According to various pre-2020 surveys, remote workers are more productive and satisfied with their jobs than office employees. However, during the Covid-19 outbreak, not many feel this way.
The abrupt switch to online platforms and your children’s 24/7 presence at home—in addition to quarantine, global economic uncertainty, and health issues—can make remote working challenging for you and your family members.
We’ve prepared three golden rules and eight hacks for 2020’s remote workers. Use them to stay efficient and at ease during the world’s largest work-from-home experiment.
To stay productive during remote working, remember three golden rules:
- Divide and conquer. It’s easier to eat an elephant one bite at a time. Separate work from rest, divide big tasks into smaller ones, and stay focused on one thing at a time.
- Keep your progress on track. It is essential not to get lost in your work. Set measurable goals and monitor your work. This will help you stay effecient without overworking.
- Your rest and morale matter. To work efficiently, you need to rest. It’s always better to prevent burnout than to cure it. Pay attention to your emotional state, and make sure you get enough rest.
Keeping these principles in mind, let’s see how exactly you can change your routine to get better results while working remotely.
8 Hacks To Stay Efficient While Working From Home:
1. Define work-life boundaries and protect them.
Begin with space. Divide your home into working and relaxing areas. Separate zones will help your brain to switch appropriately between active or passive modes. Once done, you should stick to the routine: stop working in your bed and eating at your workplace.
Then, add some triggers. Before work, drink a coffee cup, shower, groom, and even change to office clothes. By doing this, your mind and body will understand that you are going to work. Turn on white noise music (or heavy metal if you’d like) to concentrate on your project.
Once you finish, go to the relaxing area, change to a housecoat, and speak with your family. A bath, candles, yoga, and meditation will help you get work out of your head so that you can focus on your family, friends, or yourself.
2. Create and organize daily to-do lists.
Let’s say in one day, you need to buy a bottle of milk, write a proposal, clean the house, answer important emails, and so on. No surprise, you feel lost in these tasks and tend to forget some of them.
Use to-do lists and make them structured. Put household chores in one column, and professional ones in the other. Separate tasks that you can do by yourself and those that require your team’s help. Highlight the most urgent assignments.
Your to-do lists may be paper or digital. We suggest trying digital ones because they make planning more manageable and easy. No matter how many changes happen throughout the day, your plans will always be up-to-date and tidy.
Nimbus Note has your back! Absolutely free of cost, you will get two separate workspaces: one for your work, the other for your personal needs. Each workspace has its own settings that you can customize to suit your needs.
For your inspiration, check out free Nimbus Note templates (Daily To-Do list, Daily Planner, Daily Review, Daily Planning and Kanban template). Each of them uses a specific approach to time management and offers some ideas on organizing your daily to-do list. With Nimbus Note, assign categories, completion percentages, and priorities for your tasks easily. You can also refine your list with the necessary documents, graphs, or inspirational pictures.
3. Control your time.
Above all, set working hours. In Airtasker’s survey, 33% of remote employees affirm that establishing working hours is the best way to stay productive while working from home.
Many think that people work less from home. However, due to pressure from employers and blurred boundaries between work and personal life, remote employees tend to work longer hours. Statistics prove that workers-from-home often overwork and have more difficulties with unplugging from their duties.
To avoid this, get in the habit of tracking your work with a timer. This lets you know how much time you spend on each task so you can manage your daily workload. At the end of the day, summarize all time intervals to ensure that you didn’t work more than 8-10 hours. Or you can decide when you finish working and create a notification that will inform you that it’s time to rest. While being with family, try not to think about your tasks.
Also, schedule regular breaks. Although it may sound counterintuitive, pauses are as significant for productivity as the work itself. During the working day, take 10, 15, or 25-minute breaks so that your mind can reboot.
4. Keep all your crucial data structured.
Not only does work go digital, but so does documentation. It’s easier and faster to share a document over the Internet than to send it via post. Using paperless data is advantageous for a business as well as for ecology and the future of our planet.
However, organizing digital information may be challenging. We get data from numerous sources in diverse formats: downloadable files, web pages, videos, audios, texts, graphs, and so on.
It is important to evaluate the data you get. We recommend categorizing and labeling information: crucial, further work needed, potentially interesting, inessential.Remember, the more information you save, the harder it will be to manage everything. Therefore, you should filter your data from the start and delete content that’s not useful.
On your computer, don’t download everything in the same folder. Keep in mind the divide and conquer principle. Create separate folders for work and personal information. Then add distinct folders for different projects or years. This way, you will always know where to look for your data.
For websites, use the same principle: save only essential items and organize bookmarks by topics or years.
If you want to save only relevant information (without getting distracted by unwanted content), try our free tool Nimbus Clipper. It will allow you to keep only selected data from websites: chosen text, pictures, or fragments. All the data goes to your Nimbus Note account and is easily sharable.
To help you organize digital data effortlessly, Nimbus Note proposes an elaborate structure of workspaces, folders, and notes. Separate your professional workspaces from your personal ones, and structure each of them by adding folders. You can create a folder for a year, a project, or a field and unite all the relevant notes in it.
Even more, you can gather all the crucial information in one thematic Nimbus Note. There, you can refine the text with tables, pictures, audio, video, uploaded documents, and even embedded content from YouTube, Google Drive, and other popular sources. Two clicks and you can quickly transform the note (and all its collected information) into a public page, which you can then share with your team.
5. Pay attention to communication with your team.
Communication is essential for getting work done. Thanks to networks, we can stay in contact at a distance. But online communication differs from offline forms and poses numerous challenges for teamwork organization.
Remote teams need to have more formal meetings to understand the real state of affairs. Teleworking requires an efficient task-tracking system and a sharable digital workplace. Each member should clearly see what is going on and in what direction the team is moving.
