How to stay productive while working remotely

Rita Nakhoul
October 10, 2022

Remote work is widespread in the world of new technologies and is slowly becoming the norm. After the coronavirus pandemic, some companies ventured into the remote-first mindset.
Indeed, switching to this mode of operation where everyone is teleworking requires real effort and a change in habits. The Internet has made things and uses easier.

It has become much more straightforward, more comfortable, and more efficient to work remotely than in the past.

Today, it is simpler than ever: digital technologies allow information to circulate instantly. Thanks to new websites and apps, you can now see, hear, share, and co-author the same document simultaneously and remotely.

Remote work offers significant benefits but also presents certain risks. Productivity is at the center of the concerns of any good professional, so it is essential to be well organized.

So we beg the infamous question: is it possible to stay productive while working from home? Definitely.

And here are some productivity tips for making the best of remote work.

Create an office space

While it’s tempting to work from your bed or living room couch, it’s a good idea to set up a home office that’s conducive to focusing and staying productive.

This consists of sitting at a desk or a table with a posture that keeps you alert. One of the essential tips for working remotely or from home is to set up a suitable workspace.

If you don’t have a room dedicated to work, you have to find a specific place at home where you can sit and work quietly. This place should be the same every time. It should not be too comfortable at the risk of falling asleep. We must therefore avoid the bed, the sofa or the armchairs that are too comfortable.

To avoid mixing everything up, we must separate our workspace from our relaxation space. Because when we leave home to go to the office, it helps our brain to detach work from leisure.
When we enter the office, our brain also goes into work mode. It is essential to create this separation for productive work in the home office.

Have adequate work tools

While it’s essential that you feel comfortable at your desk, it’s equally important that you are technically well equipped. What exactly you need depends on your profession, of course. But in most cases, you will need a powerful laptop or desktop and a good wi-fi connection, especially if you have a lot of online meetings; make sure your internet connection is good enough.

Other essentials for working productively from home include a good keyboard and mouse.

Moreover, there are many tips on investing in various work tools, such as a standing desk or a separate work computer. If you can afford it and think it will help you, go for it. If your company asks you to work from home, find out what tools it will provide and what it will pay for.

Organize your working day & daily routines

Do you know what time of day you are most efficient? In the morning? The evening?

Knowing your chronotype and pace should help you adapt your time slots to productive moments. It is unique to everyone and can change over time.

Depending on your pace, you can adjust your time management to stay productive!Like working in an office, setting your work schedule and preparing your to-do list for the next day while at home is advisable, it helps you structure your daily life and ensure that you have enough time to relax.

It’s also useful for colleagues and clients to know when you’re available and not.

Respect these working hours. This also applies to weekends. Try to resist the urge to answer emails and phone calls on weekends and after work. In the long run, you’ll work much more productively this way.

Setting the boundary between work life and personal life

Being a remote worker, working hours are not always as clearly defined as when working in an office Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

With our space and work tools nearby, it is more complicated to impose limits.

We can be tempted to look at our emails before going to bed and find ourselves answering them at night or even working every weekend…

Work invites itself into our personal lives and can prevent relaxation. Fatigue, stress, and overwork can happen quickly, without you realizing it.

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, I set time limits for my work time: Don’t start until 9 a.m., give yourself an hour for lunch, and avoid working after 6 p.m.

Avoid work on the weekends and give yourself days off to relax and find that work-life balance.

Taking breaks

Getting fresh air at least once daily when working from home is essential. This allows us to remain efficient, energetic, and more in tune with our circadian rhythm.

Our body and mind need sunshine and short breaks to function. Staying indoors for too long can cause mood swings, anxiety, and fatigue, eventually leading to burnout.

According to a study from the University of Rochester, spending time outdoors boosts our vitality and physical and mental health.

Working efficiently isn’t just about concentration; it’s also about taking regular breaks throughout the day.

Work from anywhere

Working remotely allows you to work from anywhere you like. So what are your alternatives?

Working from home is not an obligation for a remote worker, especially if you are struggling to be productive from home.

You have the option of working in a coworking space, which can boost your productivity and get you out of your home.

You can go to a café to take a break from your usual work environment.

You can go to the library if you don’t have a lot of video calls. It is quieter and can be perfect for focusing. And most importantly: you can travel and choose your destination. This is what we call a “workation.” To do this, it’s straightforward: pack your bags, take your laptop and go to the airport. Pick a friendly destination where you can work, recharge your batteries, and see the country!

You can check our blog to know more about our tips and tricks regarding traveling and working.

Meet new people

Working outside a tiny cubicle has its perks. But it might isolate you from the outside world if you don’t get out and meet people.

Whether you prefer to stay in your home country or travel and work remotely now and then, you will have the chance to meet new people, discover new cities, and get to know different cultures.
The world can be your oyster if you allow yourself to work outside your home and meet random people while enjoying a good internet connection.

Other than meeting new people, try to interact regularly with your colleagues. Chatting with messaging apps like Slack - even just saying “Hello!” when you log on in the morning - and hosting meetings via Zoom are two quick and easy ways to stay in the loop.

At Stakha, I am a full-time remote worker. This allowed me to understand this mode of operation and to learn how to organize myself to manage it as well as possible. The key is to be a test & learn approach and to be ready to adapt your organization continues to be as efficient as possible. Once I started working from home, it took me about a month to adjust to this new way of organizing work.