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Productivity in the workplace has never seemed more important, but how is it measured, and how can it be effectively accomplished when working outside of a traditional workplace environment?
In an era of economic uncertainty, workers and employers alike are both struggling with measuring, monitoring, and ensuring consistent productivity and are looking for productivity hacks that boost performance and efficiency.
As economies continue to languish, business owners have become increasingly concerned about their dwindling bottom lines, while workers are becoming less confident about the longevity of their careers and workplaces.
Droves of employees continue to grapple with the challenges of working from home, while employers seem to have just gained a handle on how to manage a work-from-home office.
Both parties seem to agree on one thing—that productivity has become a problem.
From a lack of measurements and hands-on leadership to workers who have never been without a manager, productivity in the remote workplace has become 2020’s hot topic.
The 2020 Paradox
Before Covid-19, working from home was stereotypically limited to freelancers, owner-operators, and entrepreneurs. The idea that the majority of a developed nation’s workforce could work from home was unheard of.
It was thought to be impossible for employees to work from home every day. Who would manage the employees? Who would keep them accountable? How could you run a business without workers in the office?
The 2020 paradox has proven that against all preconceived improbabilities that businesses can run without a physical office or storefront. But have they been successful? Moreover, have they been productive?
Accurately measuring productivity is intrinsic to strengthening your career, managing employees, and quantifying performance.
Lack of digital interfaces, equipment, and expertise have left employers and workers scratching their heads as both struggle to adapt to foreign job requirements, dynamics, and remote management.
I’ve come up with a one-month starter plan of productivity-driven questions, answers, challenges, and tips that are guaranteed to boost performance, strengthen your work aptitude, and conquer your biggest remote-work issues.
31 Productivity Hacks to Make You More Successful
I’ve combined 31 of the most important productivity questions with 31 terrific solutions that are guaranteed to improve your remote-working value.
Complete with a daily productivity challenge, our one-month productivity plan will get you out of the hot seat and into the driver’s seat of your career.
Whether you’re new to working remotely, or are a seasoned pro, increasing your output and effectiveness has never been easier.
Maintaining Organization and Productivity When Working From Home
Is It Possible to Work From Home Effectively?
Absolutely! Even if you don’t have your own home office, you should dedicate a specific space in your house for work purposes. Separating your workspace from your home life will drive your performance and minimize distractions.
Find a place in your home that will be used solely for work purposes. Add a few personal touches to make it welcoming. Ensure that it’s away from your home’s social places like kitchens and living rooms.
Is It Business as Usual When Working Remotely?
Yes, and it says a lot about your work ethic. Working from home doesn’t change your job description or its requirements. Keep up appearances and maintain your normal routine.
Reclaim your morning routine. Whatever your routine used to consist of, reimplement it. Take your morning shower, make your coffee, and dress as though you’re going to the office. This will give you a sense of normalcy and get your brain back into the work game.
How Should I Plan Out My Day Without a Manager Around?
Schedule your day by breaking it up into portions. Program your tasks by using a calendar program or online scheduling app. Set alarms for each item to ensure you’re staying on task.
Download a free app like Google Calendar and program your schedule for tomorrow. Make sure you enable alarms and include time for breaks. Try sharing your calendar with your team to maximize your efficiency.
Should I Still Take My Normal Breaks When I’m Working From Home?
Your workday should stay exactly the same as it always was. Your brain needs rest, so make sure you’re taking your full coffee and lunch breaks. Stretch your legs or make a snack.
Make a mental plan for your breaks before they hit. Don’t tackle chores or household items. Plan on doing some light exercise, playing some brain games, or making yourself a fresh cup of java.
Is It Okay to Work With the TV or Music On?
Unless it’s part of your normal working environment, you should resist the urge to put on your fave show or music. If it’s too quiet, try playing some light ambient music or put the weather station on in the background.
Minimize your distractions by powering down your TVs, tablets, and other media devices. Try an online ambient noise app that streams different environmental sounds.
Professional Productivity Hacks for the Digital Age
What Is the Best Way to Plan Out Your Day?
Make a to-do list every morning that outlines your most important tasks and projects. Prioritize your list by importance and update it daily.
Try out an online to-do list app to track and outline your must-dos every day! Try syncing it to your calendar and update it at the beginning and end of each workday.
How Do Remote Workers Stay on Task?
The most efficient workers maximize their time by segmenting their days into tasks and projects. Projects requiring feedback should be prioritized early in the day to allow for a proper response time from teammates.
Schedule a team meeting or conference call early on in the day. This will give you more time to use feedback, notes, and ideas proactively. It will also motivate you to get cracking on more difficult assignments.
Should You Keep in Touch With Your Coworkers?