To communicate wisely, use diverse technologies: video calls for daily meetings, telephone calls for urgent situations, and mail to request new factual information. Forget about social media – it’s always better to use professional tools such as Slack or Jira.
Check your colleagues’ working hours and status so that you won’t disturb them in the middle of important calls. It is essential to check mail regularly and promptly answer letters so you don’t forget about them.
To stay productive while working remotely, you also should be attentive during meetings. Taking notes during gatherings is a great idea. The notes will help you to remember all the necessary information. Moreover, you can share them with absent coworkers and boost your team productivity.
Entrust each team member in turn with note-taking tasks in Nimbus. Collect all meetings’ summaries in a shared folder so that each employee can find crucial information. In Nimbus note, include all the essential data, tables, agreements, and presentations related to the meeting so that nothing will get lost.
Even more, with Nimbus, you can explain every process to your colleague! They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and we can prove it. You no longer need to write hundreds of words; try visual messaging with our free tool Nimbus Capture. Easily create a sharable screenshot and edit it by adding arrows or highlighting the essential sections. Also, you can effortlessly record your desktop and demonstrate instructions or directions. Share the video with as many people as you want, or even post your instructions on YouTube.
6. Take care of your body.
To be productive and proactive, you should get enough sleep. According to a Harvard study, employees’ sleep deprivation costs US companies $63 billion per year due to lost productivity. To get higher results, you shouldn’t work more, but you should find a balance between working and relaxing. First of all, ensure you get enough sleep at night, ideally in a dark room without noise.
Also, it is vital to keep fit and do some physical activity. We understand that during quarantine, physical activity is difficult. Gyms and fitness classes are often closed to prevent the virus from spreading. Sport is no longer a social activity during which you can hang out with friends.
However, due to the quarantine’s physical and morale challenges, doing sport is more important than ever.
To inspire yourself, do exercises with your family or people you live with. You can also organize a sports meeting via Zoom with your friends and do some exercises together.
Check out diverse YouTube channels that offer free workouts for all levels. Yoga, cardio, core strength, stretching – you can choose what you want. Remember, it is better to exercise a little every day than a lot once a month. Try to do at least a 10-20 minute workout every day, and you will feel much more energized. You can do physical activities during your scheduled breaks to reboot your mind and boost your productivity.
We know that it is not easy to find a good fitness program and it is even harder to stick to it. If you are ready to become the best version of yourself, we recommend you a fantastic coach Jonathan Montgomery. He is an active Nimbus user and you can ask him more about sport, nutrition, or our product. His program First in Nutrition has already helped numerous people. Exercises, nutrition plans, and the right environments can help you reach your goals.
Don’t forget about water. Dehydration alone might cause you to feel dizzy or tired. Get in the habit of drinking a glass of water at least three times a day or every time you start a new task. Water will help you concentrate better.
7. Bring colors to your work.
Each weekday we spend 6-10 hours working. This time is your opportunity to express yourself and make some changes in this world. But even if you have chosen your dream career, sometimes you can get tired and think that your work is dull or even useless. Negative emotions can block your productivity, especially during hard times such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
To avoid this, bring some positive emotions to your work.
We recommend creating a friendly and upbeat team workplace no matter how many kilometers apart you are. During informal meetings, have fun with colleagues. When appropriate, ask your coworkers about their life and share your news or memes in a dedicated chat. Turn on your camera during video calls and ask others to do so. This can help you feel like you’re talking with real people and not machines.
Also, get engaged in your life and your work. According to the Gallup survey, the more employees are engaged, the better performance they give. Stop living automatically: every aspect of your life and work may be improved. Try to figure out how. Your ideas matter and they can change not only your company but the whole world.
You can use a brainstorming wall to generate new ideas and keep them in front of you. Add colorful stickers, question marks, and arrows to stimulate reflection. Spend 20 minutes each day to get out of the mechanical activities box and allow your creativity to show you new ways of thinking.
Staying creative can inspire you to do your job excellently. Don’t hesitate to add colors to your work! You can create a powerful report, presentation, public page, or even a digital brainstorming wall with Nimbus Note. We provide you with great editing tools that will make your content look exquisite. Even if you’re just writing a small report for your team, why not make it remarkable? Both you and your audience will get more pleasure while working with it.
Moreover, in Nimbus Note, you can embed professional tools. That means that you can use Figma or Miro directly on your note! Sharing the note with your team will boost team cooperation and productivity.
8. Give yourself some time to find your working rhythm.
It is okay if you feel lost. Don’t demand from yourself 100% productivity immediately. Adjusting to new circumstances requires dedication and time.
Every six months, find time to analyze your approaches to stay efficient. Abandon the tools that don’t work well for you, no matter how promising they seemed in the beginning. Maybe, they are great instruments but not for you. Define the tools that have been the most efficient and think about how you can increase your performance even more. You can also check out updated features or brand new products to find different approaches to work organization. Stay curious and update your remote work organization step by step.
No doubt, creating your remote working routine takes effort. Office employees get used to the established settings, while remote workers need to organize everything by themselves. It is challenging, but try to see the bright side. Independence gives you the space to do everything according to your needs and desires.
Remote work organization is not a scourge; it is an opportunity. The opportunity to change your life, find your personal work-life balance, and get more engaged in what you are doing.
Only you can know what working routine best unleashes your potential. While working remotely, you have the possibility to experiment with diverse alternatives. So go ahead, try different approaches, listen to yourself, and create your personal working rhythm.
Be the master of your life and your working schedule!
Meanwhile, we’ll provide you with the best products for your personal and professional growth—your Nimbus tools.
Find your perfect working rhythm with Nimbus Web