As a fully remote healthcare IT company, we are actively gaining excellence at balancing the demands of working a full-time job from home while maintaining a work and personal life balance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the IT consulting industry transitioned into a work-from-home lifestyle, some returning to the office, but majority not.
According to a statistic from the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2019 and 2021, the number of people primarily working from home tripled from 5.7% (roughly 9 million people) to 17.9% (27.6 million people).
Not to mention Zippia.com, an online recruitment service provider, reports that these numbers are predicted to increase as 59% of workers report being more likely to choose an employer that allows remote work as opposed to those that do not.
With numbers like these, it’s hard to deny that remote work is the future. For many, this is a blessing as you’re already mentally saying au revoir to 45-minute commutes (ONE WAY!) and your closet full of uncomfortable collared shirts and high heels.
While for others, who like a socially active office environment, it’s not so pleasing as you are communicating all day with nothing but Teams or Zoom Video calls and Slack messages for company, causing you to feel isolated or demotivated.
No matter where you are on the spectrum, here are some tips to help your productivity as a remote worker.
1. Set Up a Work from Home Environment
While it’s tempting to work from your couch or kitchen table, we find it essential that you set up a dedicated workspace within your home for the most productivity as a remote worker.
By creating a proper workspace, you are better able to transition into “work mode” which helps train your mind to focus and properly prepare for the day.
When setting up your work from home space, it’s important to know yourself and what you can and cannot have around you as distractions.
Some people can work with the TV on or music in the background, while some cannot. Some need to completely turn off their phones while working (or at least Do Not Disturb mode), while others are completely unfazed by phone notifications throughout the day.
We trust you know what works best for you and will adjust accordingly. ;)
2. Maintain a Consistent Work Schedule
Working from home comes with many advantages – namely, you have more flexibility throughout the day in your schedule. For example, you can walk the dog on your lunch break, make fresh meals right from your kitchen, or put in a quick load of laundry, all of which are huge perks to working from home.
However, there are downsides to this flexibility. Some people have trouble exiting out of “work mode” and leaving work at the door, or they feel overwhelmed by the flexibility and need more structure and routine to their days.
To counter this, we recommend setting up and maintaining a framework of time for your work hours, and sticking to it. If your working hours are 8 am to 5 pm, then stick to this schedule as much as possible. By setting up a strict work schedule, you won’t find yourself sleeping in late or working past work hours out of convenience.
Consistency is key.
3. Set Daily & Weekly Goals
Setting and prioritizing daily and weekly goals is something you should do regardless of if you are a remote worker or an in-office worker. However, because it can be even more difficult to stay productive as a remote worker, we feel it pertinent to mention it in this post.
To stay productive throughout the work week, we highly recommend setting and prioritizing daily and weekly tasks and goals for yourself.
The best way to do this is to set one or two larger weekly goals for yourself, and then break down your larger weekly goal(s) into smaller daily subtasks.
This way, by the end of each day you can see how your daily tasks and productivity leads to the achievement of the larger weekly goal you set for yourself.
Transition To and From "Work Mode”
While commuting to work can be a headache in-and-of itself, one thing it does well is create a built separation between work and home. However, when your workplace is also your home, it’s important for you to mentally transition from “work mode” to going about the rest of your daily life.
Here are a few ways you can mimic leaving the office and transition to and from work mode:
- Physically leave your dedicated workspace when you are finished with work. Go for a walk, hit up your gym, or yoga class, or even just run a quick errand. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what you do, you just need to physically leave your dedicated workspace.
- Put away your WFH laptop after working hours.
- If your work laptop is also your personal laptop, create separate accounts: one for work and one for daily life.
The main idea is to create some sort of separation between work and home so you can mentally transition in and out of work mode. By applying these tips, we are confident you will sharpen your productivity as a remote worker and truly thrive.
By: Laura Hathaway (IT Operations Lead at InnoVet Health)
InnoVet Health is an IT consultant company specializing in AI and business intelligence, digital services, and health interoperability founded by MIT-alumni & informatics experts. Learn more about us on our website or reach out on LinkedIn.