While many workforces are returning to on-site work arrangements, hybrid workplaces are likely to remain the norm. More organisations are now splitting time between the office and home, so learning to work remotely is important if you want to succeed in today's working environment. But how can you stay productive and efficient while working remotely? Read on to learn remote working tips that will help you succeed in your career.
Malaysia has seen increasing technological advancement and innovation over the past years. And with the coronavirus response, many organisations embraced remote working as a permanent employment feature. Many employees were initially challenged by the sudden shift to remote working arrangements.
According to a 2021 JobStreet survey, most of the 5,649 Malaysian respondents prefer flexibility in where work gets done (89%), but only 24% would go fully remote. Some struggle to adapt to the newfound flexibility and freedom from remote work.
With a few adjustments and some simple habit-building approaches, you can keep yourself focused throughout the day, even in the comforts of your home. Here are a few remote working tips that can help you be more productive and achieve work-life balance.
Depending on the nature of your job, you might not need to stick to regular office hours. You should work when you're most productive. Some of us peak in the morning, while others work better in the afternoon or even at night.
Even if your job requires you to observe office hours, knowing your working rhythm will help you manage your unproductive hours better. This doesn't mean you need to work 9-5 daily. Communicate those hours to your employer, so you can meet their expectations of performing better in your job.
When learning to work from home full-time or part-time, one of the most important and essential things you can do is create a regular schedule. It's tempting to give yourself total flexibility when you start working. You will most likely take a lot of breaks without a concrete schedule.
Creating a schedule for yourself and dedicating work hours to that schedule will help you be accountable for your tasks. It will also help your colleagues whenever they try to get in touch with you. Having a schedule will keep you on track to achieve your goals for the day.
Resist the temptation to stay in your pyjamas all day long. Go through your morning ritual the same way you would if you were going into the office. Take a shower and dress the part. You'll feel refreshed and energetic with a clean shirt and fresh pair of trousers.
Remote work often merges your personal and work-life since both activities happen in the same space. Working from your couch or bed might be tempting, but this could significantly affect your productivity. To stay productive, have a proper workspace set up specifically for work. This way, your brain knows it's time to work when you sit at your table.
Make sure that home life demands are balanced with your ability to work productively and effectively. If finding a dedicated space in your home isn't possible, set boundaries in your household. Let them know that the area you designate as your home office is off-limits when you're working.
When you work remotely, consider investing in technology to stay productive. Equip yourself with the right tools that don't constantly run into equipment-related issues. For example, many remote workers invest in a great pair of noise-cancelling headphones, wireless keyboards, or even a second screen, which are integral to their efficiency.
Another effective remote working tip is getting a good office chair that keeps your posture upright while providing adequate lumbar support. It's equally important for you to have a decent chair if you spend hours sitting in it. Your back will thank you for it.
Surround yourself with stress relief tools that boost your motivation. For example, you can have your playlist and bust out your favourite tunes to pump up your energy to work. These simple knick-knacks can also be your favourite tumbler of water to remind you to keep yourself hydrated while you work.
A surefire way to keep your productivity up is to get a to-do list to get you organised.
Make sure you know what your priorities are for the day. Gauge how long each task will take and what you can work on if you have extra time. You can also use project management tools to set priorities and create due dates and reminders.
Accomplish the most difficult tasks on your to-do list first. While tackling more minor, simpler tasks can build momentum, avoiding complex tasks can cause an overwhelming pileup of important work. You'll find yourself getting more done when you have a to-do list, and you can track your productivity with it at the same time.
You can maintain potential collaboration and socialisation with your workmates even when you're working remotely. A great remote working communication tip is to keep your communication channels open. It's important to stay connected and in the loop with your team. Check in with your coworkers at least a couple of times weekly, whether by email or chat.
Have planned breaks for yourself throughout the day. Sometimes, you get so caught up in what you're doing that you end up sitting in the same spot for hours. Not only is this physically exhausting, but it also can take a toll on your mental health.
Make sure you get up from your desk during those breaks—step away, stretch or have a short stroll. You will feel much fresher after a short break. All these activities will help you reset, get your blood flowing, and ensure you're ready to tackle the next chunk of tasks.
You cannot achieve productivity overnight, but you can make it happen little by little. Use these remote working tips as a guide to begin your productivity journey as a remote worker. See what works for you and adjust as you go.
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