on March 24, 2020 Businesses

How to Productively Work in a Remote Environment

With the global landscape changing daily because of the coronavirus outbreak, more and more organizations will be forced to shift to a remote work environment for the safety of their employees. 

Major organizations, such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Google, are responding to the crises by sending their personnel home. 

For those who haven’t done it before, working from home may seem like a dream: you can sleep in, work in your comfy clothing with your feet up on the couch, and basically access all those household amenities at any point of the day.

Don’t get us wrong, working from home is magical, but there are things you should do in order to maintain and even increase your productivity. 

If done right, you will most likely be more productive than if you were in the office. 

In the US, employers in a traditional work environment lose around $1.8 trillion a year in productivity according to Forbes

That same article goes on to describe the increase in productivity seen when companies allow their employees to work from home. 

“Two-thirds of managers report an increase in overall productivity from their remote employees.” - Andrea Loubier in her article, “Benefits Of Telecommuting For The Future Of Work”

So how do you ensure you’re helping this stat hold true? With the tips and tools below, you can help drastically improve your productivity.

How to Work Efficiently at Home

“Successfully working from home is a skill, just like programming, designing, or writing. It takes time and commitment to developing that skill, and the traditional office culture doesn’t give us any reason to do that.”

  • Alex Turnbull, Founder and CEO of Groove

Minimize Distractions

It’s proven that certain background noises can actually boost your productivity. 

With that said, loud music with lyrics you can’t help but sing along to or a TV show you can’t take your eyes off of is certainly not going to help you finish your work. 

It may be most beneficial to turn off the TV and instead use a background noise app.

In addition to TV or the radio, your phone is one of the biggest sources of distractions. Do yourself a favor and move that procrastinator-creator. 

Finally, the worldwide web. In your new remote work environment, you will use the web to stay connected with your coworkers and use certain sites and applications to help make you more productive. 

But there are also extremely distracting websites (I’m looking at you social media). To remove the allure of visiting these sites, use a website blocker.

Map Out Your Day

Your routine is no longer to get up, shower, get dressed and head out to the office. Once you’re up, you can technically start your workday. 

Set goals of what you want to accomplish by lunch, by the end of the day, and by the end of the week. Once you have established your goals, map out how you will accomplish them.

Pro tip: block time on your work calendar for projects so you are uninterrupted and give yourself enough time at the end of the day to map out your goals for the next day.

Have a Designated Work Area

Yes, the couch or your bed may look enticing and cozy, but are you really going to be most productive in a place where you usually rest?

We recommend designating an “office space” whatever the location, where your body and mind will be able to get down to work and focus.

Take Breaks

Without your coworkers around stopping by to say hello or the traditional lunch break to go outside, stretch your legs, and nourish your body, it can be easy to forget to step away from your computer. 

According to a Tork survey, 90% of North American employees say taking lunch breaks helps them feel refreshed and ready to get back to work.

We recommend the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. Using this technique, you do 45 to 90 minutes of focus and then reward yourself with a break.

Breaks help your overall health and wellness and are statistically proven to increase your performance. 

Do yourself a favor and take some time away from your computer.

Stay Connected

One of the most difficult changes with your new work setup is the lack of social interaction. That is why it’s so important to stay connected with your coworkers whatever means necessary.

At IMPACT, we have a mandatory video policy to help us feel more connected while meeting and also stay focused during our conversations. 

Beyond the tips and tools to make working from home more productive, the most important piece of advice we can give you is to wash your hands, try not to touch your face, and stay safe.

Jessica Thompson

Jessica is a wonder with words. An award-winning writer with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, she's currently in a Master's program at Washington State University working to improve herself as a digital marketer and strategic communicator to better aid in bringing forth innovative, cutting edge campaigns. She has worked in the journalism field as the editor of a newspaper, ventured into communications working with the BC Children's Hospital Foundation, and now is in a position that has sparked a passion for digital marketing. When not in front of her computer writing away, you can find her in the kitchen (she recently mastered baguettes), dragging her fiancee out for a photo shoot, or on the ice braving the puck as a goaltender.