worse, in a coffee shop or cafe where they have a huge selection of tempting cuisine!
Decide on and pack your lunch at the start of the day and stick to it.
Do dress appropriately
Spending the day in your dressing gown won’t help your productivity or state of mind. Whatever you usually wear to the office should be your attire for the day away from it.
If your normal office dress is a full suit then you can obviously tone it!
Don’t turn the TV on
There are theories that a TV in the background is good for productivity as it provides ambient noise however turning one on in the same room, where you can see as well as hear it, will simply be a distraction.
“..in the Journal of Consumer Research, they did indeed find that a moderate level of ambient noise actually does boost creativity for most people.”
Choose a channel that you’re not really interested in so that, although there’s ambient noise, you’re not interested in what’s being said and, as such, not distracted by it.
Do keep your devices charged
Running out of juice half way through the day is disastrous for any device we rely on to carry out our role. We are now so dependent upon our phones that not having it immediately to hand is considered by most an emergency that causes anxiety and stress.
Invest in separate chargers for your home office and also your laptop bag. That way you’ll never be without the power you need to keep your gadgets running.
Do work from anywhere
Make sure not to restrict your telecommuting to one location. Changing scenery will not only allow you to test differing work environments but it will also help to inspire your creativity and keep boredom away on those extra long Mondays!
Don’t limit yourself to 9 to 5
Work when you’re most productive. Some of us are early risers and others hate getting up at the crack of dawn.
If your working from home (and as long as you’ve informed your colleagues), working between the hours that align with your internal clock and natural rhythms enables you to utilise the period of time when you feel most motivated and productive.
Do make use of tech
We now live in a connected world, never more than an app away from our friends, family and colleagues. Utilising technology in order to communicate, collaborate and carry out our jobs effectively should now be second nature to most.
Take time to catch up on the latest tools available which can be used to improve processes and help you do the best work you can.
Don’t forget to take a break
Taking a break is just as important when working remotely as it is in the office. Stepping away from your screen for even a short while can protect you from headaches, eyestrain and a bad back.
Taking a short break will also allow you to recharge get a change of scenery and catch a breath of fresh air.
Do get things organised
Save yourself time and frustration by organising your home office (or work bag) to ensure that you have everything you need and know where it is.
Make a list of the items you use frequently and make sure that these are also available to you when telecommuting.
Don’t forget the plants!
Carrying a plant around with you when you’re working from remote locations probably isn’t practical but placing a bit of greenery around your home office is definitely recommended.
There are many health and productivity benefits of house plants and for a small investment you can take advantage of them to improve your day.
Adding plants to your home office also just makes it a nicer place to be!