Communication is key! Keep in touch with your coworkers during office hours to strategize projects, brainstorm, and keep up-to-date on important work developments. Keep your calls limited to work-related issues.
Schedule a meeting time for the following day. Agree on a time and meeting format. Make sure you and your team have downloaded, installed, and tested out your team meeting app ahead of time. Try and use an app that will integrate with your office’s software.
Should You Update Your Colleagues on Your Project Progress and Productivity?
Make sure your daily productivity stands out by sharing your successes. Don’t bombard teammates with updates. Instead, create a shareable link that lets them review your progress and track your productivity at their leisure.
Be transparent with your remote work progress. Try an app that lets your coworkers view and track your day-to-day achievements.
How Can You Collaborate With Your Team Without Causing Interruptions or Delays?
Use a cloud-based app that lets you and your team work together on documents and share them easily. Keep important files readily accessible and up to date.
Upload your most important documents to a digital storage space or digital drive. Give your team(s) access through a shareable link. Choose to allow edits and changes from team members to ensure that your documents are always available in their latest version.
Maximizing Leadership While Working From Home
What Percentage of Employees Work Remotely?
During Covid-19, almost all companies had to get their office workers to work from home. Make this transition quick and easy by using digital office solutions that are easy to navigate and connect your team immediately.
Boost your team’s performance from the get-go by using apps that allow your team to stay connected. Track their performance and productivity with software that easily integrates calendars, to-do lists, meetings, and collaborative documents.
What Do Remote Workers Need?
Keep your employees challenged by creating daily goals and goal-oriented tasks. Create a team channel where employees can communicate, share, and tackle workplace projects and concerns.
Create an online workspace that’s specialized to your team or office. Create different channels for different issues. Recreate your office’s social experience digitally by adding a fun channel or two where employees can share jokes, memes, stories, and general office coffee-talk chatter.
How Do You Motivate a Remote Team?
Champion your team’s successes by spotlighting individual department’s or worker’s achievements. Pick a new person or project every day that spotlights standout performances.
Use your digital workspaces and channels to create a daily announcement highlighting your company’s most important achievements. Turn on commenting to let employees comment, share, and interact with your posts.
How Do You Manage a Team From Home?
Make your remote workplace as similar to your normal office environment as possible. If your team is used to constantly talking to one another, create a digital workspace that facilitates those interactions.
Create a list of items that make your traditional office space special, functional, and unique. Strategize simple ways to achieve these remotely.
How Do You Hold Your Team Accountable When They Are Working Remotely?
Clearly outline goals, deadlines, and objectives so employees understand what is expected of them. Make sure they have all the tools to accomplish them available.
Create an easy-to-access master list of all apps, workspaces, and digital components that your team will need to accomplish their day-to-day activities. Include links, logins, passwords, and other important information so your employees aren’t wasting time trying to get their apps and software working properly.
Productivity Hacks for Remote Teams
Does Remote Working Really Work?
It works if you work it. Remote work isn’t an excuse to slack. Improve your performance by setting daily personal goals for yourself that align with your company’s objectives.
Create three daily personal goals, one weekly goal, and one monthly goal. Write them down and tape them above your workspace every day. Reflect on them at the beginning and end of each workday to improve your success.
How Can I Work Remotely Successfully?
Working remotely is easy if you set yourself up for success. Keep up-to-date on your company’s communications and expectations. Ask questions whenever you need clarification, and ensure you’re constantly communicating.
Make sure the lines of communication are open both ways. Create a space to communicate with your coworkers. Contribute to one of your workplace channels or forums by writing a post that encourages co-worker interaction.
What Are the Challenges of Working Remotely?
Maintaining normalcy during office isolation can be one of the hardest things to tackle. Stick to your routine and catch up with co-workers for non-work related chatter over breaks. Schedule your coffee breaks together and connect remotely.
Connect with your workplace friends over lunch or a cup of coffee. Talk about normal things without fixating on workplace struggles or issues. Keep it light and positive. Try to schedule your meet-ups well in advance.
Should You Use Video Chats for Everything?
If you’d normally do something face-to-face in the office, make sure you keep doing it remotely. Use video chats to maintain in-person interactions and enhance your remote workplace.
Use a video-based app instead of a phone call to communicate with teammates and improve your remote interactions.
Should You Wait for Direction or Take the Lead?
Transitioning to a remote environment can leave a lot of room for errors and delays. Make sure that you’re solutions-based. Take the lead on a project, or strategize a way to improve a process that has caused an important task to be cast aside.
Identify an important project or issue that has been placed on the backburner due to difficulties. Find a way to solve it, or initiate a conversation that addresses the issue and offers potential solutions.
