Many people who work from an office find remote working very appealing. The reason is simple; people wish to have the comfort of home, schedule flexibility, and more family time. Remote work has many other advantages that have been receiving more attention after the COVID-19 pandemic.
But those who are working remotely know that it’s not a bed of roses either. There are numerous challenges associated with remote working such as having a routine and doing all your daily tasks.
Here are some common scenarios that reflect the challenges of remote work:
- Too many distractions around. It’s harder to feel motivated at work if your kids and spouse are watching an interesting TV program.
- You tend to procrastinate more.
- You can take breaks more frequently than you should.
- You may face technical problems that may not be easily solved
- Reduced socialization since remote workers don’t see each other except through videoconferences.
Even so, many smart remote workers find ways to deal with these challenges. There are plenty of strategies that can help you in this regard and boost your productivity. If you think you are this kind of freelancer and want to succeed at your remote job, here are some tips that will help you greatly:
1. Make Sure You Have the Necessary Hardware and Software
Imagine you’ve started working remotely but your laptop is getting overheated time and again or the battery is dying quickly. You don’t own a headphone to attend meetings and you don’t have any cloud-based phone system as backup. Check here for more information.
This kind of issue needs to be solved as soon as possible. Otherwise, your work efficiency and reputation will suffer no matter how expert you are in your field. As a freelancer, you have to realize that every business demands some initial investment.
Without these important resources, you won’t be able to deliver work. Remote freelancers are expected to manage these things for themselves. Also, try to buy quality products in order to ensure the best performance quality and efficiency.
Remote work has become a trend due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If your company is planning to shift to a remote business model, one of the best ways to empower your employees is to provide them initially with the necessary resources to perform their duties from home.
As an employer, you’ll need to do some additional research on how to make work from home successful for your employees.
2. Choose A Suitable Working Schedule
It’s no secret that there are so many distractions at home. The best way to avoid these distractions is to choose a work time or peaceful place where you can concentrate better.
For example, a remote worker might find his peak productivity hours during the early morning (4:00 to 8:00 am) because the family is still asleep.
Once you know the most suitable work time for you, stick to it. Make it a habit to follow this schedule in a routine, just like you would do to work at the office.
3. Make Use of Online Tools
As a remote worker, you should be able to make use of some online tools that will help you stay organized. For example:
- You can set your work priority using Todoist or you can use Asana for managing your own or your team member’s tasks
- You can use Cold Turkey to block online distractions such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram notifications
- As an article and blog writer, you must explore how to use Google Docs, grammar, and spell check apps such as Grammarly or Hemingway Editor. Similarly, a graphic designer can maximize his efficiency if he knows how to use Canva
- Don’t forget to use time-tracking software to keep a backup record of your hours worked
4. Make a Dedicated Office Space At Home
Productive remote workers make it their habit to dedicate a home office to work from. Many factors are important while you choose this space for you.
For example, having a comfortable chair, noise-free area, and a socket to fix your chargers and wires. Make sure you keep your space clean so that you don’t get distracted and be able to stay focused.
5. Be Deadline-Oriented
Once you have started working remotely, make sure you meet all your deadlines. Since you’re not being watched all the time, there’s a chance that you’ll become lenient with yourself and do not realize the task’s urgency.
Make it a norm for you not to miss deadlines at any cost. Communicate with your client if it seems unrealistic. Once you commit, fulfill it.
6. Don’t Neglect your Health
As a remote worker, you may feel tempted to take a snack every now and then, more often than at the office. Or maybe you’re staying late at night working on delayed projects. These habits might impact your health and you need to evaluate them.
Not having an appropriate work-life balance can negatively affect your productivity in the long run. Always give yourself importance and realize that at the end of the day, you won’t be able to work effectively if you don’t take care of yourself first.
7. Be Reasonably Dressed Up
Being a remote worker doesn’t mean that you wake up and start working immediately. Taking a shower, having a good breakfast, and getting dressed is as important for remote workers as for any office worker.
Making all this routine will help you feel fresh and motivated for a new day. Otherwise, lying on your couch or your bed in pajamas may make you feel sleepy most of the day and this will impact your results.
8. Set Realistic Goals for Yourself
Smart remote workers are consistent in their work because they set realistic goals for everyday. If you think that you can work 60 hours a week just because you’re at home, it’s probably not gonna do you any good.
Only commit to attainable goals, otherwise, you will work harder one day and lay in bed the next day. It happens because you get tired or you don’t feel like working. You need to set daily measurable goals like number of tasks fulfilled, number of people contacted, number of emails sent, etc.
9. Stay Connected With Your Clients and Employees
As a freelancer, you need to stay connected with your team. Keeping updated with other people’s tasks and progress makes you constantly push yourself and exceed them, plus good communication also improves your project management.
Responding on time to your partner’s communications is also very important to achieve greater results, to build a better relationship and to build your own reputation as well. Try to get as much feedback as you can from them in order to exceed their standards.
10. Keep Up the Pace with Deadlines and Give Your Best
It is not a smart move to just rush fulfilling assignments to get the next one and make more money.
Work quality is crucial for any remote worker. If you want to be competitive in this type of job, you’ll need to understand that quality is more important than quantity. You’ll need to show that you offer specific solutions to specific problems and you can do this by having the required qualifications, learning every day about your area of expertise, planning ahead, following routines and giving your best at work.
Whether you’re a freelancer who’s been working in the industry for quite some time now or you’re just getting started, these productivity tips should help. Working from home has its own set of challenges just like working in a traditional office. If you follow these strategies, you can be sure that your productivity will skyrocket.