20 Tips for Working Remotely (& Productively)

Now that warmer weather is here, it may be time to free yourself from the office to work from a more scenic locale — without compromising your productivity.

To boost cost efficiencies, morale and retention, a growing number of companies are embracing programs for staff to work remotely. Whether they work from home, a coffee shop or exotic location, workers have greater flexibility than ever in their choice of workspace.

A 2012 Reuters Ipsos worldwide poll indicated one in five employees works from home frequently, with 11% of Canadians working remotely at least one day per week.

How to Be Productive Anywhere
With the freedom of working remotely comes the responsibility to continue to produce terrific work. Use these 20 practical tips to maximize your productivity and build trust while working outside the office.

Productivity Boosters

  • Establish a dedicated work space
  • Set work hours and stick to them
  • Create a daily task list of your specific priorities to stay focused
  • Commit to output (vs. effort) to measure your success
  • Pause in the middle of a project to make it easier to jump into the next day

Office Resources

Invest in office necessities:

  • Computer, VPN, high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi, printer, smartphone, hands-free headset
  • Ergonomic desk and chair

Be flexible and consider your colleagues’ and business partners’ communication preferences:

  • Phone, email, text, instant message, face chats, Microsoft Link, WebEx
  • Skype, Google Hangout, WhatsApp for smartphones, etc.

Consider using cloud-based services:

  • Dropbox or Google Drive for collaborative file sharing
  • Asana for project management

Protect Your Personal Brand

Set clear boundaries:

  • Dress up every day, even if you don’t have any meetings
  • Let your friends and family know you’re unavailable during work hours
  • Be clear about your working hours
  • Schedule non-work appointments early in the morning or near the end of the day
  • Minimize online distractions like Facebook, YouTube and Candy Crush

Stay visible:

  • Check in with your team and boss several times a day
  • Make an extra effort to stay connected (e.g. coffee with colleagues and clients)
  • Keep all your interactions businesslike and professional

Take Care of Yourself

  • Since “sitting is the new smoking,” take regular breaks (go for a walk, exercise, stretch)… then get back to work
  • Get out of the house every day for fresh air and socializing
  • Set more boundaries: Keep the TV off and stay out of the kitchen
  • Celebrate your wins and accomplishments to stay motivated

Happy workers are productive workers, so set yourself and your team up to succeed by embracing these best practices for digital nomads.

How do I know they work?

Since 2011 I’ve worked remotely on a regular basis in both corporate and entrepreneurial roles. Today my clients span the globe, from North America to Europe, New Zealand and China. I also consult with global brands’ HR executives to enhance their internal communications by sharing these proven practices.

As such, I can attest that these tips can help you and your team remain focused, productive and happy — no matter where you choose to work.

If you work remotely, what tips would you add?

Lisa GollerLisa Goller is a marketing and communications professional with over 15 years of experience serving B2B, technology, retail and consumer goods companies. She helps businesses tell their story through irresistible content marketing and strategic communications. Learn more at lisagoller.com

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