How Can You Improve Productivity While Working From Home?
How Do You Adapt to Remote Working?
Get your head in the remote workplace game. Treat your home office as you would your regular office environment. Don’t engage in personal activities, calls, or interactions that would be considered inappropriate under normal conditions.
Turn off the calls and notifications on your phone. Try to communicate through online apps so you can disconnect your personal devices during working hours.
How Do You Manage Work-Life Balance While Working From Home?
Focus on your personal time by powering down your workplace at the end of every workday. Just one late-night email can take away from your much-needed private time.
Shut off your workspace. Close the door to your home office, turn off notifications, and leave your work in your dedicated space. Treat your home space and office space as two separate entities. Only use your office space during designated office hours.
How Should You Deal With Clients and Sales Calls?
Treat clients the same way you would during a typical meeting. Ensure their comfort by scheduling meetings that work with their schedules. Use technology, like video apps, that they’re familiar with. Put your clients first.
Engage in one over-the-top meeting with your client. Help them set up a video chat, assist them with documents, and take a few extra minutes to inquire about their well-being. Go above and beyond to address any needs they might be having.
How Should You Deal With Coworkers Who Don’t Communicate?
Reach out privately to colleagues you’re experiencing difficulties with. Ask them how they’d prefer to communicate and set up a strategy that works for them.
Identify one colleague you are experiencing communication issues with. Write them an email requesting a meeting. Ask them how they’d prefer to communicate and help them with any issues they’re having. Assist them with app or software issues by walking them through the process. You’ll make yourself more successful by encouraging better communication.
How Should You Prepare for Every Day When Working Remotely?
Plan out your tomorrow in the last half hour of every day. Having a plan for tomorrow in place means starting every day fresh and ready to hit the ground running.
Take the last thirty minutes of today to plan your tomorrow. Target client meetings, identify sales objectives, and set aside time to communicate with your team and managers. Integrate it with your calendar and to-do lists, or create a separate space to host your itinerary.
Maintaining a Work-Life Balance When Working From Home
Can You Multitask by Doing Chores and Tasks Around the House While Your Work?
Don’t do it! Juggling work and home is a slippery slope that can ultimately lead to decreased productivity, errors, and underperformance.
Even if you’re on your break, don’t tackle household chores during work hours. Plan to take your breaks outside or in an area of your home you don’t normally use. Catch up with colleagues or read a book.
How Can a Couple Both Work Remotely From Home?
Divide and conquer. Separate your spaces and agree to only use those spaces for work purposes. Use spaces in different areas of your home and limit personal interactions to break times.
Help improve your at-home productivity by working with your spouse to develop mutually beneficial workspaces. Solve a problem that keeps coming up. From background noise to conflicting schedules, carve out time to combat the conflict.
Is Starting and Ending Work on Time Important?
Stick to your schedule! Staying on time is important. Take your breaks as you’ve scheduled them. Coworkers will come to rely on your availability and schedule for communications. Be available when you’re supposed to be and be on time.
Set daily recurring calendar alarms for all breaks. Give yourself a five-minute warning before breaks start and end to ensure you can wrap up what you’re doing and stay on task.
How Can You Make Your Workday More Exciting?
Once you’ve mastered remote working, the days can seem a little bland or isolating. Improve your working environment by working near a window. Increase face-to-face interaction opportunities with all stakeholders.
Identify one key interaction opportunity that you can develop. If you’ve been sticking to phone calls, choose to make the permanent move to video communications for one key meeting or person.
Should You Take Vacation Days?
Working from home is not a vacation, and you should still take and use your vacation days. Make sure it’s okay with your manager and works with your team’s objectives. Plan in advance, and ensure everything is ready for your absence.
Plan your vacation time. Look at the calendar and target times that you think would work best for your vacation. Examine your work calendar and identify a few different times to present to your manager.
How Can You Make the Most Out of Working Remotely?
Use your distraction-free environment to rise above the competition and stand out from your coworkers. Work towards a promotion and maximize your productivity.
Identify key personal goals and opportunities in your workplace and work towards them. Develop key documents and conquer initiatives through strategic planning. Identify a current disparity that you can help solve. Stick to one important item and work to develop it daily.
Mastering Remote Work: Your Next Chapter
Now that you’ve mastered one month of remote working challenges, continue using our 31 hacks to better build your remote lifestyle. Review our productivity hacks every day and implement further changes to your workplace.
Whether you’re continuing to develop communication initiatives, or are constantly identifying key leadership opportunities, your success is always going to be based on organization, motivation, and strategy.
Keep setting goals, conquering objectives, and fostering interactive ways to contribute to your team. Your success is guaranteed if you maintain your remote workspace professionally.