Last Updated onHere’s an interesting report which Lancaster University’s Work Foundation says next year more than 50 percent of businesses in the UK will adopt some form of remote working, allowing its workers to choose the place, and the time, of work. By 2020, that number will jump to 70 percent, and the States won’t be far behind (Heck, we might even be ahead by that time).
The same research says remote working improves productivity, employee well being and talent attraction, while at the same time significantly cutting costs for the companies involved. So, a win-win situation for everyone. But not everyone is used to the idea of remote working, especially if that means working from home. Some people even hate the idea. They find it hard to concentrate or get the work done on time.
Here are 3 quick tips to stay productive while working from home:
Create your dedicated working spaceThe worst thing you can do to yourself and your newly-created freelancing career is to start working in the living room, in the bedroom or the kitchen. There is a reason why people go to the office to work, just as there’s a reason people go to the gym to workout, even though you could do almost everything at home, and that’s focus.
Working in the living room or the kitchen just offers too many distractions, and that will be your biggest enemy. Kids running around, the TV being on all the time, other household members asking you irrelevant questions, all of those things will take your mind off your work. And you need to stay focused. By dedicating some space, preferably a room, or at least a quiet corner, to nothing but work, you will eliminate all the unnecessary things and focus only on what’s important.
A while back I remember reading an interesting story about how a lot of successful creative-type people have perpetually messy desks. The idea is that it facilitates a creative state of mind. Or something like that. Food for thought.
Designate working hours‘I’ll do it later, I have plenty of time’ usually turns into ‘OMG I’M ALREADY PAST DEADLINE’, which is why another important element you need to address when working on your own is discipline. Sure, flexible working does mean flexible hours, but that shouldn’t encourage you to leave your tasks until the very end.
Designating your own working hours means you will stop postponing things and start getting assignments done on time. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to survive otherwise.
Obviously, designating certain working hours doesn’t mean you have to do it 9-to-5, but it can be a good start, as pretty much everyone else works like that, giving you much needed peace.
Work in burstsYou might have eliminated distractions such as the TV, or other household members, but Facebook, YouTube or Reddit are still just a click away, and those kinds of distractions can be disastrous to your career. OR – they could fuel your creativity, that just depends on your approach to work. I like to work in bursts, as it helps me stay fresh, motivated and concentrated. After a few hours of churning out words, I open up every single useless website I can think of and just look at things. Fifteen minutes, that’s all it takes for me to realize I’m not really missing out on anything on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube or anywhere else, and I can get back to being productive. Works every time!
Remote working might be on the rise, gaining in popularity with every passing day, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, or that everyone’s cut out for it – some people need an authority figure to hover above their heads, making sure they’re involved. Others like the relative peace and quiet of the office, or simply enjoy sharing working space with other people.
However, it has its benefits, most of which you’ll notice in your work / life balance. You just have to approach the idea seriously, sort a few things out, and you’re good to go.
Photo Credit: blupics, John Cooper via Creative Commons.