Remote work has become familiar for most of us in the last few months. Believe it or not, working from home is our new normal. Some studies conclude that remote workers have a Workforce Happiness Index score of 75 out of a possible 100. But remote working isn’t for everyone and can be a struggle to balance home activities and work schedules.
Pros and Cons of Working Remotely
Remote working erases the distractions of the office workplace. According to an Airtasker study, where they surveyed 1004 full-time employees, showed that remote employees work 1.4 more days per month than their office-based counterparts, resulting in more than three additional weeks of work per year.
Also, having a controlled environment and limited human interaction is proven to boost productivity.
Working under flexible hours allows attending urgent responsibilities in your life that a regular 9-to-5 job would make more challenging to accomplish. Taking care of personal emergencies results in less stress on yourself and more contentment with your career. It is also proven that flexible working hours can increase employee retention rate, which increases productivity.
Saving Time and Money
By eliminating the everyday commute to work, remote workers save $4.523 on fuel per year considering a 5-days work week. And, believe it or not, they potentially save 408 hours of free time per year. For maths lovers, those are 17 days per year you can use for yourself to de-stress, read a book, learn a new skill, play with your kids or even work on your dream business venture.
But not all that glitters is gold; working remotely can have some disadvantages too.
If you are working remotely, you miss the possibility of working side-by-side with your colleagues. Some may find it a pro since you won’t be distracted and you will increase productivity, but in most cases, working in an office can be a great way to meet new people and make friends. Your relationships at work can impact everything from your stress to your happiness levels. Collaborating with your peers can also help you achieve your work goals more effectively and efficiently.
Working out of the office can make it harder to stay in the loop. Not working side by side with your colleagues every day can make it harder to advance through the company and receive promotions or raises. Even though, if you are producing quality results remotely, you’ll be recognized by your superiors.
Remote workers have to consider cybersecurity as a priority. If you are a remote worker, you may be putting sensitive information at risk. An unsecured network may compromise financial statements, as well as usernames and passwords. You may consider using a VPN to protect your online security.
Tips for Remote Working
Either way, if you plan to request a remote schedule or have been forced to move your office to your home on the grounds of force majeure, here are some tips that will help you alleviate the burden on your working remotely experience.
How to be productive at home?
The most effective way for remote workers to stay productive is to take breaks. It is necessary to get up every so often during the workday, mostly if you get drained or distracted. It is healthy for your mind to take a break to have a snack, meditate, walk around, call a friend, etc.
An advantageous management method called The Pomodoro Technique can improve your effectiveness and estimate how long a task will take to complete. The Pomodoro Technique works like this;
- Choose a task.
- Work on it for 25 minutes.
- Put a checkmark on a sheet of paper after the 25 minutes are up.
- Take a five-minute break. (Up to this is called a “Pomodoro Sprint”)
- After every four Pomodoro Sprints, take a longer break.
- Continue these cycles until your workday is over. You will feel more decompress and more focused on your tasks.
Create a Schedule
To have a routine similar to the one you had at the office can help you be more structured and efficient, and it will help keep your attention focused. Prepare your calendar and make sure to keep everything organized.
Set your wake-up alarm, start every day at a determined time as you were entering your office. Stop every time you feel tired and grab some water or a coffee, also make sure to take some personal time for yourself (meditate, rest, or do a workout).
Researchers found that remote workers were healthier in terms of exercise. On average, they clocked in two hours and 44 minutes of physical activity per week. The importance of taking time to workout reduces your probability of getting sick and raises concentration.
Keep a To-Do List
It is important to encourage yourself to write down what you want to accomplish each day, so you keep everything organized and not jumping from assignment to assignment.
It is convenient to look at your daily activities and decide which ones are not important either to you or your company and relatively easy to drop, delegate, or outsource. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and ask yourself, Is this important enough?
Also, with all the videoconference tools available nowadays, it’s a great plan to have daily or weekly meetings with your team to discuss and prioritize projects, including deadlines, so that you can stay on track. You can even have your deck updated and ready to present in your following meeting with Prezi Video.
Social media, text messages, phone calls can make you have a hard time focusing. Eliminating distractions at home can be quite challenging, but working in an office-like space rather than a bed or couch can help and silencing your phone and staying away from areas at home that can be distracting.
Use Technology in your Favor
Among all the other tips, you should use technology in your favor. There are plenty of calendar apps that you can use to organize yourself, like Google Calendar. Some other smartphone apps that can remind you when is a good time to take a break, or even some tools that will help you save time through online meetings, such as Prezi Video.
Remote working can sometimes be challenging, but it is up to you to balance and make the most of it.