As team members at SimpleTexting, a 100% remote company, we’re often met with some confused faces when we tell people we “work from home” (WFH).
But we’re hardly alone. Between 2016 to 2017, remote work in the U.S. grew 7.9%. Over the last five years it grew 44% and over the previous 10 years it grew a staggering 91%!
With the cost of office space skyrocketing, combined with emerging studies on low workplace productivity, it’s no surprise more and more companies opt to turn their teams remote.
So, if you’re new to the WFH lifestyle, or perhaps you’re in need of some motivation, we’ve got tips from our team to make your days as productive as possible.
We have a little bit of advice for everything, from how to stay productive to how to preserve your mental health.
Without a commute it’s tempting to set your alarm for the time you want to “clock” in and start work. Unfortunately, almost all the productivity research out there says that earlier risers yield more productive days.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you need a run a 10K and chug a green juice before sunrise. Getting up with enough time for some food, a shower, and a stretch can make a big difference. As a bonus, start every morning with a glass of water. Our bodies dehydrate overnight. Water first thing in the AM naturally wakes you up making it the perfect pre-coffee ritual.
With no nosy cubical neighbors peering over your shoulder to look at what you browse, it’s easy to slip into a social media rabbit hole. If you know you lack browsing willpower (there’s no shame) there are plenty of tools to assist.
You may want to use a website blocker like Freedom or StayFocused if you want to train yourself to stay on track. These tools allow you to select the sites you want to block (Reddit, Instagram, Facebook) for set periods of time to prevent you from a slip into the world of distraction.
Did you know that using your bed/bedroom as your workspace actually makes it harder to sleep at night? Your brain can associate a certain space with a need to be productive. If you make that space your bed, you’ll soon begin to wonder why you can’t seem to shut it off when you decide to use that space for sleep. Or, vice versa, if you need to use that space to be productive.
It’s important to set boundaries, which is what a home office or workspace can do. Be sure this space minimizes distractions (if you can see your pile of dirty laundry, it’ll be hard not to go wash it).
The logic behind why you shouldn’t work from your bed also holds true when it comes to your attire. When you get up and get dressed you signal to your brain that it’s time to do work. Now, we’re not saying put on a suit and tie (unless you want to), but certainly don’t start working in whatever you wore to bed the night before. Perhaps your business casual sweatpants will do?
Whatever you choose just know that change into clothes does wonders to put you in the right headspace to be productive.
If you notice yourself feeling a little distracted, even with some of the tools above, know that a change of scenery might be what you need. Research shows that to simply change your surroundings can radically reduce writer’s block, stress, and boredom! As a bonus, use your change to either get outside or access some natural light, both natural mood boosters.
Another small productivity hack is the use of a time tracker. Some people find that if they put themselves on 20 or 30-minute intervals of highly focused work (followed by a 2-5 minute break) they produce far better work. This method is also known as the Pomodoro Technique. Apps like FocusBooster make automating these intervals a snap.
While 80% of remote workers experience less job stress, it doesn’t mean that we’re without our challenges. In order to be the best team member (and optimum version of yourself) you can be, consider these strategies next time you start your routine.
We think you may surprise yourself with what these small changes are capable of!