In today’s rapidly changing workplace environment many new ins and outs exist. Among these include work pace and tempo in an increasingly remote environment. It should be noted that there are several huge benefits and key distinctions that come from working from home vs the office:
- Distance and employee proximity are no longer a concern, this allows companies to seek out truly the best fits and greatest talent for their operations.
- Hours can be set and optimized for production in specific roles, in highly independent and creative fields this allows employees to work when inspiration strikes them and carry on independently until it peters out.
- It allows for optimized sick leave and extraneous circumstances, when life happens, the work can keep happening. Should an employee not be in a state of ability to reach their location of employment they are prepped and ready to continue working.
- It allows for work to be result based, in this instance you are paying for production, and it takes supervising costs greatly out of the equation making the employees’ abilities to deliver paramount.
However, in cases such as this, how does an employee stay productive without the burgeoning workplace ambiance to help cultivate “a zone of efficiency.” Here are several ideas to cultivate higher productivity working from home vs the office.
1. Know Your Objectives
This is probably the biggest difference between working from home vs an office setting. In your own environment, you lack much of the excess face-level accountability that comes in a set of rooms full of eyes. You have to be willing to jump in and get projects done, but you need to know where to start.
Your boss or supervisor will most definitely frame out some form of schedule or outline. Presumably, this will have many set dates and associative priorities attached. Get all of these in front of you as soon as they appear. Knowing what you have to do will inform the manner in which you must do it. From there begin to categorize which – at that moment, is most deserving of your time and attention.
2. Build a Priority-Based Timeline
Segwaying into the next point, you should begin to outline the amount of time you are going to give to each product and what part of the day you’re going to give it. This should work in conjunction with the list of objectives and priorities your boss gave you – or that you created. Many CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software already do an excellent job with this. If you are in a remote company it is likely that they will have some form of this software.
Keeping all of the time, priority, and total objectives in mind is the first key to being able to efficiently self-manage. We recommend building a timeline for all of this if not provided one. Even if you are, it is as simple as having a whiteboard. This is where you can write the objectives of the day.
3. Constant Communication with Boss and Coworkers
When the cracks start to show in the pipeline, the schedule, and the client’s actual demands, communication becomes imperative. A major difference in office work is that this conversation has to be carried out digitally – so handle it right away. Your supervisor will likely be more than quick in responding but floating the issue as soon as it is made itself known to you will help keep the wheels turning.
Beyond this don’t be afraid to reach out or ask questions, whether that is over a video call or a quick message. Try to keep it to essentials, but thinking about remote work as an immaterial office is still a good idea.
4. Reach Your Checkpoints
Regardless of how you work, try to focus on reaching the checkpoints you set. This will fill you with a sense of accomplishment. But also, if set right, they help speed the project along. Depending on the scope of the objective, finishing the task may not always be possible. However, generally getting at a minimum halfway will reap immensely compounding results in the long term run of the project.
Beyond completion, the mentality will make you more likely to approach daunting projects in the future as you begin becoming objective-driven.
5. Cultivate Your Own Zone
Cultivating your own zone is one of the largest benefits of working from home vs the office. While you do lose the external motivation an office can provide, internal discipline is infinitely more valuable. By creating your own space, both in your home and your head you can establish a set of routines and habits that will help you even when you are thrown off rhythm.