These days it’s all about the technology that is making us choose what we want. The era of convenience has opened the doors to a myriad of work opportunities. Business owners are more prone and open to allow work from home as long as work gets done in time. A win-win situation?
A vast majority think working from home brings more productive results than working from the office. According to the study of buffer’s State of Remote Work. It says that 90% are embracing remote work from places such as home, co-working workspaces, coffee shops etcetera. Only 10% are preferring to join their workplaces daily, while others prefer to work where they could find the seamless network connectivity.
Incidentally, the report of the Forbes study concludes on similar lines saying, remote work is no longer a privilege in the current day’s scenario. It further adds, “a noticeable change observed in the mindsets of traditional employers in leveraging remote work facility to employees, on par with progressive startups.
Before, we take a look at the different productivity hacks those are useful for work for home, it would be worthwhile to evaluate whether you are up to it or not.
Decide which suits your profile: Office Vs Remote.
People of higher job responsibilities like the product owners, product managers, project associates, and tech leads have to interact with their team to get things done continuously. To accomplish this, they might not be having the luxury of long-term working from homework option.
Unlike few profiles such as content development, digital marketing, website development and management, data-operating, etc., can be contemplated as long-term remote working patterns, as they can derive best productive results instead of working from the office.
Benefits and Downside of remote working
Though remote workers have few excellent benefits, they have their equal share of Downside too.
They can have a jolly time with:
- Flexible work schedules.
- Saves travel time
- Time for family emergencies
- Avoid office politics
- Perfectly plan all day routine
Few Trade-offs include
- Sense of physical interaction with peers
- Time-zone differences call for odd work schedules
- Staying alone, isolated
- Network downtimes
- Distractions from family
However, all is said and done, let’s take a quick look at the key takeaways that helps you to how to be more productive from home.
Collaborate to gather work requirements
The first and foremost thing in which you need to be a successful home-worker is to gather your work requirements. Be it for a day, a week, or for a month, ensure you have great clarity while you accept your job routine. Whether you join the kick-off morning meetings, requirements gathering meet of a sprint, or the daily scrum meetings. Collaborate with your team members, and collect all the necessary data along with the supporting collateral to start your day from home.
So, what do you think? You collect one consolidated work requirement altogether, and you will be able to derive excellent outcomes while you work from home?
No, not a workable idea! Because, say, for instance, if you choose to work with Agile methodology, you should understand the working patterns of the model first. In agile, the work is divided into many scrums and allocated to cross-functional teams for continuous deliveries. It is mandated for you to stay tuned with a great collaboration tool. In my work from home experience, I found Troop Messenger works well for team communication and team meetings. As far as for the project updates and project flows are concerned, I suggest you to look for tools like KISS flow and Asana.
Try to stay fully online while you work from home to receive all your work updates from your co-workers and become effortlessly productive.
Understand the remote work policy
According to the Fast Company suggestions and findings. Every company must set essentials for its employees to ensure successful work from home routines.
Ensure your remote workers has all the necessary office software and hardware. Check whether they have given clear work instructions, and finally request them for regular work updates to measure each day’s productivity.
Customize your Home-Office
You need to create an inspiring work environment with carefully selected ergonomics if you work continuously for long hours. Never think that you can start your work from home routine by merely just sitting somewhere in your home. Instead, it is highly suggested to dedicate a room and create an office-like environment with ergonomically supported computer desks, tables, chairs, and hardware.
Of course, you work to earn your bread and butter. But, it is equally essential to care about your health by ensuring the right sitting postures. Though office furniture is a bit expensive, if you carefully understand the fact, it is a one-time investment that provides an uninterrupted and healthy work from home office routines.
Plan and prioritize your work schedules
Try to understand the complexity and delivery deadlines of the list of tasks which has been allocated to you and, accordingly prioritize them to complete your workload.
No matter whether you are at your office or working from home, at the end of the day, your volume of work counts. After you successfully collaborate and receive the work inputs from your team manager, project lead, and feature lead. Accordingly, plan and prioritize your work schedules to not to miss the task delivery deadlines. Pen-down your requirement on a piece of paper or download a to-do list tool to break down your work into small tasks. Set a reminder on each job to stay notified. Strike off or delete the completed assignment to feel more relaxed, and move on to the next task.
Never forget to update your task status in the burn chart of your office agile project software. Be it started, in-progress or finished, let your leaders understand the work progress on a particular task to allocate the next lot of work required to you.
Ensure cybersecurity and uninterrupted network connections
For being a productive remote worker, the first and foremost thing you need to have is an uninterrupted network connection. Frequent downtimes in your internet might affect your meetings, team and client collaborations, research and development, work updates, and file uploads. To avoid this, subscribe the best network provider in town who offers significant bandwidths.
If not followed, there could be a possibility of a massive data breach if the norms of cybersecurity. Large organizations follow stringent security policies for remote workers. While small and medium employers are neglecting this area, which could turn as a significant threat for them in securing their data.
With the study of HELPNETSECURITY, 38% of the remote workers are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. The practices of unified security policies have been followed at both in-office and work from home to avoid access to sensitive data.
Stay away from social media
Though exploring content through social media is quite impressive, it will undoubtedly ruin your work hours if you hang on to it for longer hours. It could turn out to be one of the major distractions that would hamper your work if you haven’t set disciplines for yourself to stay out of it. But, of course, a little browsing for local news is always welcome.
Let your family and friends understand that you are working from home. To ensure this, change the status of your Whatsapp and Facebook to make them understand the value of your work and time.
Sync all your work in the cloud
Don’t just entirely rely on your computer’s hard drive or any other local storage device to save your work. Instead work in online tools such as Google Docs for content making, Microsoft office 365 suite, etc., that syncs your work automatically to cloud storage. These days the world is running after a diverse range of SaaS applications for almost all work requirements. Many free or freemium apps are available out there in the market for your convenience. You need to subscribe to those applications, log in with your credentials and start doing your work.
De-stress yourself to stay motivated
At times, working from home could turn annoying and stressful. To avoid being a victim of burnout, due to loneliness, heavy workloads, timely deliveries, etc., you need to start practising specific tips to stay focused. Take short breaks for every two hours, be a part of work from home group or community to exchange various happy working from home ideas.
According to me, the best stress-busters could be;
- listening to good music,
- binging on some sumptuous snacks,
- step out to the nearest coffee shop for a cup of refreshing coffee, – spending little time with pets and family, step into your office
- occasionally shifting the place of work.
- meet your manager for work updates
Practice to enjoy work from home
Finally, when you have decided to work remotely or work from home as your full-time career, you must art learning to admire it first. When you know, it’s not a matter of one day. You need to set disciplines, guidelines, and start adopting the best work from home tips and techniques to ensure successful long-term remote working.
Wrapping it up
Be a successful remote worker by adopting the productivity hacks mentioned above to stay more focussed on your work. Eventually, it is not the quantity of work you do, its all about the quality you give at the end of the day, which is of the highest importance. But, remember one thing, just because you have access to work round the clock, doesn’t mean that you get hooked to it all the time. Log off once you finish your work hours. And try to maintain a perfect work-life balance and make your employer identify the efforts you are putting to bring the best results.