Remote work expanded in popularity at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when many cities shut down workplaces to stop the spread of the illness.
While COVID-19 regulations have ebbed, some organizations still allow their employees to work remotely. Many individuals have found that remote work not only eliminates the daily commute but also improves their productivity.
However, some people need help to remain on task when working from home. Here are a few tips for keeping yourself accountable while working remotely.
Set a Daily Schedule
When working from home, it’s easy to distract yourself from your job with other tasks, like laundry or a grocery run. While taking care of your other responsibilities is a benefit of working remotely, they shouldn’t take precedence over your job. You’ll need to prioritize your work over personal tasks.
If you struggle to keep up with deadlines or maintain full attention on your work responsibilities, try establishing a daily schedule that aligns with your most productive times of the day.
You might focus on your most complex tasks after breakfast if you’re a morning person. Technology investor Kris Duggan, for example, follows an early-riser schedule. He holds meetings in the morning and reserves part of his afternoon for downtime. Duggan finds that this schedule optimizes his performance.
Turn Off Your Phone
Smartphones are a regular part of our lives. We turn to them when we’re waiting in line, waking up, or just bored. Smartphones connect us to social media sites, the internet, and emails.
While smartphones have many benefits, they can be a significant distraction when trying to concentrate on difficult tasks. It’s all too easy to turn to your smartphone for a bit of relief when you need a break.
Taking a break from work during the day has its place, but smartphones can adversely impact your ability to focus after scrolling through memes and TikTok videos. It takes an average of 23 minutes to refocus after checking your smartphone.
Don’t let your phone control your ability to perform. Turn it off while you’re working and check it on your pre-designated breaks. That way, you don’t risk spending quality work time on unproductive activities.
Find a Quiet Place
If there are other people in the household besides you, they can distract you from your tasks. Your partner might need your help creating a grocery list, or your children might pile into the house with their friends, disturbing you from your work.
Designate an area of your home for your office and make it off-limits to others. Ideally, you can shut the door and work in peace, free from noisy distractions. Get into a routine so that your family knows when you’re unavailable. They’ll come to respect your office time and leave you alone.
Make Your Office Comfortable
You should have everything you need to work in your home office. Spend money on a comfortable chair and functional desk. You should have all the tools you need to perform your job in your office, including notepads, pens or pencils, and a printer.
If your home office is comfortable, you’re less likely to take unnecessary breaks or lose focus on the tasks you need to complete.
Remote Work Has Benefits, but It’s Up to You to Maintain Productivity
To hold yourself accountable in a remote work environment, you must embrace a routine that works for you and limits distractions. Ensure that you have a pleasant area to work in with everything you need and turn your phone off to improve your focus. With time, you’ll build habits that enhance your productivity.