According to Global Workplace Analytics, more than 60% of employers that allow remote work report increases in productivity among telecommuters. Perhaps you are among the work-at-home, non-self-employed population which has grown by 103% since 2005. If so, here are three ways to pump up your productivity.
Ensure your workspace is set up for success. One of the biggest mistakes people make when working remotely is not having a dedicated workspace. A home office with a door that can be closed and plenty of task lighting is ideal because it enables you to leave everything behind when you wrap up each day, and easily pick up where you left off the next morning. A separate space helps designate ‘work’ from ‘home’ activities so you are not constantly toggling back and forth between tasks. If you don’t have a home office, identify another space in your home—even if it’s relatively small, where you can keep all of your work-related items such as laptop, monitor, files, binders, etc.
Delete distractions. Dale Carnegie said, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” A door is essential if you’re not always alone when working from home. A quiet and calm atmosphere will enable you to focus on what you’re doing instead of what someone else is doing. Anything that draws you away from work is a distraction, so consider logging out of all social media and shopping sites before you kick off your workday. Maura Thomas, founder of RegainYourTime.com, recommends turning off all social media push notifications so you can maintain your focus on the task at hand. If you’re taking a break and want to peruse social media, consider setting a timer so you know when to log off and return to work.
Factor in face-time. It’s common to feel disconnected from co-workers when working remotely. As a former Dale Carnegie instructor, I believe there is no substitute for face-to-face communication in order to foster healthy relationships with colleagues and clients. Schedule face time with your boss and colleagues, even if only on a quarterly basis. If certain co-workers and clients live near you, commit to scheduling a meeting or lunch with them on a weekly basis. Dale Carnegie said, “Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, ‘I like you.’” The more time you spend with them in person, the stronger the relationship will be.
When you cannot connect in person, take advantage of online conferencing tools which enable remote employees to collaborate virtually. Here are a few examples:
Desktop sharing enables meeting participants to see what is on the presenter’s screen. Whether presenting second quarter sales goals or the last quality assurance report, everyone will clearly see the information being presented.
Text chat allows presenters and participants to chat privately or among the entire group.
Video Conferencing enables presenters to stream their live presentations so that everyone can view and discuss it in real-time.