27 September 2023

Distant drum: How to be productive when working remotely

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With a new report finding that one third of employees will be working remotely by 2028, remote worker Ammi Teir* has advice for people considering the option.

With the internet reaching the majority of the industrialised world, organisations are waking up to the opportunity of using this to their advantage.

As a result, remote work is becoming more popular every day.

Upwork’s Future Workforce Report suggests that 33 per cent of full-time employees will be working remotely by 2028.

Many of us find an increase in productivity while working from home.

However, people who are just starting out with remote work might be struggling with the realisation that home (or literally anywhere else) is now their office.

What are the top tips for staying productive while working remotely?

I will share some tips from my experience after three years as a fully remote graphic designer.

Don’t stay in bed:

Working from home in your pyjamas is a fantasy for many people.

Waking up in the morning and just lifting your laptop onto your bed might sound wonderful, but this is probably not the best approach for productivity.

It’s important to separate home space and work space.

Otherwise you might find yourself suddenly watching an entire season of your favourite Netflix show.

Libraries are abundant in most cities. They are quiet, full of knowledge and completely free.

Usually the Wi-Fi is very powerful.

Why not try out a co-working space? Seeing other people work will definitely increase your productivity.

You’ll also battle the loneliness of working from home, which is quoted as the top concern for remote workers.

In co-working spaces you can take advantage of all the things you’d find in an office, such as good Wi-Fi, printing services and coffee.

Some co-working spaces even charge by the hour, so you’ll likely be wanting to make money instead of browsing Instagram.

If you’re already going out to lunch, you can stay a bit longer and work the afternoon in a cafe or restaurant.

Or why not get your morning latte with a remote working friend and work together in a cosy coffee shop?

Take breaks and honour the weekend:

The more you work, the more productive you’ll be, right? Wrong!

Taking breaks is very important both for your workflow and your health.

Walk a dog, meditate, do jumping jacks or practice yoga.

Even a 10-minute break will reset your mind and allow you to think more creatively.

Also make sure you have days in the week when you don’t work at all.

When everywhere is your office, it might be hard to put away the computer for some downtime.

I try to have one-to-two days a week when I don’t work at all.

I actually like working during the weekends when everyone else is away, for complete peace and quiet.

Then I make sure to take a day (or even half a day) off during the week when I only focus on myself.

You should also take proper holidays regularly.

Eat healthy food and move your body:

This I struggle with the most.

When working from a cafe, I might want to try one of those delicious brownies they’re serving.

Or when working from home, I might just get a bit too comfy and not go to the gym.

It’s important to limit yourself when it comes to unhealthy food and stagnant days.

If you eat food heavy in fat and sugar, you’ll easily feel sluggish, whereas food rich in protein and vitamins will keep your body healthy and your mind sharp.

Same goes for exercise; if you don’t move, you’ll probably feel lethargic.

If you keep active in body, your mind will stay active too.

To recap, maximise your productivity while working remotely by working from a place where you can focus.

Allow yourself enough downtime and stay healthy by eating well and moving your body.

Wishing you happy and productive working days.

*Ammi Teir is a graphic designer who can be contacted at linkedin.com

This article first appeared at LinkedIn

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