Working remotely requires extra effort to ensure you are effective and productive. You can’t just plop your laptop on the dining table and expect to get work done at the same level you accomplished in the office. That’s why you need to create an environment that allows you to focus and work optimally. To help you get started, let’s look at the following tips:
1. Find a Dedicated Workspace
Having a dedicated office or workspace helps you get mentally prepared to get your work done. As you step into the room, your brain goes from leisure to work mode. It also sends a message to the other people in the house that you’re busy and/or need to focus. If the room has a door that you can close and lock, even better. Now, no one can come in uninvited.
This room or space, however, should be strictly for work. Don’t go there to rest or relax. This will help program your brain to go into work mode every time you step into that space.
2. Invest in the Right Equipment
Don’t think of buying office equipment as a luxury or a waste of money. If you spend much of your day sitting in an uncomfortable chair, hunched over a laptop, it will negatively impact your health in the long term. Rather, view investing in ergonomic equipment as self-care. Get the proper office equipment that will support your health. Some basic items are:
- Table or Desk: Make sure the height of the desk is at least 29 inches from the floor to the top of the work surface, which is industry standard. Adjust accordingly to suit your height.
- Ergonomic Chair and Keyboard: Back pain is no fun, and neither is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Buy an ergonomic chair and keyboard that supports your back and the natural placement of your hands.
- Wi-Fi Connection: Have you ever been on a video conference call and your Wi-Fi conks out? Perhaps you’re surfing the web and your internet connection stops working. Having poor connectivity is a mood killer, especially if you’re in the middle of an important assignment. It ruins your concentration and throws you off. Get a Wi-Fi connection that won’t disappoint when you need it.
3. Lighting is Critical
If you want to be productive for longer, then natural light is best. It’s best to avoid fluorescent lighting altogether, as it can cause drowsiness. If the light in your space isn’t sufficient, consider getting a desk lamp. Sitting hunched over your computer or laptop in a dimly lit room is not good for your back or your eyesight.
So, if you want to stay awake for longer, open the curtains and let the sunlight come in. Or turn on the desk lamp, at the very least.
4. Let the Music Play
Music helps increase your productivity and improves your mood. With a good pair of noise-canceling headphones, you can listen to your favorite tunes without the distraction of other outside noise.
When you’re doing less demanding work, you can listen to your favorite hits. But when it’s time to work on something that requires intense focus, listen to classic or instrumental music instead.
5. Brighten Up the Space with Plants
Not only do plants clean up the air, but they’ve been known to boost productivity and engagement. If you are notoriously bad at keeping plants alive, get one that needs little to no attention such as a succulent.
Alternatively, you could visit the Home Depot and get tips from the staff in the gardening section or check out Patch online for plant suggestions and guidelines for its care and maintenance.
6. Get a Real Clock
As hard as it may seem to believe, when you’re working remotely, time can get away from you. Without an obvious start and stop time, you may find yourself working 15-hour days. If you check the time on your phone, it’s easy to get sidetracked.
To combat this, track your time by either buying a conventional clock or using an online timer like the Tomato Timer, which uses the Pomodoro technique to help you focus for longer by interspersing 5-minute breaks in between 25 minutes of concentrated work.
Set strict starting and ending times so your work time is clear. You know when to start and there is a definite end time for when the workday ends.
7. Pick a Video Conference Solution
If your business doesn’t have its own video conference platform, you’ll need to pick one of your own and learn how to make video calls within the system you’ll be using all the time.
Not only does it save you time and stress in the midst of a work meeting, but it also prevents video call mishaps like accidentally turning on a cat face filter in an important meeting.
Pick your video conferencing solution, learn the guidelines for how to make video calls, and understand the rules of etiquette.
Making it Work for You
The beautiful thing about remote work is you have the freedom to work in a way that is best for you. If you work better early in the morning and late evenings, with your afternoons free, you can schedule your work accordingly. Maybe you enjoy lighting candles or incense to help you focus. Go ahead and do it.
This is your chance to figure out how you work best. With the basics that have been outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to high productivity in an environment designed just for you.