While remote work was increasing pre covid, the pandemic moved most non-essential workers home for a period. In many cases, productivity did not wane. While it is unclear how many workers will return to the office, it is unquestionable the concept of where people work from has changed forever. Technology was again a driver of change with Zoom and Teams meetings exploding across the landscape. More and more workers consider commutes to the office environment as a major negative. Many employers are embracing remote workers as a game changer in recruiting top talent in a candidate driven marketplace. With that said, what should workers do to drive engagement and maintain productivity while working remotely? How do workers manage outside distractions such as family, pets, and other temptations while working from home? Here are a few considerations:
Dress for success
It is tempting to wake up and just slide over to your computer to start the day. Despite the temptation to stay in your pajamas, it has been shown that workers who prepare for their day are more mentally engaged and productive. Gage how you work best. Do you feel more productive dressing more professional from head to toe as if you were being seen in the office? Do that. Do you work better in more casual clothes? Wear that. Get up in the morning and prep for the day ahead in clothes that will help you feel energized.
Plan and execute
There are times we get so sucked into an activity or task that we lose track of time. Sure, that one task might be accomplished, but what about the others that needed to get done? Planning is the best solution for staying on track. Set times and alarms for each task. When you start to plan for your day, choose goals you want to accomplish Decide which of those goals is the most important and start your day with that. Starting the day with the most important task with leave you feeling motived and productive for the rest of the day rather than starting slow with emails and scrolling through social media. Start productive, stay productive.
Create a workspace
Some people have a separate room for a work office. Others have made the kitchen or dinning room table to work. Either way, a specific workspace is key to staying productive. Choose a space that is low in distractions and continue to work in that space. This will help you make the connection of that space being related to work.
One of the hardest parts of working from home is losing the human interface that the office offers. Take advantage of video calls with your coworkers. Do not be afraid to call and check in with them. This will help recreate those moments of interactions that you may have gotten in the office while getting coffee or walking in the halls. Just because you are working from home does not mean you have to lose the human interaction. Stay connected with your team.
Working from home has its perks and its difficulties. With a productive workspace, a solid plan each day and effort to stay connected, you can set yourself up for remote work success!
-Written by Ricky Foster: Senior Search Consultant and Business Development Manager-Specialty Chemicals Recruiter