Remote working is on the rise. As employers increasingly tap into the global workforce to drive their companies forward, more companies than ever are giving employees the option of working from home.
And even though many people love the flexibility of this modern arrangement, working remotely can pose some challenges--namely, the focus factor. Because when you’re working from the comfort of home, it can be easy to become distracted by your everyday life and let work slide to the back burner.
But whether you work remotely now, or have been toying with the idea, there is hope. The fact is, studies have shown that working from home can improve workers’ productivity.
Ready to focus your workday? Tap these tips to boost your remote workday focus factor and get things done.
Dedicate a space
Working remotely is full of interesting situations that most in-office workers just don’t understand. After all, the whole world (rather, the WiFi-connected world) is open to you. While it’s fun to entertain your freedom of working anywhere you want, it can also be frustrating trying to decide where to work, only to find overcrowding or wavering WiFi. Having a space set aside specifically for work can help train your mind to enter into a productivity mindset. Plus, having a dedicated space to work means you can set it up in a way that’s most conducive to your work style with multiple monitors, standing desk, speakers--whatever you need for working comfort and focus.
We know it can be tempting to lounge around in your pajamas or yoga pants all day, but what you wear can affect your mindset. If you dress for relaxation, your mind may just subconsciously start to laze around. So put yourself together as though you were going out, then head over to your workspace (home, coffee shop or coworking space) and dive into success.
Take a break
Sometimes, the best thing you can do to gain (or regain) focus is to head outdoors for a walk or hit the gym. Not only does physical movement and exercise make you feel better--it can clear your head and give you some fresh perspective and focus. There’s a reason Steve Jobs took walking meetings.
Don’t overdo it
Working remotely means your work is always close at hand. And that can make it tough to know when enough is enough. If you want to maintain your happiness, focus and avoid burnout, make sure to set your work hours and stick to them. Knowing when it’s time to clock out can not only provide the much-needed work-life balance but give you time to get refreshed so you can approach the next day with clearer vision and focus.
Make a schedule--and stick to it
Household chores may abound. The kids may be on summer break. Your friends may be texting you to hang out. Distractions are all around. Making a list can help your mind map out a plan for the day and help you balance your time out to get the most important things done.
Get social--but we don’t mean social media (in fact, you should avoid social media during your work hours if you hope to make progress and focus on the tasks at hand). One of the things many remote workers tend to miss is workplace chatter--or any chatter really. That’s because working from home can be isolating and lonely if you aren’t intentional about workday socialization. Silence can settle in and make you unable to focus, leaving you wondering if human contact will ever come your way again. Be intentional. Take breaks and reach out to a few people. Phone calls, texts or meeting people on your walks can be a refreshing and re-orienting experience. You can also find a coworking space in your area full of remote workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs looking for a social working environment too.
Remote working doesn’t have to drive you crazy. When done right, it can be an amazingly rewarding (and productive) experience that brings a sense of freedom with it. But the key phrase is “when done right.” So get intentional by incorporating the above tips into your own life, and start getting focused.