For many people, “the workplace” isn’t a conventional office; instead, it can be their own home or a local library or coffee shop. NBC News reports that about 70% of the workforce operate outside the office at least one day a week. However, not all remote workers rejoice in their “freedom”.
One study revealed that, worldwide, of employees working remotely, two-thirds aren’t engaged. If working remotely is threatening your productivity, here are some ways to help turn the tide.
Meet up face-to-face with other staff weekly
One common risk of working at a distance from everyone else is that of loneliness setting in. However, in a Forbes article, John M O’Connor of Career Pro Inc. says: “The best at-home workers build in one-on-ones, face-to-face lunches and small group meetings every week.”
He adds that one-on-ones “keep you balanced”, which makes sense. If you aren’t sufficiently connected socially with your work colleagues, you can’t expect to achieve your best work.
Try to work the same hours as your co-workers
Another potential problem with remote working is that your “home” and “work” lives can end up blending into each other. Unlike your office-bound cohorts, you can’t always enjoy a pang of optimism as you see the clock and realise that 5pm – or whatever the actual leaving time – is nearing.
However, shifting more of your work schedule so that it’s in parallel to your co-workers’ routines would make it easier for you to feel like part of the team.
Leverage video chat to stay in touch with everyone else
There are many different ways to preserve contact with the office. Trusty emails are one option – but, when your only means of communication is entirely textual, you can’t exactly “read the room” too easily. That’s where the case for switching to video chat becomes stronger.
Whether you use Skype, FaceTime or any other tool for video chat, you can casually chat with co-workers as though you are in the room with them.
Cut out the online distractions
Sure, you’d like to think you’re a pro – but, if that “pro” is more “procrastinator” than “professional”, you might want to think about installing apps that put strict limits on your online behaviour.
The Focus and Freedom apps, to cite two examples, block particular, notoriously distracting websites, such as Facebook and Pinterest, for a designated length of time. That can leave you to just get on with your work. Consider experimenting with other, similarly work-friendly apps, too.
Physically recreate an office environment
Yes, you might often tap away on your laptop while perched on your couch. However, does this arrangement really bode well for your productivity? One risk of working from home is that there can be distractions aplenty. Hence, you might want to literally draw a line between “home” and “work”.
While a simple “home office” might suffice, workers in bustling cities can have many more options. If you’re in the UK capital, you could rent one of the flexible workplaces in London from BE Offices.