Regardless of whether you are working from home or in a shared space, it can be hard to stay focused and motivated. A coworking space is a great option for optimal remote work efficiency, but if you want to stick with your current location, there are several things you can do to make your space and your ability to work more productive.
Because your coworkers are not just a few desks over, it is important to schedule meetings and calls to connect about upcoming projects and daily tasks. Communicating frequently will help you stay on task and understand what is expected of you.
Also, be sure to advocate for yourself. Remote workers can be “out of sight, out of mind,” and informing managers about what you’ve accomplished in the past week and what goals you have coming up helps remind them that you are working diligently from afar. It is up to you to reach out and have those conversations.
2.) Reduce Distractions
The environment around you can pose plenty of distractions, especially if you’re at home and can see the dirty dishes piling up or that fresh bag of potato chips on the shelf. Taking the time to organize your space and minimize distractions as best as you can will help you work more effectively. This means establishing boundaries with other members in your household so they know when to not disturb you. It means getting rid of temptations by turning off the tv and closing tabs to non-work-related content. Reducing distractions will also help your mind from wandering while you are working, meaning your time “in office” is spent being productive.
3.) Stick to a Routine
Remote work efficiency requires having a schedule, otherwise it can lead to feeling overwhelmed, aimless or on-call 24/7. Start by setting boundaries of when you are working. Just like in a standard office, have set hours that you will handle work-related tasks. Mark the beginning and end of your day with a distinct ritual so your brain knows to switch from work to home mode. This is important not only to working efficiently but also to maintaining good mental health.
Be sure to schedule in breaks for yourself, too. Stretch every hour or so. Eat lunch in a separate area for 30 minutes each day. Take a call outside. It can be tempting to work straight through the day, but a poor work-life balance can have negative impacts on your relationships and health.
4.) Stay Connected with Colleagues
Recreate that “water cooler” chat you have with colleagues, even if it’s virtual. Trying to follow the same habits you had in the office helps maintain relationships with your coworkers and gives you a sense of normalcy. Log into conference calls early to chat with others who are participating. Send messages to your coworkers who you would normally talk with throughout the day. Make phone calls to check in every once in awhile. Maintaining relationships with your colleagues can help you be more productive, more motivated and more efficient.
5.) Get a Good Pair of Headphones
When it comes to remote work efficiency, it is important to have the right equipment in order to be productive. One of the most essential items to have on hand is a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. These will help you block out distractions, and we recommend listening to instrumental music or white noise. These sounds help you stay focused on the task at hand and prevent background noise from coming in and bothering you.
A good pair of headphones can also help you communicate more clearly when you’re on work calls. You can hear your colleagues better and, if the headphones have a good built in mic, you’ll be able to communicate without the risk of hitting the mute button on your phone or dropping the call.
6.) Take Time for Self Care
Working from home can be stressful, lonely, overwhelming and a lot of other things. Cut yourself some slack because remote working takes time to get used to and that adaptation won’t happen overnight. It’s okay to take five minutes to sit quietly and focus on your breath in order to recenter your mind and get back on track. Maybe use your scheduled break time to meditate or just talk a short walk outside. Ensuring that work does not take over your life is essential to taking care of your mental health and finding a healthy work-life balance.
If work-from-home or the local coffee shop isn’t working for you, consider coworking, an alternative option that offers flexibility to remote workers with the amenities of an office. It consists of a shared space, often with communal equipment, where individuals work independently but build a community of shared ideas and knowledge.
If you want to learn more about coworking or want to check out a space yourself, contact Brix Coworking, a company with two coworking locations in Madison, Wisconsin. Brix provides affordable coworking and workspace solutions for small businesses, remote workers, entrepreneurs, freelancers and musicians.
Connect with Brix Coworking today to schedule a tour and get more information.