Large companies like Twitter have announced that they will be having their employees working remotely on a permanent basis. The benefits of having a fully remote workforce are apparent as companies can hire employees from all over the country/world. Not being limited in a geographic sense due to the requirement of coming into the office will allow a business to built an efficient team. Working from home is convenient but those that have done this for years understand that it does have its challenges. Productivity along with motivation are both pain points for a majority of those working remotely. The following are tips to maximize productivity if you will be working from home for years to come.
Time Tracking Software
Time tracking software should be used whether you are an employee or run your own company. Being able to truly see how much you can accomplish during a specific week can allow you to accurately predict overall productivity. You might find you are spending far too much time on one task that can easily be sourced out or even automated. Training other contractors or employees becomes easier with this software as you can tell them how much time they should be spending on a task. Holding yourself accountable might be the largest benefit as you might find you spent time constantly checking emails in the middle of a task. Do not think that time tracking software is just built to hold employees accountable as it can be a tool to assist with overall productivity.
Automation among the tools that you utilize on a daily basis will save you time. An automatic follow up to a client about a payment being set saves time for you if you would have had to create the email manually. Hiring software has automation that can allow for automatic rejection emails or invitations for interviews to be sent immediately. Tracking the hiring process becomes much easier and no applicant will be left wondering whether they will receive an offer or not. The quality of hire also increases due to artificial intelligence being used that can identify patterns in a resume that correlate with a quality hire. The importance of checking to see whether something can be automated regularly is important. Integration provides an aspect of automation as integration between tools allows for ultimate convenience. Automation cannot help in some roles like that of a web designer or copywriter. These professionals need to do hard work in order to create a quality product. The caveat is that writers and designers need to stay up to date with the industry. Web design trends have changed over the last few decades and copywriting has as well as now writing with search engines in mind has become far more prevalent.
Check Your Email on a Schedule
There are rarely emails that can wait until the top of the hour. If a certain client always wants an immediate response then setup a notification on your computer and star their emails as important. For the most part, a client can wait for an answer or other person working for you. The sad truth is that emails can derail a train of thought and decrease the quality of work on a task when you return to it. Try clearing your email in the morning then checking it before your lunch break. A final check an hour or two before you stop working for the day should suffice.
Block Sites or Social Media Platforms
The amount of time that can be spent on social media platforms is immense. Blocking these certain sites on your computer as well as your smartphone can be done with apps/tools. You can check your daily usage of apps on your phone and might find you are spending hours on Facebook or Instagram per day. Blocking sites like that of Amazon or entertainment sites is imperative. You know which sites or social media platforms you spend a lot of time on that do not contribute to your productivity. Be honest with yourself and block these during your hours of work.
Mute Instant Messaging When in the Middle of Something
Instant messaging can prove just as distracting as email and can be even worse at times. You might have an employee or coworker that loves to chat. Mute the conversations when you are in the middle of a task as you can check these after you are done. For complex questions, ask the person to email you as it might take you time to formulate your answer. Most instant messaging platforms have statuses but an overzealous coworker might ignore these be aware of this.
Create a Home Office Space You Enjoy Entering
You might have put off creating a home office space but have since decided or been told to work remotely permanently. Creation of this space is paramount especially with the number of kids that will be doing classes online this fall. You want to purchase a chair with great lumbar support and have things around you that motivate you. These could be quotes or pictures as everyone is motivated by something different.
Set Goals for Improvement
You do not want to stay at the same productivity level as an entrepreneur working from home or production level as an employee. Increasing production numbers monthly over an annual period will yield immense results. Small improvements add up over time so do not get discouraged if you do not see a huge jump in production after it becomes a focus. Goals are important as you might be able to reach new heights through testing different tactics in your daily job. These goals will also hold you accountable and continually motivate you to find new ways to be more efficient.
Working from home is the ultimate perk for many but the challenges of production and motivation arise frequently. Use the tactics above and watch your productivity skyrocket after a period of time.