5 tips on how to stay productive while “WORKING REMOTELY”


Joanita Nassiwa, Refactory


May 8, 2020

With the recent outbreak of COVID 19, many things have come to a standstill as quarantine(staying home) has become the best method of keeping safe. However, it has become evident the need to work from home. Now, for some, this can be very exciting but for others, it can cause anxiety and a sense of unease. That’s why it’s important to create an environment that will help you stay sane and more importantly productive. Allow us to share with you a couple of tips on how to stay productive.

1. Maintaining a morning routine

When working remotely, it’s very easy and tempting to wake up and jump right into work — especially if going to the office doesn’t require getting out of bed or sleeping late with the thought of not going to work the next day. Unfortunately, jumpstarting “work mode” is not as easy as opening up your laptop or logging into Slack. If you find that it’s more challenging to jumpstart your workday when you are working from home, you’re not alone. So start your day the same way you always do, that is if you start with brushing your teeth or catching up with what’s happening around the world on BBC, then, by all means, maintain the same practice. This will allow you to ease into work.

2. Managing the expectations of those around you when you’re working from home

It’s a given that your expectations at work don’t change when you’re working remotely, however, your expectations at home can. When you’re working from home, it may seem (to you or your family/roommates) that it is easier to help out with household chores during the day. While you are closer in proximity to the dirty laundry pile, the expectation to take care of household tasks during your workday can begin to interrupt your workday and reduce your productivity. So set aside time to concentrate on work for at most productivity, throw on noise-canceling headphones to block unnecessary distractions if you must.

3. No such thing as over-communicating

Working with your teammates and/or clients is much harder when you’re working in different places and especially when you’re working in different time zones. Working remotely requires an extra effort to make sure everyone is on the same page and to remind everyone you still exist. So communication becomes a fundamental need when working remotely. With the use of tools such as Trello boards, slack, and even WhatsApp, communicating with team members has been made as easy as possible. This will also keep you accountable to the people you work with.

4. Filling your free time without additional work

It is no doubt one saves a lot of time by working remotely — but that can also be an unexpected challenge. It’s easy to fill the extra free time you gain by skipping your commute in the mornings and evenings with extra work which can easily lead to burnout. So you can go ahead to use that extra time on your hands to plan for your days while at home(tasks to be achieved), reading a book or even catching up with family which will increase your levels of productivity when you return to your work therein.

5. Embracing the space that you have as an office

While many recommend not working from your bedroom, many people living in smaller spaces, shared apartments or roommates don’t have much a choice. We recommend that you embrace the space you have and pimp it to your specification that will allow you to work well and deliver to the best of your ability.

6. The lunchtime dilemmas

Last but not least, remember to actually eat lunch. Many people struggle with finding the time to prepare lunch every day. What can be a challenge is figuring out what to eat for lunch especially when you don’t have the time or motivation to cook for yourself. To help alleviate the hunger-induced lunchtime stress, we recommend “packing” a lunch like you would if you were going into the office. This will also keep you from constant snacking.

Even with all of the challenges and scares, being able to work remotely is still something to be extremely grateful for in these trying times. While business is far from usual right now, employers and employees who are able to continue working together while apart are the lucky few.

"Times such as these require agility and a vast understanding of technology and what it has to offer. That being said, it’s extremely important that both employers and employees acknowledge the challenges that come with remote work. "

For many, remote work is not a nice-to-have situation, and we hope that at this moment, we can start to build empathy for the remote work experience and optimize our processes for productivity and mental well-being. 

Please stay home and stay safe. 

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