How to be More Productive with Remote Work in 2016

by | Jan 12, 2016 | Freelancing, Remote work

If your New Year’s Resolution is to be more productive in your remote work environment in 2016, or to work better with your remote team, congratulations! It’s so important to stay productive, balanced, and communicative when you’re a remote worker.

To assist in your inspiration, we’ve compiled some of the best tips for developers and designers so they can work successfully in 2016. Here are our Top 5 Tips for staying productive in your remote work environment this year:

  1. Make a Commitment to Your Work and Life Balance

You love your work, but it’s important to set boundaries and find work and life balance. Don’t forget to take breaks. Set a schedule for yourself; it’s OK if you alter your schedule during a given day, but the important thing is to make sure you aren’t working 24/7. Preventing burnout will ensure you’re producing quality work for your clients – and that’s the most important thing, after all.

Also, remember to stick to a routine and plug self-care into your week; schedule it like an appointment so you don’t miss time for yourself.

  1. Analyze and Improve Your Work Environment

Analyze your work environment for the new year. Do you have the necessary tools and ergonomic equipment to make sure you are taking care of your body while working?

Prep your work environment before you start work. If you’re going to be upstairs in your home office for a while, bring snacks and beverages so you don’t have to pause your productivity.

Also see Tip Number 5 below – which can help when your home office gets stale.

  1. Ensure Communication and Transparency with Your Team

If you work on or manage a remote team, focus this year on communication and transparency to achieve your goals. With the right communication tools, and commitment to ensuring transparency, communication barriers with a remote team tend to disappear.

Suggestions include creating a team email address to send group messages. Don’t be shy about asking questions or saying hi. Make sure, if your remote team communication is written in nature (like by chat or email), that your message is clear and that you’ve proofread it for any nuances or misspellings. If you’re communicating a topic to your team that is difficult to describe in text, make sure your query as clear as possible, and encourage your team members to speak up if they’re unsure about what you’re asking.

Use tools like Slack and add a #random channel in your chat room so you can talk about regular, non-project stuff, like family life, favorite TV shows, and funny GIFs. Small additions like this can help keep morale high. Use videoconferencing, especially on difficult topics, to add the human element and ensure there isn’t any misunderstanding. Moreover, one of the keys to a successful remote team is trust – if there are any issues with that, make sure you speak up.

  1. Take the Steps to Stay Productive

Discipline yourself and you’ll have more time to play later. Shut off the phone when needed, get off Skype when you need to focus, and allow yourself to take regular email breaks. You can also use tools like Siri to remind you of things on the go, and time management software like RescueTime to alert you to your daily habits. One of the easiest ways you can improve your remote work productivity, especially if you work from home, is to invest in a good pair of headphones.

  1. Remember – You’re Not Stuck at Home!

Even if you have an awesome home office with all of your favorite tools in just the right place (and free food!), remember that you can always leave your home office and shift perspectives with a change in your working location. From making the short move to your front porch, to making an early morning drive to a co-working space on the beach, there are an endless number of places you can do you work – the best environment is up to you and your style. Working outside can be very healthy – get the sunshine and Vitamin D that you’re lacking inside!

Try these 5 tips in the first quarter of 2016 and see if your remote work improves for the better. Enjoy remote work in the new year – we surely will!

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