Even before the Covid -19 pandemic hit us, over 4.7 million people were working remotely around the globe. It’s safe to say that teleworking is the new normal. Whether that location is your home base, a coworking space, or the café down your street, one of the biggest issues reported by workers is battling loneliness.
According to Flexjobs, 75% of remote workers report being more productive without office distractions. Further to the point earlier about feeling cut off, however, you wouldn’t be at fault for craving social contact. The means of achieving it can be questionable, though, especially if you spend time scrolling through social media or mindless web surfing. What starts out innocently as a quick check-in or break turns into hours that eat into company time.
So here are a few tips to help you stay focused when you’re working remotely, whether you’re experienced, or new to it!
1. Create a dedicated work area
Reevaluate your workstation arrangements. Where you work says a lot about your style of working, movements, and comfort. Depending on the equipment you’ll need, in the form of monitors, desktops, keyboards, and other devices, ensure that you have the space to accommodate them without cluttering up your living space. An ordered and organized desk makes it easier for you to get into that productivity mindset, given that everything has a place. You know where to look for what you’re going to need, be it a notepad and pen to jot down notes on the fly, or hardware and software.
The ideal location gets plenty of light and cross-ventilation. Surround yourself with calming personal effects, such as a potted plant or photos. Do not compromise on ergonomic comfort, especially if yours is a desk job or standing station that you’ll spend a few hours on. Invest in a chair with height and posture adjustments so that your eyes, spine, neck, and fingers are at optimal positions.
2.Block out digital distractions
Digital distractions refer to websites and platforms that are irrelevant to work. You can use remote management tools such as Krisp.ai or Freedom. Before doing so, find out your productivity window, i.e. the hours that you have observed you get most of your work done. This way, you’re allowing yourself breaks without eating into company time. Krisp mutes background noises which are helpful during work calls. After all, you can’t afford to lose track of what individual speakers are talking about. Freedom detects sites and pop-ups and blocks addictive applications and games while you’re working so that you’re discouraged from going to them.
3. Time timed breaks
According to Airtasker, 37% of remote workers report being more productive by taking regular breaks. This is echoed in a Forbes article that states that the pulse and pause technique helps people recharge while remaining deadline-conscious. Space out your breaks and take them in fixed times within the working window so that you can cultivate predictability into the overall routine. Categorize breaks by mealtimes, workouts, or just a quick lounge or social visit so that you’re mindful of how much time each break takes. You can even plan ahead for contingencies. For example, meal prepping the night before can reduce your cooking time the next day, and allow you to savor the meal instead of rushing through it in order to not waste another minute. This is an optimization measure that lets you get the most out of the time you take off during work.