MANILA, Philippines – Does your job allow you to work from anywhere you want? If so, you’ve got something that many employees want—freedom!
Working remotely means you don’t have to worry about being late. You’re also spared from the grueling commute to and from work. And there are no office rules to follow.
With all these benefits and the income potential, there’s no wonder a bigger part of the workforce globally has decided to leave the office and instead take on home-based or freelance job.
In a 2013 study by professional workspace provider Regus, 75 percent of the respondents agreed that flexibility in the workplace improves productivity. It also concludes that having the freedom to choose when and where to work helps employees makes decisions faster and be more creative.
But while these may be true to the best of remote workers like you, admit it: There are still days that you just don’t feel like working; that your current work environment—perhaps your home, a coffee shop, your hotel room or what have you—just doesn’t work for you; that there are too many distractions and it’s almost impossible to get rid of them all at once.
How can you still stay productive?
Don’t worry. Here are some practical things you can do:
Working only when you feel like it is unfortunately not the best thing to do when you want to be a productive remote worker.
And one common struggle of working in a non-office environment is getting things done on time. That’s because it’s so tempting to procrastinate when there’s no boss around who’ll check up on a status of a project or pressure you about a deadline.
To stay productive, you must wisely use the flexibility you have as a remote worker. Be disciplined and set a realistic schedule. For example, working moms who keep a home-based job might not be able to start work at 8 a.m. sharp because they have yet to bring their kids to school at that time.
Your schedule would also depend on when you are most efficient. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Taking breaks help employees to be more productive. But if you’re a remote worker, you need to be more strategic with this to keep laziness at bay.
First, set aside time for your breaks and decide on how many minutes each break time should have.
Second, try different activities during your break time. Exercise. Eat. Do some chores. Talk to a friend. Watch funny videos. Take a power nap. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that can rest your mind and recharge your body.
Yes, energy can be managed. And working longer hours is not a manifestation of productivity. The most efficient workers can finish tasks and meet deadlines within the eight-hour work period. You might be shaking your head no to this, but it’s possible.
To achieve this, find out the hours where you feel most energized to get into the work mode. Is your brain most active in the morning than in the afternoon? Are you more of a night owl than an early bird?
After that, go through your task list and identify the easy and the difficult tasks. The secret is to finish the difficult tasks first within your best hours before working on the easier ones.
Take advantage of technology to help you keep your focus. Here are some great apps you can check out:
That coffee shop or corner in your house can be really noisy, inconvenient, uncomfortable and counterproductive. To help you stay efficient, you can do at least two things about your workspace.
You can transform that favorite corner in your house as a nice, comfortable and private home office where you can actually work without any distraction.
If you think that would require too much work, you can find a professional workspace with great interiors and office amenities. Regus, for example, has spaces that are specially designed for mobile workers. You can check out places like these where you can also mingle with other remote workers and build your network.