It seems that more and more companies are offering WFH – aka work-from-home – days during the work week as an incentive to their employees.
Many other companies hire fully remote positions where their team never or rarely goes to a brick-and-mortar location.
We at JSL Marketing & Web Design think this is a great new trend (as some of our own team members are remote), but only if the remote workers know the best ways to capitalize on their time and have consistent productivity.
After all, companies bank on their employees being productive, getting their work done, and being able to focus on their tasks.
But is it really feasible? Better? Worse?
That’s for you to decide.
Ruses of Remote Work & Pitfalls of Productivity
Maybe working from home sounds awful to you, a terrible and dreadful fate, because you prefer the structure that going into an office provides.
Maybe having your home also be your place of work seems more stressful than helpful because then you can’t as easily separate your ‘on-hours’ and ‘off-hours’.
In some ways, you are right!
Work-life balance is hugely important and making sure you create a space that is conducive for productivity is a key point to ensuring your WFH days are smooth sailing. But there are things you can do to make the scary ‘home-office’ less of a fright.
There are two big things you can do before you ever begin your work week, day, or shift that can set you up for more productivity and less stress at home.
First, set up your space.
For a healthy work-life balance, even from home, you need to have a designated space.
This both increases productivity and decreases feelings of ‘always working’. It also helps with organization and your frame of mind when you need to work.
Second, set up a schedule.
Maybe your work allows you to work from home and choose your own hours. As long as you finish your projects, it’s all up to you!
Not if you cannot buckle down and create your own schedule, and then (here’s the kicker) stick to it.
Making a schedule so you know when you need to be ‘on’ is important, but the inverse is also important because then you know when you can be ‘off’.
That’s the life part of that integral work-life balance.
Best Tips for Productivity Anywhere
Communicate: Let’s start this off right where you would expect. Communicate with your co-workers, bosses, and clients.
Communicate often. Communicate clearly. Communicate consistently.
This will save you loads of trouble. Maybe use a program that helps keep projects and messages clear, like Basecamp.
Check-ins & Meetings: A weekly meeting or check-in time for your whole team, or subsets of your team, is a great way to make sure everyone is on board and on task for the week.
The most common time, of course, is Monday mornings, however, with many companies or workers working non-traditional hours and days, the day you choose can be as unique as your workers.
Don’t Switch-Task, Ever: Stick to one task or topic, because let’s face it, humans do not multi-task well. In fact, research has shown that multi-tasking is a big, fat lie.
Instead, create blocks in your schedule where you work on one task at a time for a set time.
Trust us, you’ll thank us later.
Airplane Mode: This goes with the above perfectly. Nothing brings your productivity to a screeching halt quite like constantly checking your phone.
But they’re work emails. But it’s just a second. But it’s my mini-break.
Nope. None of those excuses work.
Check your email three or four times a day, at scheduled times. And besides that, keep your phone off or away when working through your blocks or tasks for the day.
Breaks: This doesn’t mean check out your phone every 15 minutes (read the above one more time for good measure) but this does mean you can allow yourself breaks.
Think of traditional office work – bathroom breaks, coffee breaks, lunch breaks or office chats around the water-cooler.
Studies have shown that only about 4 hours of work really gets done in the typical 8-hour work day.
Now, this isn’t an excuse for half of your day to be breaks, but it does show that you can have scheduled, short breaks without guilt.
Need Remote or Online Work?
If you think that being a remote worker sounds like a blast, well, it is. But only if you can handle the responsibility of being your own office manager and scheduler.
Conversely, if you think hiring a remote worker for online or SEO work sounds like a blast, you’re also right!
Check out our infographic about SEO and learn more about the costs, benefits, and values associated with different online, remote, and SEO company options.